HONG KONG (Reuters) – U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group (BX.N) has agreed to a deal with Great Eagle to build high-end apartments in China, where the housing market is booming, the Financial Times said.

Blackstone will back Great Eagle's plan to develop more than 1,000 new homes in the north-eastern port city of Dalian, its first significant investment in China, the newspaper said on Monday, without citing sources.

The paper did not specify whether Hong Kong-headquartered Great Eagle Group or its Hong Kong-listed unit Great Eagle Holdings Ltd (0041.HK) was involved in the deal.

Blackstone and Great Eagle executives were unavailable for comment.

Great Eagle Group posted a core profit after tax of about HK$1.276 billion ($164 million) and had a net asset value of around HK$22 billion in financial year 2009, according to its web site www.greateagle.com.hk.

Foreign companies have been trying to tap the Chinese housing market, which has seen prices rise sharply over the past year mainly due to healthy domestic consumption as the economy grew strongly and the country lacks investment products.

However, the government has been trying to curb rises, unveiling a slew of measures earlier this year and requiring banks to conduct stress tests to ensure the sector, a key pillar of the Chinese economy, does not suffer from overheating.

(Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee and Megan Davis in New York; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)

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