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China’s property development investment growth slows

Updated: Jun 14,2017 10:26 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Growth of China’s property development investment decelerated in the first five months of the year as the market showed signs of cooling down, official data showed on June 14.

Investment in property development expanded 8.8 percent year-on-year during the January-May period, down from 9.3 percent in the first four months, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

Housing sales measured by floor areas rose 14.3 percent for January-May, but the pace of growth decelerated from the 15.7 percent increase in the first four months and 19.5 percent in the first quarter.

Growth of housing sales value also eased to 18.6 percent in the first five months from 20.1 percent for January-May.

The data adds to the evidence that China’s property market boom is running out of steam. Early this month, major property developers reported falling sales in May, both in terms of floor areas and sales value.

Signs of the property market cooling came after the government’s increasingly stringent cooling measures to quash potential asset bubbles.

Rocketing housing prices, especially in major cities, had fueled concerns about asset bubbles. Since the end of 2016, dozens of local governments have passed or expanded their restrictions on house purchases and increased the minimum down payment required for a mortgage.

The market was also cooled by relatively tightened liquidity conditions as China moved to contain leverage in the financial system.

Liquidity pressure and intensified financial supervision forced financial institutions to tighten loan application reviews, rein in mortgage loans and lift mortgage interest rates.