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China’s property investment up 7.9%, sales slow

Updated: Sep 14,2017 2:11 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Investment in China’s property sector maintained steady growth in the first eight months of 2017, with sales continuing to slow due to government curbs, official data showed on Sept 14.

Real estate investment rose 7.9 percent year on year in January-August, unchanged from the growth in the first seven months, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Investment for residential properties went up 10.1 percent year on year, accounting for 68.3 percent of investment in the sector.

With a slew of government restrictions to prevent speculation, property sales continued to cool. In terms of floor area, property sales gained 12.7 percent, retreating 1.3 percentage points from January-July.

By the end of August, 623.5 million square meters of property remained unsold, down by 11.4 million square meters from a month earlier.

China has been stepping up efforts to rein in property speculation this year after rocketing housing prices fueled asset bubble concerns, particularly in major cities.

Dozens of local governments have passed or expanded restrictions on house purchases and increased the minimum down payments required for mortgages.

The boom was also cooled by tightening liquidity. While the central bank has left benchmark interest rates on hold, it has used diversified monetary tools to ensure liquidity and guide interbank market rates higher.

Of 70 cities surveyed in July, the pace of new home price growth slowed in 15 major cities compared with the same month last year. On a month-on-month basis, new home prices fell or remained flat in 14 cities in July, up from 10 in June.

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