Single-digit growth maintained in residential property market

Sales of new residential properties in China maintained their single-digit growth in the first 11 months of this year while housing inventory continued to fall.

Sales of new residential properties in China maintained their single-digit growth in the first 11 months of this year while housing inventory continued to fall, data released today by the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

More than 9.57 trillion yuan (US$1.45 trillion) worth of new homes, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, was sold between January and November, a year-over-year increase of 9.9 percent, the bureau said in a statement posted on its website. That compared to the 9.6 percent gain in the first 10 months and the 11.4 percent rise in the first three quarters.

By area, new residential properties sold in the 11-month period climbed 5.4 percent from a year earlier to 1.26 billion square meters, slowing down from a 5.6 percent gain in the first 10 months and a 7.6 percent rise in the first three quarters, according to the bureau's data.

"Home prices in some overheated markets have been brought under control now while property sales and real estate investment both maintained moderate growth, evidence that tightening measures implemented around the country have been effective in helping maintain a stable market," said Mao Shengyong, the bureau's spokesman. 

"In the next step, we will accelerate reforms and step up efforts to build a long-term scheme, particularly through the introduction of some tax, land and financial policies, to make sure houses are built to live in rather than to make a profit."

In terms of inventory, about 308.33 million square meters of new residential property was available for sale across the country as of the end of November, down from 314.84 million square meters at the end of October. Year-on-year, that represented a drop of 23.8 percent, the bureau said.

Investment in residential development, which took up 68.4 percent of total real estate investment in the first 11 months of the year, climbed 9.7 percent year on year to 6.867 trillion yuan, down 0.2 percentage points from the first 10 months.

"Investment in real estate development will see either notable increases or decreases next year as the country's economy is going to maintain its stable growth," Mao said.

Strictly implemented tightening measures to quell housing speculation, including home purchase restrictions, higher down payment requirements and mortgage rates, a lockup period for home sale and a ceiling sale price for new housing projects, proved to be effective in slowing down property sales and dampening soaring prices across the country.


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