Faster sales growth seen in China's housing market

New home sales in China continued to rise in the first two months of this year, data released today by the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

New home sales in China continued to rise in the first two months of this year, data released today by the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

About 1.055 trillion yuan (US$166.7 billion) worth of new homes, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, were sold between January and February, a year-on-year increase of 15.7 percent, the bureau said in a statement posted on its website. That compared to the annual pace of 11.3 percent in 2017.

The area of new homes sold in the two-month period climbed 2.3 percent from same period a year earlier to 127.2 million square meters, down from the 5.3 percent growth last year, the bureau's data showed.

Investment in residential development, which took up 68.1 percent of total real estate investment in the first two months, climbed 12.3 percent year on year to 737.9 billion yuan, up 2.9 percentage points from 2017.

"For the beginning of a year, this seemed to be a higher-than-expected invesment growth," said Lu Wenxi, senior manager of research at Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co. "Real estate developers across the country were picking up their pace in housing starts so as to restock their inventories following generally strong sales registered over the past year."

Nationwide, about 301.2 million square meters of new residential properties were available for sale as of the end of February, down from 301.6 million square meters as of the end of 2017. That also represented a decrease of 26 percent from same time a year ago, according to the bureau.


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