[HONG KONG] Growth in China's real estate investment slowed slightly to 10.4 per cent in the first two months of 2015 from a year earlier amid a glut of housing supply, underscoring the risks to the government's new 7 per cent economic growth target.
Property sales dropped 15.8 per cent from the year-earlier period.
The rise in investment, reported by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Wednesday, compared with an increase of 10.5 per cent for the full year 2014.
The drop in sales revenue for January to December last year was 6.3 per cent.
Chinese home prices fell again in February from January but the pace of declines slowed in a sign that the market may be starting to bottom out, two private surveys showed as Beijing steps up stimulus to support the faltering economy.
Still, weakness is expected to persist through at least the first half of the year and the real estate downturn remains a key risk for China, crimping demand in 40 related economic sectors ranging from steel to cement to furniture.