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China 2016 property investment rises 6.9% in 2016

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China's real estate investment rose 6.9 per cent in 2016, official data showed on Friday, as national sales posted their strongest annual growth in seven years thanks to a furious property boom in top tier cities.

[BEIJING] China's real estate investment rose 6.9 per cent in 2016, official data showed on Friday, as national sales posted their strongest annual growth in seven years thanks to a furious property boom in top tier cities.

Real estate investment, which directly affects about 40 other business sectors in China, is considered to be a crucial driver for the economy. China's economy expanded 6.7 per cent in 2016, meeting expectations, official data showed on Friday.

Property sales, measured by floor area, increased 22.5 per cent over all of 2016 from a year ago, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.

But even with the red-hot property market playing a major role in propping up national economic growth last year, Friday's property investment figure still hovered at record lows, after the disappointing 1 per cent rise in December 2015, its lowest level in more than a decade.

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Authorities have rushed to tame runaway home prices in overheating cities by implementing a series of buying and ownership restrictions to prevent a sudden correction damaging the broader economy.

REUTERS

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