[HONG KONG] China's real estate investment rose 6.1 per cent in the first half of 2016 from the same period a year earlier, while the property sales area increased 27.9 per cent, official data showed on Friday.
Investment growth, reported by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), slowed from an increase of 7 per cent in the first five months.
Increase in property sales area was down from 33.2 per cent in January-May.
Real estate investment, which directly affects about 40 other business sectors in China, is considered to be a crucial driver for the economy, which saw its slowest growth last year in a quarter of a century.
A flurry of government stimulus measures have started to turn the ailing sector around, but rapid price gains in some of the country's biggest cities have fanned fears of a bubble and prompted some local governments to tighten mortgage lending requirements.
Huge inventories of unsold homes also continue to weigh on prices in smaller cities.