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China Jan-Oct property investment growth slows to 2.0 per cent on year

A man talks on his phone near a new residential compound in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, May 11, 2014.

[BEIJING] Growth in China's real estate investment slowed to 2.0 per cent in the first 10 months of this year from the same period a year ago, though the area of property sold rose 7.2 per cent, official data showed on Wednesday.

The weak investment growth, reported by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), compared with an increase of 2.6 per cent in January-September and marked the slowest rate since early 2009.

The rise in sales by area compared with a 7.5 per cent annual rise in January-September.

A cooling property market has weighed heavily on China's economy over the past year. Real estate investment, which directly affects about 40 other business sectors in China, is considered to be a crucial growth driver.

While home sales and prices have improved in bigger Chinese cities in recent months after a barrage of government support measures, conditions remain weak in smaller cities and a huge overhang of unsold houses is discouraging new investment and construction.