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China's Oct property investment growth quickest in 2-1/2 years

Monday, November 14, 2016 - 10:41

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China's real estate investment growth quickened in October to its highest since April 2014, suggesting the property market remains resilient even as home sales have been hit by a raft of tightening measures.

[BEIJING] China's real estate investment growth quickened in October to its highest since April 2014, suggesting the property market remains resilient even as home sales have been hit by a raft of tightening measures.

Property investment rose 13.4 per cent in October from a year earlier, compared with 7.8 per cent in September, according to Reuters calculations based on data issued by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday.

For the first ten months of the year, property investment grew 6.6 per cent, accelerating from 5.8 per cent in the first nine months.

The relatively robust investment numbers belie stepped up tightening measures such as higher downpayments and bans on second-home purchase. China has also made it harder for property developers to issue bonds, which has discouraged real estate firms from raising funds for new constructions.

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But Monday's data showed real estate developers have yet feel any notable pressure from recent measures to curb speculative buying, potentially driven by the push to finish construction projects as home sales volumes have shown signs of declining.

In October alone, the area of property sold rose 26.4 per cent, Reuters calculations show, slowing from a 34 per cent rise in September.

Property sales by floor area in the first ten months rose 26.8 per cent, slightly down from 26.9 per cent growth in January-September.

A housing glut in tier-two cities led to a more significant sales slump last month there compared with tier-one cities.

China's real estate land supply dropped 7.8 per cent on the year to stand at 71,000 ha in the first nine months in 2016, the Ministry of Land and Resources said in a notice on November 1.

New construction starts in October were up 19.9 per cent from a year ago, measured by floor area, Reuters calculations showed.

Growth in inventory floor area last month was 1.3 per cent higher than one year earlier, compared to 4.7 per cent in September.

China has depended on a red-hot real estate market and government infrastructure spending to drive growth this year, which clocked 6.7 per cent in the third quarter.

However, analysts expect property investment to be a drag on the real economy over the coming months as domestic demand gets squeezed.

Property sector contributed 8 per cent to China's GDP growth in the first nine months of 2016, according to the spokesman from China's National Statistics Bureau.

REUTERS

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