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China’s new home sales moderates

NEW home purchases in China grew at a slower pace in the first ten months of this year as tightening measures implemented by local governments effectively damped buyers' sentiment, according to data released today by the National Bureau of Statistics.

New residential properties worth 7.8 trillion yuan (US$1.14 trillion), excluding government-funded affordable housing, were sold across the country between January and October, a year-over-year jump of 42.6 percent. The pace decelerated from a 43.2 percent increase in the first nine months.

About 1.06 billion square meters of new houses were sold during the ten-month period, an annual increase of 27 percent. That compared with a 27.1 percent annual gain registered in the first three quarters, the bureau's data showed.

"This round of property boom seemed to reach its peak in September with buying sentiment starting to fall in October," Centaline Property, a major realtor chain in Shanghai, wrote in a note. "Significant retreat in new home purchases should be expected over the next two months."

In October alone, new houses worth 941.2 billion yuan were sold across the country, compared to 1.15 trillion yuan recorded in September. By volume, new home purchases totaled 132 million square meters, down from 155 million square meters in the previous month.

More than 20 cities around the country -- mostly first-tier and selected second-tier ones -- have unveiled further austerity measures to cool down their overheated property markets around the week-long National Day holiday with key policies ranging from home buying restrictions to stricter mortgage requirements.

A slower growth for new home sales aside, purchases of new properties in the first ten months of this year -- covering all types of real estate development which also include office and commercial buildings -- have outnumbered the whole 2015, Centaline Property research.

New property sales around the country hit 9.15 trillion yuan in the January-October period, compared with 8.73 trillion yuan registered last year.

For the whole year of 2016, new property sales will likely reach a record 11 trillion yuan, or 1.35 billion square meters by volume, Centaline Property predicted.

Investment in all types of property rose 6.6 percent in the first ten months of this year, 0.8 percentage point faster than in the first three quarters.




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