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China’s new home sales pick up in H1

GROWTH of new home sales by both value and area picked up some pace across the country in the first six months of this year as real estate developers geared up for a better half-year result.

About 4.93 trillion yuan (US$726 billion) of new homes, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, were sold between January and June, a year-on-year increase of 17.9 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement today. That accelerated from a rise of 15.3 percent in the first five months.

The area of new homes sold during the six-month period climbed 13.5 percent from a year earlier to 647.9 million square meters, up from a 11.9 percent growth in the first five months, the bureau's data showed.

"Half-year results of property sales are always very important for real estate developers so that many companies would choose to boost sales in June as much as they could so as to get a better ranking among the counterparts," said Lu Wenxi, senior manager of research at Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co. "However, this rebound would most likely be a temporary one as the arrival of traditional low season of July and August will definitely damp buying sentiment again."

Strictly enforced restrictions to quell housing speculation including stricter home purchase curbs, higher down-payment requirement and mortgage rate as well as a lockup period for home sales, had led to slowing new property sales across the country over the past months.

Investment in residential development, which accounted for 67.8 percent of total real estate development in the first half, increased 10.2 percent year on year to 3.43 trillion yuan, up 0.2 percentage point from the first five months, according to the bureau.


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