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China’s property sector continues to slow down on stricter measures

GROWTH in new home sales continued to slow down across the country in the first four months of this year as rein-in measures remained strictly in place.

Nationwide, more than 2.79 trillion yuan (US$403.4 billion) of new residential properties, excluding government-funded affordable housing, were sold between January and April, a year-on-year rise of 16.1 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement today.

The gain slowed from the 20.2 percent increase in the first three months.

The area of new homes sold during the four-month period climbed 13 percent from a year earlier to 365.25 million square meters, compared to the 16.9 percent gain in the first quarter of 2016, the bureau's data showed.

"While additional tightening policies were introduced in first- and second-tier cities, many third- and fourth-tier cities still performed quite well, leading therefore to sales increase around the country despite a slower rate," said Lu Wenxi, senior manager of research at Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co. "And this trend is supposed to extend in the coming months."

Investment in residential development rose 10.6 percent from a year earlier to 1.867 trillion yuan between January and April, down 0.6 percentage points from the growth in the first quarter. It accounted for 67.3 percent of the nation's overall investment in property development, unchanged from the first quarter.

A batch of tightening measures, including stricter home purchase curbs, higher down payment requirement and mortgage rate as well as a lock-up period for home sale that often lasts a few years, have been implemented in major Chinese cities to rein in housing speculation and curb fast home price growth.


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