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Housing report notes rise in sales (2)

By Zheng Yangpeng  (China Daily)

14:57, September 05, 2012

Combined sales in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen nearly doubled to 40,000, compared to 21,000 in April.

The latest property indicator for May echoes one made earlier by Centaline Property Agency Ltd, China's biggest real-estate brokerage, that suggested 30 cities it monitored saw a 28 percent year-on-year increase in floor space sold in newly built residential property, and a 20 percent May increase compared to April.

China Vanke Co Ltd, the country's largest property developer whose sales are often deemed a barometer of the country's property market, also recorded an increase in sales in May from April, as well as from a year earlier.

The company said its sales in May totaled 10.72 billion yuan ($1.68 billion) in value, a 19 percent increase from the 9.01 billion yuan of sales it reported in May 2011, and 44.1 percent higher than the 7.44 billion yuan it reported in April.

Market analysts said the ongoing warm-up in new home sales is largely a reflection of policy easing at the margins of the property market by Beijing and other local governments, out of a concern about slowing economic growth.

In February, commercial banks in Beijing started offering mortgages to first-time buyers at or below the central bank's benchmark rate, against rates of 5-10 percent higher in the second half of last year.

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