China sees 26% surge in value of homes sold

11:39, April 17, 2011      

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China's housing sales rose 26 percent in the first quarter of this year as home buyers increased their purchases even as the government stepped up its measures to curb speculation.

The value of new homes sold in the first three months reached 860.7 billion yuan (US$132 billion), the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.

Overall sales value, including commercial properties and office buildings, jumped 27 percent year on year to 1.02 trillion yuan.

A total of 158.5 million square meters of new residential housing were sold in the first quarter, a 14.3 percent rise from the same period in 2010.

"While these growth rates are below ones seen in early 2010, they remain high relative to what developers are reporting and what the policy tightening would have suggested," Citigroup Inc analysts, including Ken Peng, said in a report yesterday. "We see this as a sign that the tightening probably has not yet been fully implemented at the local level."

About 40 Chinese cities announced last month that they would keep the growth pace of new home prices below annual economic and per capita disposable income growth or keep them steady, in accordance with the central government's aim of reining in soaring housing prices.

In Shanghai, new house construction added 32.8 percent year on year to 6.77 million square meters in the first quarter. Sales volume in the city dropped 23.5 percent to 3.71 million square meters.

China is set to build 10 million affordable houses in 2011 and 2012, and another 16 million will go up in the three years to the end of 2015, according to the State Council.

Source: Xinhua
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