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Shenzhen sees 22 pct decline in land sales in 2011 on property curbs

(Xinhua)

09:28, January 09, 2012

SHENZHEN, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- China's southern boom town of Shenzhen reported a 21.7-percent decline in land sales in 2011 as property control measures hampered growth prospects.

Shenzhen made 18.4 billion yuan (2.9 billion U.S. dollars) from land sales last year, down from 23.5 billion yuan in 2010, according to a government report unveiled Sunday at the ongoing annual meeting of the local legislature.

The Chinese government has managed to cool the once red-hot property sector by instituting measures such as purchasing restrictions, higher lending rates and down payments for second homes, and a ban on mortgage loans for third homes.

Meanwhile, Beijing had also reported a decline in land sales in 2011. The capital city fetched 101.93 billion yuan in land sale revenues last year, sharply lower than 164.03 billion yuan in 2010, according to the China Index Academy.

Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, however, expects to see land sales rise 25 percent year-on-year to 23 billion yuan in 2012 through sales of more expensive land for commercial property development, the report stated.

But many feared that such a jump in land sales could spark harsher property curbs from the central government.

The central government is working to bring housing prices to a reasonable level, and last year's control measures will remain in effect through 2012, according to the country's central economic work conference held last month.

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