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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Home deals post slowest rise in 3 years on policies

By Cao Qian (Shanghai Daily)

09:58, January 18, 2012

CHINA'S home sales rose at the slowest pace in three years in 2011 as tightening measures to curb housing speculation started to take effect, government data showed yesterday.

Investment in housing development also expanded slower from a year earlier amid weakening sentiment among developers, the National Bureau of Statistics said on its website.

Developers sold new houses totaling 970.3 million square meters across the country in 2011, up an annual 3.9 percent. But the growth was a sharp drop from the 8 percent rise in 2010 and a surge of nearly 44 percent in 2009.

Last year, investment in residential property development rose 30.2 percent annually to 4.43 trillion yuan (US$700 billion), decelerating from a 32.9 percent gain in 2010, according to the bureau.

"In 2011, the effect of the rein-in measures has started to take hold," said Lina Wong, managing director of East and Southwest China operations and China Investment Services at Colliers International, a global real estate services provider. "We don't expect such policies to ease this year."

The raft of tighter measures, which started in January 2011, included higher downpayment and mortgage rates as well as home buying curbs in around 40 cities. The moves were meant to combat asset price bubbles and have been widely seen by the market as the toughest ever unveiled by the government.

In October, Chinese cities reporting a fall in new home prices finally outnumbered those where prices increased.

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