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Tight grip leads to sharp declines in land sales revenues

(Xinhua)

08:29, July 16, 2012

BEIJING, July 14 (Xinhua) -- China posted significant declines in land sales revenues in the first half of this year as the government vowed not to relax its tightening over the property sector, according to data from the Ministry of Finance (MOF) on Saturday.

Nationwide, revenues from land sales tumbled 27.5 percent year on year to reach 1.14 trillion yuan (180.24 billion U.S. dollars) in the first six months, MOF data showed.

However, income from land sales still contributed to about 17.8 percent of the country's total fiscal revenue in the first half of this year, which stood at 6.4 trillion yuan, up 12.2 percent from a year earlier.

The MOF attributed the declines in land sales revenues to developers' reluctance to buy lands for new projects as the government continues its tightening over the housing market.

"By no means should we allow housing prices to rebound," Premier Wen Jiabao said in his latest remarks over the property market this month. "We must unswervingly continue macro controls over the housing market."

He said the government will keep in place measures to curb the property market, such as higher down payments requirement for second-home mortgage loans and a ban on third-home purchases.

Real estate investment grew 16.6 percent in the first six months, compared with 32.9 percent a year ago, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

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