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Beijing property sales increase Jan-July

(Xinhua)

08:21, August 14, 2012

BEIJING, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Commercial property sales in Beijing increased 21.7 percent year on year to 8.19 million square meters in the first seven months of 2012 as the real estate market recovered from a one-year period of gloom, according to new data.

Of the total, commercial housing sales soared 31.2 percent year on year to 6.21 million square meters, the Beijing municipal bureau of statistics said in a statement on Monday.

Home sales in July alone skyrocketed over 68 percent year on year and 19 percent month on month to hit 1.42 million square meters, according to the statement.

The sales surge came after two interest rate cuts since June reduced mortgage costs and strengthened market expectation that further loosening policies would trigger a stronger real estate market rebound, said Zhang Dawei, head of the research department at Centaline Property Agency in Beijing.

News of the land market recovery also helped to persuade more potential buyers to snap up homes in expectation that house prices would climb further, Zhang added.

The housing market in Beijing cooled last year after the city's government unveiled a slew of measures including purchase restrictions, hikes in lending rates and a ban on mortgage loans for third homes.

The market started to recover early in the year as people began to snap up bargains. The recovery was boosted later by the two interest rate hikes in June and July that aimed to spur growth in the world's second-largest economy.

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