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Land sales in China's 10 big cities surge in Jan

By Hu Yuanyuan (China Daily)

08:42, February 06, 2013

Land sales figures in China's 10 key cities almost tripled in the first month of 2013, fueled by property developers' improved cash flow and expectations of a rosy real estate market this year.

The 10 key cities tracked by Shanghai E-house Real Estate Research Institute saw a land remise fee of 56.2 billion yuan ($9.02 billion) in January, up 263 percent from the same period last year, the institute's statistics showed on Sunday.

Moreover, the area of land sold in those cities last month was 26 million square meters, an increase of 77 percent year-on-year. The 10 cities include Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Tianjin.

The two sets of figures also showed that the price of the land grew at a much faster rate.

"Last year's market recovery has helped most property developers improve their cash flow greatly, and the optimistic expectation for this year's market further strengthens their confidence in snapping up more land," said Wu Xiaojun, researcher with Shanghai E-house Real Estate Research Institute.

The China Developers Sentiment Index, an index developed by Standard Chartered based on its quarterly survey of 30 mainland developers, indicated a continued expansion in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Developers' appetite for expansion is returning, with land purchases up. In both the primary and secondary land markets, bigger developers are getting even bigger at the expense of smaller firms, the bank said in a research note on Monday.

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