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Property prices up despite economic slowdown

By CCTV reporter Jin Yingqiao (CNTV)

16:40, July 17, 2013

Despite a slowdown in economic growth, China’s property market is still rising. Official data for the second quarter of this year show land prices in major Chinese cities have now risen for FIVE straight quarters. A cause for concern? The analysts don’t seem to think so.

High prices and big supply. The land market in China seems back in the fast lane.

The second quarter has seen another round of record prices for land sales. But analysts say those costly land plots are often in cities’ central areas, and that the prices don’t show the full picture.

"There isn’t much land left within the third-ring areas of Beijing, especially those for residential use. The scarcity pushes up prices. But gauging housing prices by focusing only on certain areas would only give you a partial idea of the market," said Wang Juelin, Researcher of Ministry of Housing & Urban Dev’t.

Nine out of ten cities surveyed posted a jump in home prices, compared to last quarter.

On an annual basis, land prices for both commercial and residential use are up more than five percent.

Analysts point to buyer expectations and developers already flush with cash for the increase.

But some experts believe the hike in prices is different from those of past years.

"We don’t need to be overly concerned about land prices, as long as they reflect market needs. Usually land prices go up as the economy expands," said Yan Jingming, Deputy Director of China Land Science Society.

Property analysts now expect the market to remain stable. They say developers are unlikely to raise prices too much, over fears it would draw more control measures from the government.

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