China Jan-Feb property investment grows 3pc
BEIJING: China's real estate investment rose 3 percent in the first two months of 2016 in year-on-year terms, as growth in the area of property sold sped up to 28.2 percent, official data showed on Saturday.
The investment growth, reported by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), compared with an increase of 1 percent in the full year of 2015. The rise in sales by area was above the 6.5 percent annual gain in 2015. Real estate investment, which directly affects about 40 other business sectors in China, is considered to be a crucial growth driver.
While a slew of government measures and increased lending helped boost the housing market, a huge overhang of unsold homes in smaller cities has discouraged new construction and investment. New construction rose 13.7 percent during the January to February period from a year ago, reversing a 14.0 percent annual drop in 2015, the NBS data showed.
China's housing market, which accounts for around 15 percent of the economy, began to stabilize in big cities last year, helped by a raft of government measures.
Still, the recovery remains uneven across the country as small cities still face huge inventories of unsold homes, while authorities in some big centers have already announced measures to cool the market. To boost the housing market, China cut down payments last month for first- and second-time home buyers and lowered transaction taxes for some home buyers.