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BEIJING Jan 20 Growth in real estate investment
and property sales accelerated in China in 2013, a sign the
booming property market has resisted Beijing's sustained efforts
to cool it down.
Real estate investment, which accounted for 15 percent of
China's gross domestic product in 2013, rose 19.8 last year from
a year earlier, compared with 16.2 percent in 2012, the National
Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.
Property sales rose 17.3 percent in terms of floor space,
and 26.3 percent in terms of value, the agency said in a
statement on its website, www.stats.gov.cn
That compared with annual increases of 1.8 percent and 10
percent, respectively, in 2012.
China's property sector is one of the few bright spots in a
slowing economy and the government has tried to tread a fine
line between reining in rising property prices that threaten
affordability for average wage earners and stifling economic
"Property investment has been one of the main drivers of the
stabilising economy since the third quarter of last year," said
Shen Jianguang, chief China economist with Mizuho Securities in
Analysts said buoyant sales have enabled developers to
quicken their pace of expansion, which helped hold up property
investment throughout 2013. Government efforts to build more
affordable housing also contributed to investment growth.
The NBS data also showed that construction starts rose 13.5
percent in 2013, quicker than an increase of 11.5 percent in the
Still, data for December alone showed signs of
stabilisation in the property market, with property sales up
only 0.7 percent in that month in terms of floor space from a
year earlier, according to Reuters calculations based on NBS
That compared with an annual increase of 14.8 percent in
November, though the month-alone data, derived from cumulative
figures, is volatile.
Meanwhile, total land area bought by developers rose 8.8
percent in 2013 from a year earlier, easing from an increase of
9.9 percent in the first 11 months.
Separate data on Saturday showed that prices of new homes in
China continued to surge in December, though the pace of gains
overall did not exceed the previous month's and rises eased in
some major cities, suggesting that government tightening
measures may be starting to bite.
(Reporting By Xiaoyi Shao and Jonathan Standing; Editing by Kim