April 17, 2019 / 2:04 AM / 3 months ago

China's Jan-March property investment up 11.8 pct, quickening from Jan-Feb

BEIJING, April 17 (Reuters) - China’s real estate investment rose 11.8 percent in the first three months of 2018 from same period last year, quickening slightly from 11.6 percent gain in the January-February period, official data showed on Wednesday.

The pace marked the fastest quarterly growth since 2014 for the January-March period.

Property sales by floor area fell 0.9 percent year-on-year in January-March, narrowing from a 3.6 percent drop in the first two months of this year, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

China’s real estate market, a key driver of the economy, has shown signs of resurgence recently as some local governments have loosened curbs on home purchases in the face of slowing growth. Beijing’s call for banks to ramp up lending and lower interest rates have also helped boost market confidence.

Economists expect China’s real estate investment to rise by 7 percent for the year, a Reuters poll showed last month, up from 4 percent in the previous poll, as some developers have shown more confidence in the market as domestic financing conditions improve. (Reporting by Lusha Zhang and Beijing Monitoring Desk)

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