January 18, 2018 / 7:18 AM / a year ago

China Dec property investment slows, full year growth highest since 2014

BEIJING, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Real estate investment in China rose 7 percent in 2017 from a year ago, slowing from a 7.5 percent gain in January-November but still registered the highest annual growth since 2014, official data showed on Thursday.

Property investment growth in December alone moderated to 2.4 percent from a year earlier, the lowest since July 2016, Reuters calculated from the data.

A housing boom was a major growth driver for China’s economy last year, but is expected to gradually slow as official measures to curb property speculation drag on sales.

New construction starts measured by floor area rose 7 percent last year, compared with a 6.9 percent increase in the first 11 months of the year, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

Property sales by floor area grew 7.7 percent, slowing from the 7.9 percent growth seen in the first 11 months of the year. (Reporting by Fang Cheng, Yawen Chen and Kevin Yao; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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