September 14, 2017 / 2:07 AM / 2 years ago

RPT-China Jan-Aug property investment rises 7.9 pct y/y, unchanged from Jan-July gain

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BEIJING, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Real estate investment in China in January-August rose 7.9 percent from the same period a year earlier, unchanged from from first seven months of 2017, official data showed on Thursday.

New construction starts measured by floor area were up 7.6 percent in January-August, compared with an 8 percent rise in the first seven months this year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.

Property sales measured by floor area grew 12.7 percent in January-August from the same period a year earlier, slightly down from 14 percent in the first seven months of the year.

Real estate investment, which directly affects 40 other business sectors in China, is considered a crucial driver for the economy. But some analysts expect increasingly stringent cooling measures will eventually drag on investment and dampen construction activity.

Policymakers have prioritised stabilising an overheated property market ahead of a Communist Party reshuffle in October, reiterating the need to avoid dramatic price volatility they fear could threaten the financial system and harm social stability. (Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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