China Vanke's property sales tumble in August

SHANGHAI, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Vanke 000002.SZ, China's biggest listed property developer, said on Tuesday that its real estate sales plunged 35 percent from a year earlier to 4.07 billion yuan ($595 million) in August.

In terms of area, sales sank 33 percent to 474,000 square metres during the month. China’s property market has been faltering since late last year because of a slowing economy and cooling speculative purchases in high-end urban areas.

In the first eight months of this year, real estate sales rose 5.0 percent from a year earlier in value terms to 31.31 billion yuan, but shrank 4.8 percent to 3.49 million square metres in terms of area, Vanke said.

Early last month, Vanke reported a 24 percent rise in net profit for the first half of this year but scaled back its real estate development plans for the second half of this year in response to the market’s weakness.

It originally planned to start work on 8.48 million square metres of space and complete work on 6.89 million square metres this year, but revised those targets to 6.83 million and 5.86 million. ($1 = 6.84 yuan) (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Ken Wills)