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New home sales booming, up 14.8% in H1

SALES of new homes continued to pick up in the first half of this year, data released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

About 5.66 trillion yuan (US$842.2 billion) worth of new homes, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, were sold between January and June nationwide, a year-on-year rise of 14.8 percent, the bureau said in a statement posted on its website. That compared with a 12.8 percent expansion of the first five months.

The area of new homes sold in the first six months climbed 3.2 percent from the same period a year earlier to 668.52 million square meters, compared with the 2.3 percent increase registered in the first five months, the bureau said.

“Housing prices remained generally stable in major Chinese cities, while imbalanced performance still exists with some third and fourth-tier cities seeing rapid price growth and a few others, particularly in remote areas, continuing to be plagued by high inventories,” said bureau spokesman Mao Shengyong.

“Looking forward, local governments should continue to adopt differentiated control policies and the country will move faster to implement a long-term mechanism for property regulation that ensures supply through multiple sources, provides housing support through multiple channels, and encourages both housing purchases and rentals.”

The inventory of new homes continued to shrink. Newly-built homes available for sale as of the end of June were 22.1 percent lower than the same time a year ago to around 274.14 million square meters, the bureau’s data showed.

That compared to 280.56 million square meters registered as of the end of May.

Investment in residential property development, which accounted for 70.2 percent of total real estate investment in the first six months, rose 13.6 percent year on year to nearly 3.9 trillion yuan, slightly lower than the 14 percent growth recorded in the first five months, according to the bureau.