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Survey: Real estate deemed most profitable
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Amid surging house prices, the nation's real estate industry is widely considered as the nation's most lucrative, according to a recent online survey.

The survey, co-launched by the Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post and Sohu.com, sought the ten most profitable industries in 2008 among 26 candidates. According to nearly 4,000 online votes, the real estate industry is indisputably the most profitable.

The runner up most profitable industries were glass making and selling, cemeteries, telecommunications, pharmacies, expressways, cosmetics, education, wedding photography, and online games, according to the survey.

Dubbed the cradle of billionaires, the real estate industry received 26 percent of votes as the most profitable in the survey. These votes are well supported by the figures.

According to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics, average property prices in China's 70 major cities last year swelled 7.6 percent year-on-year. House rentals rose by 2.6 percent. The statistics also showed that property investment in these cities totaled 2.528 trillion yuan (US$356.06 billion), up 30.2 percent year-on-year.

As a result, there are more billionaires in real estate than any other industries, and property tycoons become the darlings of major fortune rankings. Although housing prices seemed to ease a bit following the adoption of a series of tightening measures since the end of last year, huge industry profits are far from waning.

(Chinadaily.com.cn March 14, 2008)

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