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Real Estate Investment Slows down: NBS Statistics

China's investment in real estate projects during the first five months of this year slowed down as the country tightened land and money supply to this sector, official statistics show.

Overall investment in the sector stood at 370.3 billion yuan (US$45.1 billion) in the five months, up 32 percent year-on-year, but the growth rate was 0.9 percentage points lower than the same period of last year, according to statistics released Tuesday by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The figure is also lower than the investment growth rate in the sector for the January-February period, which reached 41.1 percent.

China adopted measures to tighten money and land supply in a bid to curb unbridled investment in real estate, steel, cement and electrolytic aluminum sectors over the past three months, with the exception of non-luxury housing development projects.

A total of 64.8 million square meters of land has been developed for real estate projects during the five months, up 19.8percent, but the growth rate was 22.1 percentage points lower than a year earlier.

Land totaling 123.8 million square meters has been sold to real estate developers, up 9.8 percent year-on-year, with the growth rate dropping by 46.9 percentage points.

Commercial housing completed between January and May rose by 21.4 percent to 70.84 million square meters, but the growth rate was 20 percentage points lower than that for the corresponding period in 2003.

A total of 83.1 million square meters of housing units was sold during the period, up 30.9 percent, including 78.39 million square meters sold to individuals, a 32-percent increase.

The average price of commercial housing units, meanwhile, was 2,708 yuan (US$330) per square meter, up 10.7 percent from a year earlier, with the growth rate 3.7 percentage points higher.

An official with the State Development and Reform Commission said the central government encourages the development of residential housing projects, particularly medium- and low-end housing projects.

(Xinhua News Agency July 7, 2004)

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