Sales of commercial and residential property in China totaled RMB 2.87 trillion from January to July of this year, with the most recent month showing growth of 26.3 percent over the same period a year ago, according to newly released data.
The figures which were released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics on August 9th also revealed that sales in July dropped 15.6 percent compared to June’s mark although most analysts attributed this fall to seasonal variations as China’s home buyers are less likely to shop during the steamy summer months.
Despite the better performance in July compared to last year, the year-to-date picture is less encouraging. The sales of RMB 2.87 trillion yuan for the January-July period actually represents a decrease of 0.5% from the sales for the same period during 2011. For January to June of this year, sales had totaled RMB 2.33 trillion, down 5.2% from a year earlier.
From the investment perspective, there was still growth in the market as the amount invested in homes, office buildings, malls and other real estate gained 15.4 percent to RMB 3.7 trillion in the first seven months of the year. While there was still positive growth, the rate of increase was considerably lower than it had been during January to July of 2011, when there was a 33.6 percent growth in investment.
One of the major reasons for the slowdown in the investment numbers was the 9.8 percent decline in new property construction, as developers lost their taste for new projects. During the first seven months of the year only 1.04 billon square metres of new construction was started. According to numbers from Dow Jones, in July alone, new construction starts fell 26.7% on year to 115.3 million square metres, worsening from June’s 16.3% decline.