Chinese real estate market weakens further amid restrictions on speculation

BEIJING – China’s real estate sector weakened on all fronts in November, as real estate investment, home sales and new construction starts fell due to the Beijing crackdown.

Real estate investment fell 4.3% in November, from 5.4% a month earlier, Wall Street Journal calculated data from the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday. From January to November, overall developer investment rose 6.0%, up from 7.2% in the first 10 months of the year, official data showed Wednesday.

New construction starts in China, measured by floor space, contracted further in the first 11 months of the year. New construction starts from January to November fell 9.1% from the previous year, worsening from the 7.7% drop in the first 10 months of the year. New construction starts in China have been contracting since July as Beijing’s restrictions on real estate speculation have borne fruit.

Home sales volume – a major indicator of demand – showed slower growth in the first 11 months of the year, rising 9.3% from the 12.7% gain in the period January-October.

Despite the gloomy November reading, China’s aggressive campaign to curb real estate speculation and regulate the real estate sector has eased as a broader economic downturn has prompted Beijing to shift its political stance.

Some Chinese banks have eased restrictions on home loans and more local governments have introduced measures to stop house prices from falling in recent months.

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