UPDATE 1-Jan-Feb Chinese real estate investment rises slightly on easing measures

* Real estate investment January-February +3.7% y/y vs. -13.9% in December

* Property sales from January to February -9.6% y/y vs -15.64% in December

* January-February new construction by housing starts -12.2% y/y vs -31.5% in December (adds context, details and analysts’ comments)

BEIJING, March 15 (Reuters) – Chinese real estate investment rebounded slightly in the first two months of 2022 after a plunge in December, official data showed on Tuesday, helped by the easing of real estate restrictions to ease a crisis of liquidity faced by promoters and to fuel purchases interest.

Real estate investment rose 3.7% year-on-year to 1.4499 trillion yuan ($227.19 billion) in the first two months of 2022, after falling 13.9 % in December, and more than the 1.3986 trillion yuan for the same period in 2021.

China’s property market cooled last year as Beijing’s deleveraging drive triggered a liquidity crunch in some major property developers, leading to bond defaults, plummeting stock prices and suspended or suspended projects. left unfinished.

Authorities rolled out a series of measures to boost sales and ease developers’ cash crunch, as policymakers worried about a wider financial crisis. Measures such as allowing small down payments and lower mortgage rates have been implemented.

Overall demand, however, remains weak, with real estate sales per floor area down 9.6% year-on-year in the first two months of the year, compared to a 15.64% decline seen in December, the data showed. from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Data showed that new construction starts as measured by floor area fell 12.2% in January-February from a year earlier, following a 31.5% plunge in December.

“Current figures indicate a weak willingness to invest in real estate development,” said Yan Yuejin, research director of the Shanghai-based E-house China Research and Development Institution.

Yan expected the authorities to put in place measures to encourage real estate companies to actively buy land in March and in the coming months.

Funds raised by Chinese property developers fell 17.7% year-on-year in the January-February period, compared to a 19.29% decline in December.

The BNS aggregates the first two months of each year to compensate for distortions caused by the Lunar New Year holiday.

At the annual parliament meeting in early March, Premier Li Keqiang said cities can implement their own building policies based on local conditions.

“Further local easing is likely, and overall housing sector financing conditions should improve in the coming months,” HSBC analysts said in a note ahead of Tuesday’s data release.

($1 = 6.3818 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Liangping Gao and Ryan Woo; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Shri Navaratnam)