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China property market revives despite controls

Published on Dec 19, 2012 11:51 AM
A sales staff member introduces a residential building to visitors at a property trade fair in Loudi, Hunan province, on Dec 12, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (AFP) - After waiting for a year, accountant Qi Youdi bought a new home in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, among the millions of buyers bringing life back to the country's moribund property market.

For the past two years, China has sought to control residential property prices with measures including restrictions on second and third home purchases, higher minimum down payments, and annual taxes in some cities on multiple and non-locally-owned homes.

The moves, announced in the first half of 2010, have cooled the once red-hot market, with analysts estimating prices nationwide have risen only four to seven percent since then.

But pent-up demand, easing government monetary policy and inflows of speculative funds from overseas betting on a recovery have ushered the property market out of the doldrums, analysts said.

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