Land investment questioned over discordant data

Updated: 2013-07-16 13:35

(Xinhua)

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BEIJING - The size of China's investment in real estate has been questioned as data on the subject released recently by government departments has varied and caused confusion.

An article published on Tuesday by the China Economic Weekly reported that the nation's land transaction value, calculated and released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), sharply differed from data released by other ministries. The NBS data also varied from those issued by real estate service firms.

The NBS announced on Monday that the total land transaction value of the nation's property developers reached 369.9 billion yuan ($60 billion) in the first half of this year.

However, the weekly reported payments from land transfers in 306 cities have already hit 1.13 trillion yuan during the period, according to 5i5j.com, a major real estate intermediary service company in China. Land transfer payments in 100 cities monitored also reached 762.9 billion yuan in the first half of 2013, according to real estate service provider K8.cn.

The Ministry of Finance data showed the nation's land transfer payments hit 2.89 trillion yuan last year, as compared to 2.55 trillion yuan reported by the Ministry of Land and Resources. The two figures far exceeded the 741 billion yuan reported by the NBS.

NBS officials said that its calculation only covered land to be used for property development. Land transferred for industrial purposes were not included. Furthermore, the data's calculation only applied to real estate firms but ignored land purchases by non-real estate companies and individuals.

Xinhua has been trying to contact the NBS for more details.

Yan Yuejin, a Shanghai-based real estate researcher, told the China Economic Weekly that big risks have emerged in the nation's property investment, as over-reliance on property investment would raise housing prices and local government debts.

The discordant data no doubt deserved attention, Yan said.

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