The nation's property investment fell at a slower pace over the first two months of 2023, official data showed on Wednesday, showing signs of improvement buoyed by a slew of supportive policies.
Property investment fell 5.7 percent year-on-year in January-February, after a 12.2 percent slump in December, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.
That's slower than the 10 percent decline registered for the same period in 2022.
The country's property sector, for decades a key pillar of growth in the world's second-biggest economy, has been hobbled by multiple crises since mid-2021, including developers' mounting debt defaults and buyers' mortgage boycotts that have weighed heavily on demand.
Around half of the 30-odd Chinese developers listed in Hong Kong have defaulted on or delayed bond payments.
At the beginning of the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress (NPC) last week, the government made guarding against risks to top property developers one of its top priorities this year in a work report, adding the country would prevent disorderly expansion by developers.
"The figures are a good start to the recovery of the property market for 2023 and further boost confidence," said Yan Yuejin, analyst at the E-house China Research and Development Institution in Shanghai.
"Property sales figures are expected to turn from negative to positive in the first quarter of the year, the biggest sign that the property market is recovering."
The situation for developers' access to funds has also improved: funds raised by developers slumped 15 percent year-on-year in the first two months of 2023, compared with a 26 percent fall in the same period last year.
New home prices in January rose for the first time in a year, bolstered by policymakers' aggressive support late last year.
Ni Hong, the minister of housing, said on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the NPC that he is confident the property market will stabilise and rebound in 2023. (Reuters)