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Chinese developers see land prices surge in Jan-April

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BEIJING, May 15 (Xinhua) -- The average price of land purchased by Chinese property developers surged 21.1 percent year on year in the first four months of this year, according to the latest data.

The Shanghai-based E-house China R&D Institute said in a report released Tuesday that the growth rate was 6 percentage points faster than that of the first quarter of this year.

It marked the fastest growth in the past two years, as the supply of high-quality land in major cities promoted fierce competition and drove prices up, said Liu Weiwei, an analyst with E-house China.

The report said the total area of land sold for property development dropped 8.6 percent year on year from January to April, narrowing 13.4 percentage points from the pace of decline seen in the first quarter.

Liu said the data show that land sales have been rebounding since the start of the second quarter of this year.

As local authorities have recently moved to increase their land supplies, the total area of land sales will continue to see smaller drops compared with last year, Liu said.

In an effort to stabilize market expectations, the State Council, China's cabinet, has pledged to ensure land supplies for housing projects this year.

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