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CAS:Housing Prices to Keep on Rising in 2008

A report by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) predicted that housing prices in China would keep on rising this year and the increase rate would roughly equal that of 2007.

The sale of residential buildings this year would hit 697.99 million square meters, up 2.24 percent year-on-year, according to the report on the prospects of the Chinese economy in 2008 released on Friday by the CAS forecasting center.

The real estate market would maintain a "good momentum," and investment in the property sector would reach 2,54 trillion yuan (about US$347.5 billion), the report said.

The total floor space of "completed" buildings would drop 8.2 percent to 1.9 billion square meters in 2008, leading to a further dwindling of the housing supply, said the report, noting that the imbalance between supply and demand would be aggravated.

From January to November of 2007, housing prices in 70 major Chinese cities jumped 7.3 percent year-on-year. Housing prices were up at a rate of 10.5 percent in November alone, a report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) showed.

The November rate was the highest monthly gain since July 2005 when the monthly housing price survey was started.

(Xinhua News Agency January 12, 2008)

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