- Land sales down 17.5% y/y in Aug – Reuters calculations
- August fall is the sharpest since height of pandemic in China
- 40% of plots on offer in June-Oct withdrawn or had no bidders
- Poorer land sales may hurt local govt spending, investment
BEIJING, Oct 7 (Reuters) – Sagging demand at China’s urban land auctions amid a crackdown on borrowing by private developers risks squeezing regional finances, pressuring local governments to scramble for other income sources to fund investments and support the economy.
Land sales soared to a record 8.4 trillion yuan ($1.3 trillion) in 2020, the equivalent of Australia’s annual gross domestic product, bolstering fiscal budgets in a pandemic year.
But tighter regulations on borrowing by private developers since the summer of last year are increasingly eroding demand for land. The value of nationwide land sales abruptly fell 17.5% on year in August, according to Reuters calculations of finance ministry…