A total of 5.48 million square meters of residential properties were sold in western China’s Chongqing municipality during the first quarter of the year, up 13.3% year-on-year, Xinhua reported, citing the city’s statistics bureau. Floor area sold in the nine major districts of the city declined 6.2% year-on-year to 2.79 million square meters over the same period while rural Chongqing sales grew 4.8% year-on-year. The city registered US$2.10 billion (RMB14.68 billion) worth of investment in the real estate sector in the first three months, up 23.4% year-on-year. 78.97 million square meters of residences were under construction, up 26.8% year-on-year, 10.33 million of which kicked off during the first quarter, up 25.2% year-on-year, while floor area completed over the period measured 29.69 million, down 15.4% year-on-year. A 30.6% decline to 2.11 million square meters in the purchase of areas for residential development was seen in the first quarter due to a policy introduced by the State Council earlier this year that plots idle for two years will be reclaimed and plots idle  for one year will be charged a fee equivalent to 20% of the value of the plot.

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