BEIJING, July 16 (Reuters) - China’s real estate investment rose 1.9% in January-June from a year earlier, official data showed on Thursday, in the first return to expansion since the novel coronavirus emerged late last year.
Real estate investment fell 0.3% in January-May.
Property sales by floor area fell 8.4%, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, compared with a decline of 12.3% from a year earlier in the first five months of the year.
The property market is a key driver of growth in the world’s second-largest economy, and had been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
New construction starts measured by floor area fell 7.6% from a year earlier, compared with a 12.8% fall in the first five months of the year.
Funds raised by China’s property developers fell 1.9% in the same period, improving from a 6.1% drop for the first five months of 2020. (Reporting by Yawen Chen, Huizhong Wu and Colin Qian; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)