Mainland land sales were mixed in the first half of the year depending on the type of market: tier-one locations reported declines in revenues during the period, while second-tier cities saw land sales go up.
Total land sales revenues for 300 mainland cities surveyed amounted to 652.98 billion yuan (HK$801.55 billion) in the first six months of this year, representing a drop of 38 per cent compared with the first half of 2011, according to a report by China Index Academy, one of the mainland's largest property research institutes.
Beijing and Shanghai saw the biggest declines in land sale revenues during the period. Shanghai's land sales revenues fell 62.77 per cent to 18.42 billion yuan.
The decline sees Shanghai's ranking slip from top place last year to the ninth in terms of total land sales revenues this year, according to the institute. Analysts said the decline in land sales revenues in major cities was partly due to there being few sites offered for sale.
But land sales were active in second-tier cities. Chongqing topped that list with total sales up 20 per cent to 37.94 billion yuan in the first six months of this year, compared with the same period in 2011.
It was followed by Wuhan, which had land sales revenues of 31.7 billion yuan.
On June 18, mainland developer Evergrande Real Estate bought a commercial site in Guangzhou's new business district for a city record price of 32,968 yuan per square metre. Analysts said one record-breaking deal did not indicate the start of a trend of developers bidding aggressively in the face of improving market sentinment.
According to China Index Academy, the total number of government sites launched for sale dropped 19 per cent in the first half of 2012, while residential sites dropped 32 per cent between January and June.