BEIJING: Land sale revenues for China's local governments rose more than 60 percent in 2009 as the country's property market surged, figures from the Ministry of Land Resource revealed Tuesday.
Local governments generated 1.59 trillion yuan ($233 billion) from the sale of 209,000 hectares of land in 2009. Of that, 103,000 hectares was sold to real estate developers, up 36.7 percent year on year.
Land sale revenues for property development hit 1.34 trillion yuan, accounting for 84 percent of the total.
China's property market rebound began in the second quarter of 2009 when average housing prices soared 23.5 percent from the previous year, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Housing prices in China's 70 large and medium-sized cities rose 7.8 percent in December 2009 from a year earlier, the fastest increase in 18 months, according to the NBS.
Analysts, including Bao Zonghua, former chief of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development Policy Research Center, told Xinhua in an interview in January that under the current distribution regime, land sale revenues go to local governments, giving them an incentive to sell land to commercial housing developers and to shy away from reining in housing prices.