On April 21, the Ministry of Land and Resources released major economic statistics for the first quarter of 2015. The statistics showed that the amount of state-owned land available for commercial real estate development declined by 38.7 percent year on year. Beijing, Guangzhou, Harbin, and other cities have published an estimated 2015 land availability forecast for real estate development. On a year on year basis, the availability in Guangzhou decreased 24 percent, Beijing 27 percent, and Harbin about 50 percent. The reduction is in response to the sluggish housing market and the high inventory of available housing.
According to sources familiar with the government promotion of sales of state-owned land, the issue is not that local governments want to cut back on the sale of land; it is that the decline in the market has forced the reduction of such sales. In fact, local governments have been very enthusiastic about the sale of land because it has been a major source of revenue for them.
Based on the numbers the National Bureau of Statistics of China released, in the first quarter of 2015, housing developers reduced the amount of land they acquired by 32.4 percent year on year.
Source: 21st Century, April 22, 2015