(Yicai Global) April 2 -- Wuhan, the city at the heart of China's Covid-19 outbreak, has raised CNY10.9 billion (USD1.5 billion) in its first land auction since the epidemic broke out.
The central Chinese city sold 10 plots covering 120.74 hectares during an online auction held on March 31, according to the Wuhan Land Trading Center. Seven plots with an area of 106.74 hectares were for real estate use. Several well-known property developers including Beijing-based Longfor Group and Hong Kong-based China Jinmao Holdings Group were among the winning bidders.
Wuhan had suspended land sales worth at least CNY30 billion over the past two months due to the epidemic, said Li Guozheng, director of the China Index Academy's central China market research center. The city is expected to push forward with urban renewal projects to stimulate the market as it gets back to work, he added.
Before the onset of Covid-19, Wuhan was one of the most buoyant property markets in China. Last year, the city had the country's fourth-highest turnover in land auctions at CNY176.6 billion (USD25 billion), exceeding the CNY100 billion mark for the fourth year in a row. It also ranked first for housing sales area, trading 23.3 million square meters in 2019, up 30 percent from the year before.
The short-term impact of the epidemic will not affect Wuhan's advantages in terms of geographic location, population, education and industry, said Huang Guangping, general manager of US real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield's Wuhan unit. The city will continue to be a central hub in the Yangtze River Economic Belt and an important driver of China's economic growth, he added.
Editors: Dou Shicong, Kim Taylor