Governments in a Hole as Land Sales Plummet

By staff reporter Zhu Yishi

The development-ready land market, long a reliable revenue source for local governments across China, has suddenly turned cold. And city halls are shivering.

Government-sponsored land auctions in cities nationwide have slowed dramatically in recent months, reflecting shrinking consumer demand and what one executive called a "winter mode" strategy among major developers. Nominal land values have fallen, and some auctions have been canceled due to a lack of bidders.

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