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Chinese are buying houses again, buoying economy

In central Beijing, 400 luxury condos sell out in a day

A condominium showroom in Beijing in July.

BEIJING -- A surge in condominium sales helped China's economy grow at a better-than-expected rate in the April-June quarter, raising questions over the circumstances inducing consumers to buy homes now.

The buzz surrounding property sales has become hard to ignore. An exhibition held early this month to show a new condo development in the Jiuxianqiao district in Beijing, known for its celebrity residents, drew a crowd of customers on a weekday. Although the price for the accommodation was 98,000 yuan ($14,000) per sq. meter, the condos are still attracting buyers. According to a sales assistant, "50 of the 400 flats for sale were sold in June alone."

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