Housing investment in Beijing fell 8.8 percent year on year to 74 billion yuan (12 billion U.S. dollars) in the January-July period, as home price caps dented investment, data released Monday showed. During the period, total property investment rose at a year-on-year rate of 1.2 percent, which indicated a slowing growth, to 164.4 billion yuan, the municipal bureau of statistics said in a statement. Zhang Dawei, director of Centaline Property\'s research center, said property developers couldn\'t get satisfactory presale prices when applying for presale permits due to housing price caps that were implemented in March, thus affecting sales and investment. At the end of July, 64.4 million square meters of residential housing was under construction, down 3.3 percent from a year earlier. Property sales climbed 20.8 percent year on year to 9.9 million square meters in the seven months. Of the total, home sales grew at a slower annual rate of 16.7 percent to 7.25 million square meters. Housing sales have slowed sharply since March, when a 20-percent tax on capital gains from property sales went into effect along with tighter purchasing restrictions aimed at cooling off the market. Housing sales rose 25 percent in the first half of the year, compared with 80.7 percent in the first quarter, data showed.