Property sales value ebbs amid neg­a­tive out­look

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - ByWANG YING in Shang­hai wang_y­ing@chi­

The value of home sales fell 5 per­cent year-on-year to 598.5 bil­lion yuan ($97.5 bil­lion) in the first two months as con­cern grew about the out­look for the res­i­den­tial property sec­tor, in­dus­try ex­perts said.

The fig­ure was a marked con­trast with the same pe­riod last year, when sales al­most dou­bled, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures re­leased on Thurs­day by the Na­tional Bureau of Sta­tis­tics.

An­a­lysts noted that last year’s strong per­for­mance was partly the re­sult of a low base in the same pe­riod of 2012.

The an­a­lysts said this year’s de­cline re­flected in­creas­ing un­cer­tainty in the mar­ket, which has been fu­eled by neg­a­tive com­ments from ma­jor real es­tate play­ers.

Wang Shi, founder of the na­tion’s largest res­i­den­tial de­vel­oper, China Vanke Co Ltd, posted a blunt warn­ing on his mi­cro blog: “The sit­u­a­tion in China’s property mar­ket is very bad.”

An­other property ty­coon — Ren Zhiqiang, chair­man of Huayuan Property Co Ltd — fore­cast sin­gle-digit home price gains in 2014. Ren warned other de­vel­op­ers not to be pos­i­tive about the property mar­ket this year.

Ma­jor fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions are scal­ing back their fore­casts for China’s real es­tate mar­ket.

For ex­am­ple, UBS AG said the pace of home price in­creases could slow from about 10 per­cent in 2013 to be­tween 5 and 10 per­cent in 2014, as sup­ply in first-tier cities im­proves and mon­e­tary con­di­tions tighten.

Shang­hai E-house China R&D In­sti­tute said that as of the end of Fe­bru­ary, in­ven­to­ries of new apart­ments stood at 82.33 mil­lion square me­ters in the top 20 cities, up 12.2 per­cent year-on-year.

Many of the trans­ac­tions last year re­flected in­elas­tic de­mand or in­vest­ment.

“Inthe com­ing month, there will be more new res­i­den­tial projects avail­able for sale,” said Yan Yue­jin, a re­searcher with E-house.

ButHui Jian­qiang, re­search di­rec­tor of Bei­jing Zhong­fangyanxie Tech­nol­ogy Ser­vice Ltd, said the ac­tual sit­u­a­tion in the over­all property mar­ket “isn’t that bad” when viewed on a year-onyear ba­sis.

In the first two months, 104.66 mil­lion sq­mof prop­er­ties of all kinds traded for 709 bil­lion yuan na­tion­wide. Last year, the com­pa­ra­ble fig­ures were 104.71 mil­lion sq m and 736.1 bil­lion to the NBS.

“The ab­so­lute num­bers aren’t that dif­fer­ent,” saidHui.

Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang told a news con­fer­ence in Bei­jing on Thurs­day that the govern­ment will curb de­mand for hous­ing among in­vestors and will “reg­u­late the hous­ing mar­ket dif­fer­ently in dif­fer­ent cities”.



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