China builders buy less land in H1 2023, June home sales drop 29%: Survey, ET RealEstate

July 3, 2023

HONG KONG: Chinese property developers spent 10% less on land in the first half compared to a year ago as sales stayed flat, private researcher CRIES said, reinforcing the still-low confidence in the real estate sector and weakness across the broader economy.

In June alone, property sales cooled at a faster pace than in May, dropping 29.4% from a year ago. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the drop would be 19%, it added.

The survey by CREIS only counted the country’s top 100 developers by sales and by land purchases.

China‘s property sector has been hit hard by a debt crisis since mid-2021, resulting in many corporate defaults and weaker buyer confidence as the outlook for the economy also worsened.

While local governments have rolled out hundreds of measures to support the real estate sector, investor sentiment remains fragile. Goldman Sachs said in a report last month that China’s property sector is expected to grapple with “persistent weakness” for years.

“Since the second quarter, the real estate market has cooled significantly. Buyer sentiment was relatively weak, and market participants continued to drop in June…as there were less new launches,” CREIS said in a statement in the weekend.

The research company expected sales to grow slightly the full year due to a low base in 2022.

CREIS said total sales by value of top 100 developers rose only 0.1% year-on-year in the first six months to 3.6 trillion yuan ($496.67 billion), with mainly state-owned and state-backed developers leading the league table.

Poly Developments and Holdings was the biggest home seller, followed by China Vanke. Private-owned developer Country Garden ranked No.5, slipping from No.1 last year.

The size of many developers also shrank. Compared with 2021, when the debt crisis unfolded, the number of companies that posted over 100 billion yuan sales decreased to 7 from 19, while those over 10 billion yuan dropped to 78 from 132.

State-owned developers also dominated the land purchase league table, led by China Resources Land. Hangzhou Binjiang Real Estate Group and Longfor Group were the only private developers among the top ten buyers.

Land purchase value by top 100 developers dropped 10.2% to 592 billion yuan during the period.

  • Published On Jul 3, 2023 at 05:00 PM IST

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