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China's real estate market shows sign of a recovery: experts


A new property in East China's Jiangsu Province recently sold for 1.2 billion yuan in 60 seconds, a sign that the country's property market is recovering from the impact of the coronavirus attack.

A real estate agent (right) tells visitors about a residential development Saturday 

at the Shanghai Real Estate Expo, 

which ran until Saturday at the Shanghai Exhibition Center. Shanghai's property market remained quiet 

during the Labor Day holiday as many buyers held a wait and see attitude, 

according to a report on Shanghai Television Station Saturday. Photo: Yang Hui/GT

Experts believe this indicates the release of pent-up demand in China's mighty urban property sector and signals a restart of the real estate market after a two-month slump.

On Friday, a new property complex developed by Longhu Real Estate saw 90 percent of its apartments sold just an hour after sales opened. Sales of the property hit 1.2 billion yuan in just 60 seconds. 

The second-hand housing market in China is also picking up, with turnover in China's first, second, and third tier cities increasing 14.8 percent, 16.4 percent and 36.2 percent, respectively, last week from a month ago, according to data from the China Index Academy.

Now that China seems to put the coronavirus under firm control, real estate sector is among the coveted industries to help rejuvenate a slowing economy, Song Ding, a research fellow at the Shenzhen-based China Development Institute, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

From the demand side, we see the real estate market is now in the process of restarting after a two-month slowdown, he said, adding that although there has not yet been a massive recovery in transactions, there will be a highly elevated rise in April and May. 

Starting in March, residential sales will continue to pick up, Yan Yuejin, research director at the Shanghai-based E-house China R&D Institute, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Due to the drop in the January-February sales data, companies are likely to reduce prices to promote sales from the perspective of de-stocking, he said.

To help recover the real estate market, a number of Chinese cities have issued supportive policies to ease the financial pressure on real estate enterprises hit by the virus.

Changchun in Northeast China's Jilin Province on Monday issued a notice that regulations on pre-sales and the supervision of pre-sale funds would be relaxed, allowing real estate companies to fasten the sales process.

Experts believe the measures will have a positive effect on the real estate market.

After a two-month slowdown, many developers are under great funding pressure and pressure to pay back loans, which has forced the government to introduce supportive policies and absorb the pressure on liquidity, said Song Ding. He predicted the property market would continue to pick up in the coming months.

The epidemic caused a sharp drop in property market transactions during the Spring Festival, leaving many developers in debt or on the brink of bankruptcy.

Real estate industry debts due this year stand at 1.46 trillion yuan, of which 149 billion yuan are due by July, said Ba Shusong, chief economist with the China Banking Association, in March.

As of Monday, nearly 100 small and middle-sized real estate developers have issued bankruptcy announcements in 2020, The 21st Business Herald reported.

During the Spring Festival holiday, the total area sold in 30 large and medium-sized Chinese cities was 27,000 square meters, down 86.19 percent year-on-year, according to data from the China Merchants Bank Research Institute.

The central government has emphasized that houses are for living in, not for speculation, Hu Jinxing, director of real estate department at East China Normal University, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Although a number of regional governments have introduced easing policies, they have not relaxed purchase and loan restrictions, he said. In the future, I think those policies will remain to avoid excessive fluctuations in real estate market.

Source: Global Times