Developers signal optimism with 20.5% surge in spending

Updated: 2013-08-10 08:33

By Wang Ying in Shanghai (China Daily)

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Developers signal optimism with 20.5% surge in spending

China's property investment kept going strong in the first seven months of the year, and investment growth in new projects accelerated to the highest in July this year, suggesting real estate companies are confident in the industry outlook, analysts said.

Property investment grew 20.5 percent year-on-year to 4.4 trillion yuan ($713.7 billion) from January to July, the National Bureau of Statistics said Friday.

The pace of expansion was 0.2 percentage point faster than from January to June.

Of the total, 68.4 percent was pumped into residential property.

By region, property investment in East China grew 18.6 percent to 2.5 trillion yuan, while Central China attracted 929.8 billion yuan, up 21 percent.

Western regions drew 973.9 billion yuan, up 25 percent.

As a major contributor to the nation's economic growth, property development is gaining traction on robust sales and improved financial conditions.

From January to July, developers sold 27.1 percent more residential property in terms of area, and their sales revenue soared 39.9 percent.

NBS data show that developers raised more capital for expansion in the first seven months, with the amount up 31.5 percent to 6.68 trillion yuan.

Of the total capital channeled into the property market, 1.14 trillion yuan came from domestic loans, up 31.1 percent and 2.5 trillion yuan came from internal funds, up 18.2 percent. Funding from other sources surged 45.5 percent to nearly 3 trillion yuan.

"Although developers' capital is abundant now, they should be wary of a slowdown in sales and continued tight credit at commercial banks. The real test is in the coming months," according to a report by the China Index Academy, a research institute attached to the country's largest real estate website, SouFun Holding Ltd.

A first-half home-buying spree left developers flush with cash.

The top 10 developers' sales rose 27 percent year-on-year to 388.3 billion yuan, according to Centaline (China) Property Research Center.

China Vanke Co Ltd, the nation's largest real estate developer, recorded 34.7 percent growth in revenue to 41.39 billion yuan, it said in its interim report on Wednesday. Net profit went up 22.3 percent to 4.56 billion yuan.

Analysts said that property sales are set to decelerate in the second half. The rise in property prices "will slow to within 5 percent in the second half, from more than 10 percent in the first six months," said the China Index Academy.

According to Hui Jianqiang, director of real estate information provider Beijing Zhongfangyanxie Technology Service Ltd, the most recent central government economic meeting ended without any mention of continued property curbs. Instead, the meeting called for a stable, healthy market.

"The central government's attitude toward the property industry is turning more cordial," said Hui.

(China Daily 08/10/2013 page10)