Chinese property developers buy less land as home sales weaken

Chinese property developers buy less land as home sales weaken
12/08/2019 , by , in INTERNATIONAL

Chinese property developers are slowing land purchases and plan to be more selective about where they build, as sales soften from tightening measures and a deteriorating economic outlook.

Market confidence has been hit by the Sino-U.S. trade war and buyers continue to be wary even though there have been recent signs of a loosening in policy in certain cities. A dearth of construction could add unexpected pressure on the economy in 2020.

Contract sales by the top 100 Chinese developers in July posted a 29% decline from June, data from research firm CRIC showed, while the value of land sold in the 300 cities it tracks dropped 16.6%. Land premiums also softened 6 percentage points to 13% in July, returning to levels seen at the start of the year.

After two years of breakneck growth, China’s property market hit a downturn in the second half of last year following a series of cooling measures by the government to contain prices. Beijing recently dashed hopes it would loosen its grip on those measures to stabilise the economy, saying it will not use the property market as a form of short-term stimulus.

An official of Shanghai-based property developer CIFI Holdings said the company, one of the country’s top 20, will buy less land for the rest of the year than originally planned.

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