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Property developers predict mixed results in H1

Updated: 2012-07-18 09:09
By Wu Yiyao in Shanghai ( China Daily)

China's A-share listed developers are predicting mixed fortunes for the first half of the year.

According to industry performance forecasts, 17 developers expect losses, 22 forecast profit growth, while 13 expect less profit than in the first half of 2011.

Analysts said that many developers are now offering discounts on newly developed homes in order to boost sales revenue and to ease their tight cash flow.

Some developers with low sales said that losses were the result of increasingly tough financing conditions due to huge inventories.

Xue Jianxiong, an analyst from China Real Estate Information Corp, a realty information services provider, said that some top property sellers in China, including Poly Real Estate Group Co Ltd, reported a drop in net profits but increase in sales revenues, compared to the first half of 2011, and the strategy of lowering prices to push up sales has proved successful for many developers.

Within the findings, Poly reported it expected a 12.13 percent year-on-year decrease in net profit and a 32.86 percent year-on-year increase in sales revenue in the first half of 2012.

The figures chime with other recently released information on the country's fluctuating property sector.

According to statistics from Centaline Property, for instance, the total revenue of the 22 benchmark developers reached 414.9 billion yuan ($65.1 billion) between January and June, a 14 percent year-on-year increase.

Xue added that two interest rate cuts since June have made financing easier for developers, but that does not necessarily mean an easier time ahead because of the huge inventories remaining and ongoing cash flow issues, regardless of company size.

According to China Index Academy, a property information services provider, developers are now buying fewer parcels of land due to tight cash flow.

The academy said land transfer fees in 300 cities in the first half of 2012 dropped to 652.6 billion yuan, a 38 percent year-on-year decrease.

In as many as 28 cities of 40 it monitored, shrinking amounts of space was now being developed as housing.

Zhang Liangjun, managing director of the China operations of Cushman & Wakefield Inc, the international property service company, said that total land transfer fees in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen dropped from 98.6 billion yuan in the first half of 2011 to 42.5 billion yuan in the first half of 2012, a 56.9 percent year-on-year decrease.

He said some home developers have transferred space previously reserved for residential development to commercial property development - a risky move for those who lack that expertise.

Jack Ye, Cushman's national director of capital markets in China, added that with ongoing real estate curbs, developers will continue to face increasing pressures on financing.

Li Xiuhui contributed to this story.