Business / Industries

Moody's goes negative on property sector

By Emma Dai in Hong Kong (China Daily) Updated: 2014-05-22 06:53

Moody's Investors Service reported on Wednesday a "negative outlook" for the Chinese property sector over the next 12 months, citing a sales meltdown, rising inventories and tight liquidity.

The ratings agency forecast a "significant slowdown" of home sales for the period, which it said would be flat or at most up 5 percent in value terms year-on-year.

Moody's goes negative on property sector
Moody's goes negative on property sector 
Inventory in eight cities - four first-tier and four second-tier - tracked by Moody's was about 14 months at the end of April, approaching the previous high of about 16 months in February 2012.

"Especially in the first four months, sales have declined 9.9 percent," said Franco Leung, an analyst at Moody's. "Inventory levels will remain high. The situation in smaller cities will be particularly serious. That will increase pressure on developers' working capital and cash flow."

The last time the agency downgraded the sector to "negative" was in April 2011.

Chinese developers face deteriorating liquidity conditions as banks are taking longer to disburse mortgages and the collection of sales proceeds is slowing, the report said.

However, Leung said that developers have a chance to strengthen their financial positions. On May 14, the People's Bank of China encouraged domestic commercial banks to ease conditions on mortgage approvals. And the China Securities Regulatory Commission has announced a resumption of initial public offerings this year, opening an avenue to raising funds in the domestic equity market.

"Developers with bigger names and stronger financial profiles will be more able to weather the challenge," said Leung. "Larger national players tend to have stable sales, and those with mass market products will see better sales, especially with discounts, given solid demand driven by urbanization."

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks