(Yicai Global) May 5 -- Despite the easing of home purchase restrictions in a number of cities across China, housing sales more than halved last month from the same period last year as the latest outbreaks of Covid-19 deal a cruel blow to the country’s real estate market, already in a downturn.
Sales at China’s top 100 developers plummeted 58.6 percent in April from the same period the year before and 16.2 percent from the previous month, according to data from real estate research institute Cric China. In the year’s first four months, sales crumbled 50.2 percent from a year earlier.
The latest outbreaks of Covid-19 hammered sales in April, a staff member at a real estate firm told Yicai Global. Not only did some sales offices have to temporarily shut, but it greatly reduced consumer appetite for new property. Before the latest wave, the firm had been showing signs of recovery amid an already cooling market, he added.
Ninety-two out of the country’s 100 largest real estate firms saw a drop in sales in April from the year before, according to figures from think tank EH Consulting. Among the top 30, only Guangdong-based Yuexiu Property achieved year-on-year growth.
Of the top ten, sales fell by between 37 percent and 60 percent. Country Garden, China Vanke and Poly Developments and Holdings Group had sales of over CNY30 billion (USD45.4 billion), China Overseas Property Holdings had revenue of CNY22.7 billion and the remaining six earned about CNY10 billion each.
The latest outbreak in March caused real estate market expectations to hit rock bottom, CITIC Securities said in a recent report. However, if the country’s major cities can meet the government’s ‘dynamic Zero Covid strategy’ by the end of June, then there is a chance that the real estate market will bottom out.
“We expect China’s property market to start to show signs of a significant recovery around the third quarter,” developer KWG Group Holdings said recently.
Editors: Tang Shihua, Kim Taylor