(Yicai Global) March 6 -- Chinese real estate giant Evergrande Group, China's first discount home seller, reported around CNY44.7 billion (USD6.4 billion) in contracted sales last month, up more than double from a year earlier, and about 5.1 million square meters in sales area in a more than one and half times rise, per the firm's sales data for last month that it released yesterday.
The firm's shares [HKG:3333] opened down 2.12 percent at HKD17.56 (USD2.26) today and fell further in the early afternoon to HKD17.54 amid fears over its second-quarter prospects, even as the novel coronavirus epidemic that has swept the country since December starts to loosen its grip.
The Covid-19 outbreak pushed the firm to begin selling homes on its app on Feb. 13. Buyers had subscribed for 99,141 residential units online worth USD102.7 billion by the end of last month, the firm said in its statement.
The online amount booked, however, does not equal its contracted sales, it stressed.
Shenzhen-based Evergrande. China's largest real estate developer, offered 25 percent off for all units (both apartments and office buildings) on sale from Feb. 18 to 29, the company announced on Feb. 16, saying buyers are entitled to the lowest price from the day they bought the houses to May 10 and will be refunded the amount of any overpayment or can return the houses on a no-hassle return policy if the firm reduces the selling price of the houses they have bought.
Developers have closed brick-and-mortar sales offices and postponed resumption of operation because of the coronavirus. China's top 100 players posted CNY324.3 billion in sales last month, down 43.8 percent from January and 37.9 percent from the year before, China property market Big Data application services provider CRIC Research Center said in a recent report.
The epidemic will certainly impose great pressure on real estate developers' sales and capital chain if it does not ease in a short time and continues its adverse impact on the market in the second quarter, the center added, saying highly leveraged firms will, in particular, come under even greater operating pressure or even face an existential crisis.
Editor: Ben Armour