21 August 2019

What a property shakeout looks like

Moderating housing demand and financing difficulties are forcing a growing number of small and medium-sized mainland developers to pull back, or pull out.

There has been a notable increase in assets up for sale against a backdrop of tighter lending by banks, particularly to small developers in lower-tier cities burdened with oversupply, China Securities Journal reports.

Some are selling assets to raise money, others to focus on their core business. A number simply want out.

Electronics group TCL, for instance, has agreed to offload its Huizhou property unit and related debt to Fantasia (01777.HK ) in return for a 15 percent stake in the latter. Companies in the technology and retail sectors are also reportedly shedding non-core investments.

After a sales surge last year, the property market may be in for consolidation. Tight liquidity, rising competition for homebuyers and falling margins could force more weak players out for the rest of the year.

An industry survey shows the number of property developers fell 37 percent between 2010 and 2013. At the same time, companies with annual contracted sales above 100 billion yuan rose to seven. There were 73 developers that hit the 10 billion yuan mark last year, up from 55 in 2012.

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EJ Insight writer

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