Property market hit again as sales slump

Finance | Bloomberg and Reuters 19 Oct 2021

Bloomberg and Reuters

Home sales by value in China tumbled 16.9 percent in September from a year earlier, following a 19.7 percent drop in August, National Bureau of Statistics data released yesterday showed.

Real-estate investment slid for the first time since the onset of the coronavirus shut swathes of the economy at the start of last year, down 3.5 percent from a year earlier, calculations show.

Meanwhile, September new construction starts slumped for a sixth straight month, the longest spate of monthly declines since 2015, as cash-strapped developers put a pause on projects in the wake of tighter regulations on borrowing. New construction starts fell 13.54 percent from a year earlier, the third month of double-digit declines, based on January-September data released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

That marks the longest downtrend since declines in March-August 2015, the last property malaise.

Chinese property shares fell yesterday as Beijing pushed ahead with plans for a property tax and amid fresh signs of weakening in the real-estate market.

But the coupon payment for a dollar bond by Chinese developer Kaisa Group (1638) and the central bank's efforts to calm nerves over the debt woes of China Evergrande Group (3333) helped in part to offset the overall bearish mood in the property sector.

Kaisa Group said it has paid US$39.4 million (HK$306.47 million) worth of coupon for a dollar bond due on October 16.

The company also said it plans to transfer funds for coupon worth US$35.85 million due on October 22 into bondholders' accounts on Thursday.

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