Project quality rises under tighter scrutiny
Developers in Beijing are becoming more sophisticated in planning and designing projects as a result of strict government controls and growing demand for quality.
Kenny Suen Wai-cheung, director of the building consultancy department at Vigers Hong Kong, said there had been a dramatic shift in the mentality and approach of developers in recent years.
Property companies can no longer afford to overlook the importance of good design and planning, which determines the success or failure of a project, he said.
In the market boom of the early 1990s, prices soared on rampant speculative buying and development, regardless of quality.
Many of the 'so-called' developers at the time came from the manufacturing or services sectors, and had no property development experience. They paid little or no attention to design and planning.
In the past, incurring losses was not a concern of those developers, Mr Suen said.
'Their minds were on how much more they could make on a development. It was very speculative,' he said.
'Today, developers have a completely different mind-set. They are deeply concerned about the project planning, and about quality and financing. They know their customers are mainly end-users. They know that if a project is badly planned, it could incur losses.'
Mr Suen said most Beijing developers today are strong players possessing experience and a knowledge of the industry.
They demand quality consultancy services to advise on planning, design and financing for development, he said.
The Beijing city government's strict regulations and controls on development density, town planning and land supply help enhance property quality.
Faced with tight government controls, developers strive for better project planning in order to get through the bureaucratic process more easily, Mr Suen said.
Banks now demand that property companies provide recognised consultancy reports on projects before they approve financing or loans. This means comprehensive preparation work on the part of the developers.
This has resulted in a demand for professional con sultancy services on property development, he said.
Many Beijing developers now tend to opt for lease or long-term investment, and are especially concerned about design, construction and property management.
'As owner-occupiers, these developers are putting more effort into the various aspects of development to guarantee product quality,' he said.
Competition is also driving developers to provide better quality properties, he said. New properties are generally equipped with all facilities and support services that tenants need, he said.