Good news for some

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2008, 12:00am

Not everyone regrets the turning of the property tide in Shenzhen.

Sunny Chan, a 32-year-old Hong Kong businessman, is among those applauding the latest developments. 'I am looking forward to seeing a sharp fall in prices so that I can buy a large, nice flat in the city.'

He bought a 40 square metre flat in Huanggang on the outskirts of the city for 330,000 yuan 2? years ago. He stays in his Huanggang unit for one to two days while working in Shenzhen once a week and intends to buy one more unit for investment. But like many other potential buyers he said he would bide his time.

Property agents said Mr Chan's attitude was typical of the growing wait-and-see approach by property seekers. This new mood of caution saw the number of home transactions in Shenzhen fall last month to more than 50 per cent below deal volumes at their peak in July. 'Prices in Futian are still very expensive, with the average price of some nice properties at 20,000 yuan per square metre,' Mr Chan said.

Patient buyers like him hope to pick up bargains as more speculators are forced out of the market.

Zhang Xuexiong, senior manager at Centaline Property Consultants' Nanshan office, cited the example of an investor who bought three properties in July last year and had already rushed to offload some of his assets 'The investor is selling a 146 square metre unit at the Peninsula at 24,000 yuan per square metre or 3.5 million yuan, compared to a 27,000 yuan per square metre or 3.94 million yuan purchase price,' he said.

In districts such as Longgang, Buji, Futian and Lowu, transaction activity was also painfully slow, agents said.

'We have now sold about 40 per cent in one of our projects since it was launched in November. Had it been launched a few months earlier, we would have sold out all the units,' said Ma Xiaomei, a sales agent of Land Power's Shenzhen office, which is the sole agent of the project concerned - the Kondarl Butterfly Castle in Buji, Shenzhen.