Vanke sees property sales volume fall 33pc

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 May, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 May, 2008, 12:00am

Shenzhen-listed developer China Vanke said property sales last month fell 32.96 per cent from March, reflecting continued weakening of the mainland housing market.

The mainland's largest developer sold properties totalling 482,000 square metres last month, compared with 719,000 square metres in March. Still, last month's sales were 39.3 per cent higher than the year-ago level.

Total revenue fell 35.33 per cent to 4.32 billion yuan (HK$4.83 billion) from 6.68 billion yuan in March but was 73.5 per cent higher than a year ago.

The month-on-month decline confirms a slowing housing market, particularly in Southern China, which drew a lot of speculation last year.

Austerity measures introduced in the fourth quarter, including tightening credit for developers and stricter mortgage lending, have dampened buying sentiment, sales volume and transaction prices. The Bureau of Land Resources and Housing Management of the Shenzhen Municipality said average home prices in the city had been sliding since October last year.

As of April 30, the average transaction price was 9,323 yuan per square metre, the lowest since last October.

However, BOCI International said China Vanke's sales slowdown stemmed from fewer projects being offered on the market.

The brokerage firm expected property sales to improve this month and next, traditionally the peak season in the housing market.

BOCI said China Vanke had resumed replenishing its land bank with the purchase of three sites last month in Huizhou in Guangdong, Wuhan in Hubei, and Qingdao in Shandong.

China Vanke said it would pay total attributable land costs of 1.09 billion yuan for the three lots.