Sino-Ocean Land hopeful of record sales next year as market stabilises

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 December, 2008, 12:00am

Sino-Ocean Land Holdings, the largest property developer in Beijing, expects to book contract sales of more than 5 billion yuan (HK$5.66 billion) next year.

Chief executive Li Ming last week said the company hit a milestone of 5 billion yuan in contract sales - or pre-sales of incomplete units - for the first 11 months of the year.

'We recorded strong growth in property sales in the past two months. Revenue in October was 100 per cent higher than in September. We recorded 130 per cent growth in home sales last month,' Mr Li said.

The company launched the second phase of its Sino-Ocean Qinshanshui residential project in Beijing on Saturday, and Mr Li said he expected this month's sales volume to be higher than last month's figures.

Sino-Ocean generated about 900 million yuan from sales of the first phase of its Qinshanshui residential project last month. According to mainland media, prices were about 15 per cent lower than the market had expected.

Mr Li said asking prices for phase two of the project would be 5 to 10 per cent higher than those in phase one because the locations were better. The project comprises about 600 units.

'We are facing a global financial crisis. I can't tell whether property prices have reached the bottom or not, but I'm sure the market next year will not be worse than this year,' he said.

While he did not expect the market to rebound sharply, Mr Li said prices were likely to stabilise in the coming year.

'The outlook for property in northern cities such as Beijing will be better than markets in the south. Southern cities will suffer the most from the global financial crisis as their economies rely more on financial markets and overseas trading,' he said.

Mr Li said the company had not finalised a contract sales target for next year, but it would be higher than sales of 5 billion yuan this year.

Sino-Ocean has a land bank of about 9.9 million square metres, sufficient for development over the next six years.

Mr Li said he expected that new stimulus measures introduced by the government last week would help raise transactions in the secondary market. He also predicted further new measures, since the central government had given permission for local governments to introduce new policies.