International property consultants expect to see a significant rise in revenues from their businesses throughout mainland China despite the clouded outlook for the country's residential market this year.
'Our target for China is to double our income once every three years, and this year we expect a 40 per cent increase in our revenues from the mainland,' said Alan Liu, Colliers International's managing director for North Asia.
Last year China accounted for about five per cent of the property consultant's global revenues, and 50 per cent of its revenue in Asia. 'Given that China is still a developing market, it is comprehensible that the share is still small at this stage,' Liu said.
'But considering the slide in Western countries, we expect the share of revenue from China will accelerate quicker in years to come.'
Colliers currently has offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Tianjin and Foshan, plus a presence in over 50 cities around the country, and in March will open an office in Shenzhen.
This year it established a service line to cater for local corporations and enterprises' demands in real estate development and investment. 'Besides their business interest in China, we will also help local clients set their foothold globally and invest in western markets,' Liu said.
On the outlook for the mainland market, Liu said the overheated residential markets, particularly in first-tier cities, would have to be cooled for more sustainable growth.
'And due to the uncertainties in the global economy, market growth in China might experience some adjustments or corrections in the coming one to three years.'
Another property consultant, Jones Lang LaSalle, said it would continue to expand its offices and staff in China and strengthen the scope of its services to new project launches for domestic developers and retail-centre operators.
'When there were thousands of buyers lining up to buy new flats, domestic developers did not consider professional services providers,' said Fung Kin-keung, managing director for Jones Lang LaSalle Greater China. 'Now mainland developers hope to speed up sales by upgrading the quality of their projects.'
Last year Jones Lang LaSalle strengthened its residential department in China aiming to provide consultancy services for mainland developers' project launches, and Fung said the company had achieved a 30 per cent growth in profits and revenues in 2011 - a record growth in the company's history in China.
'I will be disappointed if we do not see double-digit growth in profits and revenues this year,' he said.
Albert Lau, Savills' managing director for China, said the consultancy achieved profit growth in its China business of 15 per cent in 2011 and expected stable double-digit growth this year.
Savills launched a corporate restructuring last year with the establishment of a platform that can channel market information from China directly to interested investors. That created a lot of business opportunities, Lau said.