Shenzhen-listed property developer China Vanke expects to release up to 4.75 million square feet of mainland residential development for sale this year to raise more than 4.9 billion yuan (about HK$4.59 billion), according to chairman Wang Shi. He said the B-share company had foregone the purchase of 3.28 million sq ft of reserved land in Chengdu due to sale restrictions introduced by the government last year, but the policy change would not have a significant impact on the company. The government announced that from July 1 last year, land would be sold only through government auction or tender and that land reserved by developers but not yet paid for should be returned to the government. Mr Wang said that although the company's land bank had fallen to 231.62 million sq ft from 282.15 million sq ft in 2001, it was big enough for the next four years. China Vanke acquired a 6.1 million sq ft land bank last year in major cities including Tianjin, Wuhan, Shanghai and Nanchang, to go with existing developments in Shenzhen, Shanghai, Nanjing and Chengdu. Mr Wang supported the Chinese government's move to avoid property bubbles by regulating the housing market, including banning land sales through private negotiations, although half the company's land was bought this way. 'I said a year ago that the [mainland] property market was overheated in three aspects - developers were too aggressive in land reservations, banks were easing loan approvals and there was too much consumption in advance,' he said. Mr Wang believed the government would continue to act cautiously to cool the market. China Vanke aimed to increase its land bank through tender this year, he said. The firm's property sales last year totalled 5.57 million sq ft.