March sales of Top 100 real estate companies slumped 53% year-on-year, while their first-quarter sales plunged 47% from a year earlier.

Crane Real Estate Research posted the Top 200 Sales List of Chinese Real Estate Enterprises in the first quarter of 2022 on March 31, which shows the bleak start in the mainland’s real estate industry.

First-quarter sales of more than 80% of the top 100 decreased, and nearly 40% of the real estate developers dropped by more than half.

The top three sales, Country Garden, Vanke Real Estate, and Poly Development, recorded trading volumes from 82 to 126 billion yuan (13 – 20 billion dollars).

The report pointed out that the current real estate industry risks have not been cleared. There are still corporate debt defaults, and financial institutions are more cautious in lending in the first quarter.

The overall financing has not recovered, and most companies have remained under liquidity pressure.

According to the report, the Chinese authorities have frequently signaled to loosen restrictions to stabilize the real estate market.

Since 2022, many cities in mainland China have successively loosened control over the property market, including easing restrictions on purchases and loans, lowering down payment ratios, lowering mortgage interest rates, relaxing provident fund loans, and issuing housing subsidies.

However, executives at five companies among the Top 50 by sales told Reuters that they could not obtain new loans from banks.

In a company meeting, Yu Liang, chairman of No.2 developer China Vanke, stated that China’s real estate sector has entered into a “dark age” as property developers struggle to deleverage.

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