Archive for ‘real estate’

18/04/2019

Cambodian, Chinese entrepreneurs meet to explore business opportunities

PHNOM PENH, April 18 (Xinhua) — A Cambodian and Chinese entrepreneurs meeting was held here on Thursday, aiming at exploring opportunities for trade and investment, officials said.

The meeting brought together nearly 20 entrepreneurs from southwest China’s Sichuan province and about 20 Cambodian business executives.

Ek Sam Ol, president of the Cambodia-China Friendship Association, said that currently, many enterprises from Sichuan have been doing businesses in various sectors in Cambodia.

“The forum is a good opportunity for the entrepreneurs from both sides to exchange experiences and to explore opportunities for investments or business partnerships,” he said.

Sam Ol said China is currently the top foreign investor in Cambodia and Chinese investments have importantly contributed to socio-economic development in the country.

He said Chinese investments have focused on a variety of sectors including transport infrastructure, hydropower plants, industrial zones, garment and footwear factories, banking and finance, real estate and construction, agriculture, tourism, and airlines.

Source: Xinhua

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08/04/2015

Cabinet amends real estate bill to stamp out illegal practices | Reuters

The cabinet has amended a bill to regulate the real estate sector, protect home buyers and curb undeclared “black money” in property markets that costs the exchequer billions of dollars in lost taxable income.

Labourers work at the construction site of a residential building in Mumbai's central financial district April 6, 2015. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

The decision by Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s government to amend the bill, which was submitted by the previous government in 2013 but not passed by the upper house, aims to boost investor confidence and stamp out illegal practices.

The new rules, applicable to residential and commercial developments, will make it mandatory for all projects and brokers to be registered with the real estate regulator who will oversee transactions and settle disputes.

“The bill seeks to ensure accountability and transparency, which will in turn enable the real estate sector to access capital and financial markets essential for its long-term growth,” the government said in a statement on Tuesday.

During recent years sluggish economic growth and delays in getting approvals stalled several real estate projects, leaving buyers waiting for their homes and developers holding high debt.

“This will be a game-changer for the sector,” Rajeev Talwar, executive director at DLF Ltd, India’s top real estate developer.

via Cabinet amends real estate bill to stamp out illegal practices | Reuters.

10/12/2014

Need Financing to Build U.S. Property? Try Chinese Visa Seekers – China Real Time Report – WSJ

The giant trucks pumping concrete in Hudson Yards, New York’s biggest real-estate project in a generation, are being financed by an unlikely source: about 1,200 Chinese families in search of U.S. visas. As the WSJ’s Eliot Brown reports:

Developer Related Cos. says it has raised roughly $600 million from the families to build the foundation for three skyscrapers at the West Side project, a 17-million-square-foot colossus of office, retail and residential space set to open over the next decade.

To finance the concrete-steel platform, Related tapped a little-known and at times controversial federal visa program known as EB-5, which offers green cards to foreign families who invest at least $500,000 in U.S. projects that create at least 10 jobs per investor.

The amount brought in so far, which privately held Related hasn’t previously disclosed, is a record for the cash-for-visa program.

Related’s success shows how the once-obscure federal program has grown in popularity among developers and foreign investors since the recession.

Chinese nationals are the biggest source of EB-5 funds, making up more than 85% of visas approved in the 12 months ended in September. Many are investing for their children rather than for themselves, said Kenneth Li, a Houston real-estate broker who has offered advice to Chinese investing in EB-5 projects.

“For many of them, it’s for the next generation,” he said.

via Need Financing to Build U.S. Property? Try Chinese Visa Seekers – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

14/08/2014

Chinese Buyers Are Driving a Boom in Australian Real Estate – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Australian house prices are rising quickly and demand from China is increasingly driving the boom, according to a report by Hong Kong-based brokerage CLSA.

The report, based on interviews with 50 industry participants in Australia, including major realtors, finds Chinese are now “driving the residential property market Down Under” adding that the “phenomenal investment” will continue for at least three more years.

CLSA says China is now the top source of foreign-capital investment in Australian real estate and anecdotal evidence indicates that foreign investment from China has continued to increase in 2014, having slowly accelerated over the last 5 years. The stock brokerage did not attempt to put a value on the investment.

CLSA said good education and a clean environment were driving demand from China.

“Australia offers both and we see no reason why its fundamental appeal will diminish,” it added.

There are currently only limited curbs on foreign buying of Australian property. Any newly built Australian property can be bought by foreigners . The purchase of existing properties needs the approval of Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board.

Government data this week showed house prices nationally grew by 10% in the year-to-June 30, with Sydney prices racing at 15% over the same period.

The issue of Chinese investment in Australian housing investment has prompted concern among Australians about the potential to be frozen out of the housing market, especially the highly desirable inner city markets of Sydney and Melbourne.

A government investigation into the issue of foreign investment in Australian property is underway and will report its recommendations in October.  One of the limitations of the debate over the issue is that there is not reliable data on how much money is coming into property from overseas.

Australia’s central bank has been watching the rise in house prices but has so far downplayed the role Chinese money has had on prices growth. If house prices continue to climb, the reserve Bank of Australia might have to raise interest rates at a time when the economy is weak and unemployment at more than decade highs.

via Chinese Buyers Are Driving a Boom in Australian Real Estate – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

26/06/2014

Indian Property Market Takes A Small Step Out of the Shadows – India Real Time – WSJ

Few that have bought or even rented real estate in India would be surprised by a recent survey showing the property market here can be maddeningly murky.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s Global Real Estate Transparency Index showed that while things have improved, Indian cities still have to work on transparency. The Chicago-based real-estate consultant said India needs to go further to create more clarity on the rules connected to property purchases and real estate prices.

“India still scores among the lowest in the transparency of its transaction process,” the report said.

Jones Lang LaSalle looked at just over 100 markets around the world and rated them on a dozen parameters ranging from the availability of data, the number of publicly-listed developers and the strength of regulators.

India struggles most when it comes to recording real estate transactions. Too many deals are done off the book, recorded with government offices that don’t disclose numbers or are never recorded at all, making it difficult for home buyers and even analyst to assess what a property is worth and which direction property prices are moving.

Most of the deals that pop up on everyone’s radars are big corporate transactions in bigger cities. Those above-board deals may very well be only a tiny slice of all the real estate activity though. Smaller deals done by smaller companies and in smaller cities are often hard to keep track of, analyst say, making it difficult to estimate what is really going on in the real estate market.

Meanwhile the real estate agents are too often untrained and unscrupulous in India. It seems like almost anyone can dabble in the market if they can create the right connections and grease the right palms to push through all the paperwork needed to transfer control of properties.

India’s standing was also hurt by its lack of a regulator for the real estate sector. While a regulator is in the works, the industry is currently being overseen by the Ministry of Urban Development, local registry offices and many others depending on the property.

Things are, however, better than they were a year ago. India’s biggest cities stepped up in Jones Lang LaSalle’s ranking to 40th in 2014 from 48th in 2012 while the medium-sized cities moved up to 42nd place from 49th.

The improvement is thanks to private equity firms who have been investing a lot of money and demand more transparency. India’s growing mortgage-loan market is also helping as banks require more reliable information about buyers, sellers, properties and the way deals are done, said Anuj Puri chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.’s Indian operations.

Market transparency could get a further boost soon if India’s new government goes ahead with plans to improve real estate regulations.

“Later this year India is likely to enact the Real Estate Regulation Bill, which seeks to improve regulation over real estate agents and the quality of land registry records,” the report said.

via Indian Property Market Takes A Small Step Out of the Shadows – India Real Time – WSJ.

01/05/2014

How Women Lost Out as China’s Property Market Boomed – Businessweek

In 2005, Zhang Yuan and her husband bought an apartment in Beijing for $30,000. Seven years later, in 2012, the same apartment was worth $317,000. Zhang, a professional woman in her 30s, and her husband both contributed money to the down payment and mortgage payments. Only her husband’s name appears on the property deed.

Beijing's central business District is home to high-end housing

At the time the young couple bought their home, Zhang wasn’t thinking much about legal formalities. Men—still regarded as the ostensible heads of households in China—have commonly registered property in their own names.

Since China’s Supreme Court issued a new interpretation of the country’s Marriage Law in 2011, Zhang’s has had second thoughts. The law now stipulates that if a couple divorces and only one person’s name is on the deed, that person—usually a “he”—walks away with full ownership of the marital home.

Since she took two years off work to care for her young child, Zhang has had trouble climbing back onto the career ladder. Today she worries more about money—and her financial dependence on her husband.

According to a 2012 Horizon Research and IFeng.com survey of homeowners in China’s leading cities, men’s names appear on property deeds for marital homes 80 percent of the time, while women’s names appear on just 30 percent of them. “The law is so unfair to women,” Zhang told sociologist Leta Hong Fincher, author of a new book, Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China.

The upshot, as Fincher’s book argues, is that China’s women have a claim that is tenuous, at best, to the country’s burgeoning real estate wealth. “Chinese women have largely missed out on what is arguably the biggest accumulation of residential real-estate wealth in history, valued at around 3.3 times China’s [gross domestic product], according to figures from the bank HSBC,” she writes. “That amounted to over $27 trillion at the end of 2012.”

via How Women Lost Out as China’s Property Market Boomed – Businessweek.

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07/04/2014

Housing Cools in China; Developers Face Loans They Can’t Repay – Businessweek

Amid a cluster of half-built brick townhouses surrounded by peach groves on the outskirts of Fenghua city, workers could be seen taking down metal scaffolding and hauling away steel plates last month. They had heard that Zhejiang Xingrun Real Estate, the company building the housing development called Peach Blossom Palace, was insolvent. “The developer owed us hundreds of thousands of yuan” for scaffolding and steel, said workers Xie and Wang, who would only give their surnames. “We are taking these materials back for now because there’s no work here.”

Unfinished houses at Zhejiang Xingrun’s development in Fenghua

The collapse of Zhejiang Xingrun may signal the start of a shakeout among the nation’s almost 90,000 real estate companies. After China began allowing private homeownership in 1998, homebuilders binged on easy credit from banks and other lenders. Now many developers are struggling with debt as thousands of apartment buildings across the country sit empty and the government makes it harder to borrow. CBRE Global Investors says there are about 30,000 developers after small construction companies and those formed for only one project are eliminated. “That is far too many, even for a country as large as China,” says Richard van den Berg, country manager for China at CBRE. “Consolidation needs to take place.”

Home prices in China have climbed 60 percent since 2008, when the government began a 4 trillion yuan ($645 billion) stimulus program to counter the effects of the global financial crisis. Former Premier Wen Jiabao began trying to cool the property market in 2010, imposing higher down-payment requirements, raising interest rates on loans for second-home purchases, and increasing construction of low-cost housing. Li Keqiang, who succeeded Wen in March 2013, further tightened credit in June, in part by cracking down on nonbank lenders.

About 67 percent of housing under construction in China last year was in less affluent cities such as Fenghua, according to Nomura Holdings (NMR). About 120 miles south of Shanghai, with a population of 500,000, Fenghua is best known as the birthplace of former Chinese nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek. The city is filled with pawn shops, textile and garment factories, and empty residential buildings.

via Housing Cools in China; Developers Face Loans They Can’t Repay – Businessweek.

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25/02/2014

Property remains top wealth driver in China-Hurun list | Reuters

Real estate remained the most lucrative road to riches in China last year, according to the Hurun Global Rich List, despite Beijing’s repeated efforts to cool red-hot property prices.

A labourer works at a construction site in Beijing, January 20, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Six of world’s 10 top real estate tycoons are now from China and Hong Kong, according to Hurun Report Inc, which released its Global Rich list on Tuesday.

Hong Kong property tycoon Li Kai-shing claimed the top spot in the Greater China area with his fortune rising 3 percent to 200 billion yuan ($32.80 billion).

Wang Jianlin, chairman of China’s largest commercial property developer, Dalian Wanda Group, and Lui Che-Woo, founder of casino operator, Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd (0027.HK), were the runners-up with personal wealth of 150 billion yuan ($24.60 billion) each.

Wang’s fortune doubled last year, while Lui’s wealth jumped 108 percent, the report said.

Wang bought UK luxury yacht maker Sunseeker for $1.6 billion and is planning billion-dollar luxury hotel developments in London and New York.

Home prices in many Chinese cities continued to set records last year despite a four-year government campaign to cool the housing market, official data showed.

via Property remains top wealth driver in China-Hurun list | Reuters.

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23/11/2013

Property in China: Haunted housing | The Economist

IN CHINA, property prices can keep going up forever. At least, that is what optimists seem to think. They point out that the country is undergoing the largest urbanisation in history. The throngs of migrants from the countryside all need homes, the argument runs. China’s swelling middle classes, many of whom live in shoddy 1980s housing, are also eagerly moving to fancier flats or McMansions. The result has been a spectacular property boom over the past decade.

At first glance, it seems the good times are still rolling (see chart). During the first three quarters of this year residential sales shot up by 35% versus the same period a year ago. Prices for new homes rose year-on-year in September in 69 of the 70 biggest cities. In Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing prices jumped by more than 20%; in slightly smaller cities, such as Nanjing and Xiamen, they rose by around 15%.

Despite these signs of rude health, even some of China’s biggest property moguls appear to be growing uneasy. Wang Shi, the chairman of China Vanke, the country’s largest residential-property firm by volume, has called the market a bubble. Wang Jianlin, the country’s richest man and the chairman of Dalian Wanda, a property giant turned entertainment firm, acknowledges that parts of the country may be experiencing a property bubble, though he thinks it “controllable”. Li Ka-Shing, a Hong Kong tycoon who has long been bullish on China, has started to sell his mainland holdings.

The problem is not the wealthiest cities with the most vertiginous valuations. Indeed, in those markets prices may yet go higher. People from all over China buy trophy apartments in Shanghai and Beijing, making their markets as resilient as those of Manhattan and central London. In fact, policies aimed at squelching speculation may be artificially suppressing demand in those places.

Shanghai and Shenzhen recently followed Beijing’s lead by requiring that buyers of second homes put up 70% of the purchase price as a deposit. In Beijing, the sale of a second home incurs a 20% capital-gains tax. (This is supposedly a nationwide policy, but is not always enforced in other cities.) Couples with two homes are reportedly divorcing to avoid the tax, since once officially single they can each own a primary residence, and thus sell either one without penalty.

Demand does not look so robust, however, in places like Yingkou Coastal Industrial Base, in north-eastern China. This development was promoted by the local government as a future hub of economic activity, but the future has not yet arrived. There are rows of empty buildings and few people on the streets. Property salesmen claim that big companies ranging from Coca-Cola to PetroChina are building factories nearby. But even Xinhua, an official media outlet, is sceptical: except for street lamps and the occasional passing vehicle, it reported recently, “at night the base was completely dark.”

Many property developments outside the big cities appear to be ghost towns of this sort. Moody’s, a credit-rating agency, laments that a large and rising share of new supply has gone to smaller cities. People’s Daily, another official organ, recently fulminated against the “huge waste of resources” such construction represents. Nonetheless, by the government’s count, 144 cities in 12 provinces are planning 200 new towns.

via Property in China: Haunted housing | The Economist.

12/11/2013

China in numbers: secondhand view with salutary warning | The Times

3,000km . . . is the combined length of bargain-price underpants (if laid end-to-end) sold on Chinese websites between midnight on Sunday and 1am on Monday morning. If all the cut-price bras sold in the same period were piled on top of one another, the resulting pillar of lingerie would be three times the height of Mount Everest.

In those first, financially incontinent 60 minutes of Monday morning, China’s largest handler of online payments took 25 million orders with a combined value of 6.7 billion yuan (£686 million). About 340,000 of those orders were placed in the first minute. It was as if the world were about to end and China suddenly decided that the only hope of salvation lay in half-price knickers.

Astounding numbers of this sort were in plentiful supply on Monday as China delighted in the mad calculus of consumerism. It looks heartily encouraging, but appearances are deceptive. The cause of the online shopping frenzy was a deluge of sales promotions timed to coincide with “Singles Day” — a magnificently contrived “festival” prompted by the date 11.11. The whole thing was invented only four years ago.

Every online retailer in China (and there are an awful lot of them) was slashing prices as part of the fun. By mid-afternoon of Singles Day, the Alibaba online portal said that its sales promotions had generated more than ten billion yuan. That is already more than total online sales in the United States last year on “Black Friday”, the shopping day that follows Thanksgiving and historically is the biggest day for retail in the American calendar.

The temptation is to treat Singles Day as a bellwether, both of the general strength of online retail and of the ability of China’s nascent consumer economy to concoct its own events from thin air and convince people the best way of celebrating them is by shopping.

The reality, though, is less cut and dried. Taobao, the online shopping mall that enjoyed such fantastic sales on Monday, has another internet retail division that is telling a rather different story. For some months now, various courts in China have created online stores on Taobao to conduct what they call “judicial auctions” — sales of the various goods seized by the courts in criminal cases. The Government’s crackdown on corruption, now almost a year old, has swollen the items seized very significantly.

The auction site for the city of Wenzhou alone runs to more than 100 pages of items, including large vintage wine collections, mobile phones, office buildings, wedding rings, watches and even buses. Overwhelmingly, though, the items under the hammer are residential property, mostly medium to high-end flats. Activity in Wenzhou has always been seen as a weather vane for Chinese property prices and the signals are not encouraging.

The flats go on sale on the judicial auction sites with an estimated reserve price and, because the courts want a sale, that price tends to be at a decent discount to the prevailing market price. An additional appeal is that there is also no commission charged.

Yet many do not make the reserve price. Out of a batch of 157 auctions conducted by the Luchent District Court in Wenzhou, 72 fell through because there was no bid at all. Local property agents are starting to get very twitchy over what Taobao is telling them about the secondhand market.

Discounts may work for underpants, but they do not appear to do so for second-hand property. Chinese are still buying newly built apartments with gusto, on the assumption that eventually the resale market will be robust: the auctions seem to be sounding an alarm over that assumption.

via China in numbers: secondhand view with salutary warning | The Times.

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