China’s recent cooling measures may benefit foreign property developers

Property firm City Developments (CDL) says it is looking at up to seven property projects in China.

And its wholly-owned Chinese subsidiary CDL China believes that these projects have a strong chance of coming to fruition.

Analysts say that China’s recent property cooling measures may actually lower the barrier for foreign developers to enter the market.

Many are confident that China’s property market can achieve a “soft landing” as prices gradually ease over the next two years, instead of crashing suddenly.

The Chinese government is targeting the property market as part of its effort to fight inflationary pressures in the world’s second-largest economy.

Property analysts believe that government’s cooling measures may deter some Chinese developers.

And this may spell good news for foreign companies, including Singapore developers, that are keen to enter the competitive Chinese market.

Colin Tan, Head of Research and Consultancy, Chesterton Suntec International, said: “For developers, they have to know the risks and hedge the risk. And that way, they can still can benefit.

So, if you have a niche market in mind, you know your buyers, you utilise your Singapore brand name, and you may just benefit from that.”

One such developer is CDL China, which recently acquired its first development site in Chongqing for 232 million yuan.

Sherman Kwek, CEO of CDL China, shared that other than residential properties, he is also exploring commercial and mixed-use developments in China.

He said: “We are looking to be a long-term property developer in China.

So now is as good as any time although many people are saying it’s very easy for you to get into China because of the cooling measures.

You see that (the cooling measures) are always for a temporarily period, and before long, the market rebounds again.”

Analysts say that second-tier Chinese cities like Chongqing and Chengdu still have a potential upside that developers can tap.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 20 Dec 2010

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