Challenging Property Market in China

Malaysian developers are vying for a share of the vast China market especially after cooling measures introduced by the Chinese government to curb overheating and flyaway property prices.

An analyst with a local bank-backed brokerage said although China’s 1.3 billion population posed a big market for a broad range of property products, including residential properties, it would not be a bed of roses for developers with projects in China as more challenges had cropped up in the country’s economic front.

Leong: ‘In terms of accessibility, climate, culture, livability, and political stability, Malaysia is an attractive avenue for Chinese property investors.’

China’s economy is facing risk of a hard landing should its manufacturing and export sectors falter further as a result of the eurozone debt contagion. The country’s vast manufacturing sector is facing a drastic downturn in external demand from Europe and the United States.

The analyst said measures to cool the property market introduced since late 2009 had resulted in slowing property demand and falling prices.

“Developers with projects in China will be facing a more challenging market as demand and prices ease. That’s why some prefer to wait and see how the market pans out, “ he added.

Meanwhile, amid the tightening measures, mainland Chinese buyers are looking to invest outside China, and have shifted their attention to markets like Singapore and Malaysia.

But the move last December by the Singapore government to curb foreign purchases by imposing an additional stamp duty of 10% on the value of residential properties sold to foreign buyers meant that Malaysia – which has no such curbs – stood a better chance to win over the Chinese buyers.

According to Mah Sing group managing director and group chief executive Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum, China’s ongoing efforts to cool its property market by tightening bank loans, restricting purchase of multiple properties and imposition of higher down payments will cause more mainland Chinese to invest in other growth markets like Malaysia.

“There is growing interest for quality properties in Malaysia by Chinese purchasers who are keen to diversify their investments out of China to other parts of the world.

“In terms of accessibility, climate, culture, livability, and political stability, Malaysia is an attractive avenue for Chinese property investors,” Leong added.

Mah Sing has recently set up its representative office in Shanghai to tap and explore opportunities in China’s property market.

Located in Imago Tower in Putuo District, the representative office serves as a property gallery featuring a number of projects including Icon Residence Mont’Kiara, M City Jalan Ampang and Icon City Petaling Jaya.

Leong said the office would serve as a business liaison between Mah Sing and the Chinese regulators and companies.

The office will also conduct market and product research, marketing, brand promotion and coordination of Mah Sing’s activities in China. – The Star

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