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China's Real Estate Market Finished 2007 on a High Note Substantial Development

Feb 27, 2008
The property market in China maintains its growth momentum throughout 2007. Both its major first-tier cities and some second-tier cities continued to substantial development and growth.

BEIJING - Each sector of Beijing's property market expanded in the fourth quarter, average rentals rose.

In the fourth quarter of 2007, massive completion of prime office projects added 460,000 sm to the existing stock, and the vacancy rate increased by 2.8 percentage points to 14.1%. High quality projects completed this quarter pushed rents up by 3.8% q-o-q, reaching RMB 193.1 psm per month.

The Beijing serviced apartment market has benefited most from the upcoming Olympic Games among luxury residential leasing market sectors. Serviced apartment rents rose by 5.6% q-o-q to RMB 228.5 psm per month. The average rentals of luxury apartments and villas also rose.

Because of the great demand caused by the upcoming Olympic Games, rents for ground and first floor retail space increased by 1.2% and 3.4% q-o-q, respectively. Some shopping centres and department stores adjusted brands or altered layouts this quarter. The vacancy rate climbed by 0.6 percentage points q-o-q to 7.1%.

Average rental of industrial property this quarter was RMB 53.1 psm per month, a 0.2% rise q-o-q and an increase of 5.3% y-o-y. The price of industrial land was RMB 1,222 psm, a 0.8% rise q-o-q and up 7.2% y-o-y.

SHANGHAI - Every sector of the Shanghai property market maintained the positive growth seen throughout 2007.

The Shanghai prime office market continued its positive growth during the fourth quarter, maintaining the trend seen throughout the year. Two projects were completed: Plaza 336 and the Chong Hing Finance Centre in Huangpu District, adding some 54,000 sm to the market. Strong pre-commitment continued, resulting in a further drop in the overall vacancy rate by 0.2 percentage points q-o-q. Strong demand and tightening vacancy saw average office rentals rise in Puxi and Pudong by 5.9% and 5% q-o-q, respectively.

Impacted by the macroeconomic measures, the transaction volume of luxury residential properties slipped in the last quarter. During October and November, the average monthly transaction of first-hand luxury residential properties was recorded at 836 units, a q-o-q drop of 27%. Nevertheless, average prices for luxury apartments and villas still witnessed a hike within the quarter. Luxury residential leasing activities slowed as usual during the holiday lull. Average rentals for all three types of luxury residential properties were flat.

Both prime ground and prime first floor rents witnessed strong growth of 4.9% and 4.7% q-o-q, respectively. The ongoing tenant mix restructuring in Cloud Nine and the renovation of some other retail properties led to an increase of 3.3 percentage points qo- q in the overall prime retail vacancy rate in Shanghai to 8.7% at the end of 2007.

The 42 industrial land plots released in the No. 13 and No. 14 Land Bulletins have to some extent eased the tightening industrial land supply in Shanghai and there has been a slight rise of 3.1% q-o-q in the average industrial land price to RMB 1,072 psm. The average rent of industrial properties rose by 2.1% q-o-q to RMB 34.3 psm per month in the fourth quarter.

GUANGZHOU - The residential sales market in Guangzhou was slowed by the People's Bank of China (PBOC)'s new fiscal measures on real estate bank loans and mortgages promulgated at the end of the third quarter. However, other sectors of the property market continued on a steady growth path in the fourth quarter.

Prime office rents climbed to RMB 106.5 psm per month, up 2.5% from three months ago. Prime office space completed within the quarter totalled 252,259 sm, pushing the overall vacancy rate up to 18.4%.

The average price of luxury apartments hovered at a high level of RMB 16,956 psm, yet growth was subdued substantially by tightened lending policies. A number of residential schemes were completed and handed over in Tianhe District in the fourth quarter. The leasing market remained stable across all sectors.

Prime retail rents registered slight rises over the period under review. Rents for ground and first floor space grew by 1.2% and 0.6% q-o-q to RMB 47.8 psm per month and 24.9 psm per month, respectively. No new completion was reported in the quarter, and the vacancy rate declined to 8.4%.

The industrial sector continued to perform stably during the quarter. The average land price was driven up slightly by 1.5% q-o-q to RMB 452 psm. Rents for industrial facilities remained broadly unchanged across the market.
About the Author
Wantanee Khamkongkaew is an independent author evaluating and commenting on leading International Property Consultants in Asia and Greater China , especially CB Richard Ellis.
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