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China plans real estate fund worth up to $44 bln for distressed sector -source – Financial Post

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BEIJING/HONG KONG — China will launch a real estate fund to help property developers resolve a crippling debt crisis, aiming for a warchest of up to 300 billion yuan ($44 billion) in a bid to restore confidence in the industry, according to a state bank official with direct knowledge of the matter.

The move would mark the first major step by the state to rescue the beleaguered property sector since the debt troubles became public last year.

The size of the fund would initially be set at 80 billion yuan through support from the central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the person, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter, told Reuters.

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He said state-owned China Construction Bank will contribute 50 billion yuan into the 80 billion yuan fund, but the money will come from PBOC’s relending facility.

If the model works, other banks will follow suit with a target to raise up to 200 to 300 billion yuan, he added.

A key pillar of the world’s second-largest economy, China’s property sector has been lurching from one crisis to another, and has been a major drag on growth over the past year. A revolt by homebuyers this month heaped more headache for authorities.

Some analysts said a fund would only provide part of the solution.

“We don’t know details of the fund yet. If just 80 billion it’s not enough to solve the problem,” said Larry Hu, chief China economist at Macquarie. “I believe the fund would be part of the bigger package to solve the current debt and mortgage crisis, because it alone would not solve all the problems … we need a real estate recovery.”

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Reuters has reached out for comment from China Construction Bank, the PBOC and China’s cabinet, the State Council.

Global investors are fixated on any twists and turns in China’s property market, which along with related sectors such as construction, accounts for more than a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The source said the fund will be used to bankroll the purchases of unfinished home projects and complete their construction, and then rent them to individuals as part of the government’s drive to boost rental housing.

Such a move would underline the importance the central government attaches to providing more affordable homes for young people at a time when some local governments have been reluctant to build rental housing because land sales are a major source of income.

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Henan-government backed Zhengzhou Real Estate, which set up one of the first local bailout funds in the country last week with state-owned Henan Asset Management amid the mortgage boycott, plans to use 20 billion yuan to acquire 50,000 units and turn them into rental housing, according to a notice by the Zhengzhou authorities this month seen by Reuters.

PROPERTY SHARES RALLY

Turmoil in China’s property market, from the debt crisis, to credit tightening and the mortgage boycott, have battered confidence in the sector and seen authorities scramble to avert problems spilling into the broader economy.

“If the (fund) can be realized in the near future, it helps avoid more developers from defaulting and also helps to improve market sentiment as well as developers’ sales,” said Raymond Cheng, head of China research at CGS-CIMB Securities.

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The latest news propelled the Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index more than 5% early on Monday, and it was up 3.5% in mid-afternoon trading. The CSI 300 Real Estate Index rose almost 2.0%.

Financial information provider REDD first reported details of the real estate fund on Monday.

The fund would support more than a dozen property developers, including embattled China Evergrande Group , REDD reported, citing unidentified sources.

Regulators and local governments would select the developers eligible for support from the fund, REDD said, adding that the fund could be used to buy financial products issued by the developers or finance state buyers’ acquisitions of their projects.

Beijing is also considering a national policy for issuance of special bonds for shantytown redevelopment, the report said. ($1 = 6.7553 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Beijing Newsroom and Clare Jim in Hong Kong; Additional reporting by Kevin Huang in Beijing; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Shri Navaratnam)

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Hong Kong Billionaire’s K. Wah Wins Shanghai Real Estate Bid, Sees “Excellent” Opportunity – Forbes

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Hong Kong billionaire Lui Che-woo has been making successful investments in Shanghai real estate since the 1980s, such as K. Wah Center set along the city’s swank Huai Hai Road. A new project coming amid the country’s economically painful zero-Covid policies took a big step forward on Friday when his flagship K. Wah International Holdings said it had won a joint tender bid for HK$4.18 billion, or $532 million, to develop land on the city’s western side.

K. Wah, though a subsidiary, will hold 60% of a joint venture in partnership with two state-owned companies to develop residential and commercial property in an area planned for artificial intelligence and healthcare-related businesses, the announcement said.

K. Wah said the project “represents an excellent investment opportunity for the group to be engaged in a transit-oriented development to expand its presence in the Shanghai property market, replenish the group’s land bank and is in line with the group’s business development strategy and planning.”

The announcement comes after China’s overall GDP growth fell to 0.4% in the second quarter from a year earlier. In Shanghai, where millions experienced lockdowns of varying duration in the April-June period, GDP shrank by 5.7%. China’s relations with the United States and Europe have been strained by Beijing’s close ties with Russia and recent military exercises near Taiwan.

Mainland-born Lui, worth $12.1 billion on the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires list today, moved to Hong Kong at age four. Possessing only an elementary school education, he helped his grandmother run a retail outfit that sold food staples in Hong Kong as a teenager. In the late 1940s he re-exported army surplus, and by 1950 was buying construction equipment from Japan and selling it to Southeast Asia. In 1964 his was the first private company to obtain quarrying rights in Hong Kong, thanks to a record bid.

After that, Lui started building undistinguished residential housing there. Lui was also an early investor in China, buying into a quarry in Shenzhen in 1980 and later acquiring a land bank in Guangzhou. K. Wah Center opened in Shanghai in April 2005; beside real estate, part of his fortune also comes from the Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group.

Another long-term Hong Kong success story in Shanghai property development, Shui On Land, led by billionaire Vincent Lo, noted in a filing last month China’s short-term business outlook faces uncertainties. “The Chinese economy faces considerable headwinds amid a highly uncertain geopolitical environment, tense U.S.-China relations, and tightening monetary policy in the advanced economies,” it said. “The property sector debt issue will take time to resolve. Still, the government has the policy means and experience to handle the developers’ debt restructuring process and address the suspended project issue.”

And yet Shui On, whose Shanghai projects include city’s iconic Xintiandi nightlife and shopping area, was nevertheless upbeat about the longer-term investment prospects there. “Although the immediate outlook is less than favorable, the impending market correction should enable us to acquire assets in prime locations at attractive prices during what could be a golden era for new investment,” it said.

See related posts:

World Will Have Nearly 40% More Millionaires By 2026: Credit Suisse

The 10 Richest Chinese Billionaires

Taxes, Inequality and Unemployment Will Weigh On China After Party Congress

U.S. Business Optimism About China Drops To Record Low

Pandemic’s Impact On China’s Economy Only Short Term, U.S. Ambassador Says

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Real estate markets slow in most nearby communities – Calgary Herald

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Slowing demand and rising supply in outlying communities like Airdrie have set in along with cooler temperatures of late summer, recent data shows.

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Calgary Real Estate Board statistics from last month show sales falling year over year in most communities while supply is rising.

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“In all those markets, we’ve seen improvements in inventory,” says Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist with CREB.
“Still these markets remain quite tight, but we are seeing some price adjustments and that’s because they came up so high during the pandemic.”

Airdrie is the largest and most in-demand market with the highest sales last month, 169 transactions, down almost eight per cent year over year. Still, the community saw inventory rise more than 10 per cent with now more than 1.69 months of supply, an increase of nearly 20 per cent from last year.

Other communities have also seen sales fall and supply rise. These include Cochrane, which had 75 sales, down about 17 per cent from August last year. Its supply is now more than two months, up about 26 per cent year over year.
Okotoks had 53 sales in August, down about 19 per cent year over year while supply grew to more than 1.8 months.

Despite falling demand and growing supply, prices still grew year over year in these communities. The benchmark price in Airdrie increased almost 19 per cent to $493,500. In Cochrane, the benchmark price grew by more than 16 per cent to $517,400 while the benchmark reached $549,300 in Okotoks, also an increase of more than 16 per cent.

Chestermere saw the biggest drop in sales year over year at more than 48 per cent.

Only High River experienced a slight increase in activity with sales last month up 2.5 per cent versus the same span last year.

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Spotlight: Making sense of the current real estate market in Newmarket – NewmarketToday.ca

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Buying a home at any time is a huge undertaking. It requires a lot of preparation, time and access to expertise.

Homeowners—and those who wish to become one for the first time—have it even harder right now, with conditions seeming to change from month to month.

REALTOR® Dave Starr specializes in home buying and selling in Newmarket and the surrounding areas. With over 35 years of experience in the real estate industry, he is happy to share what he’s learned with others.

Slowing things down

So how would he describe the current state of the market in Newmarket? “It’s finally more normal and realistic,” he says. “A prospective buyer has a little more breathing room to make sure that their financing is in place and they can also consider a home inspection.”

A seller will benefit by working with a more seasoned agent, he says, because they have had prior experience with similar markets. He likens the situation to a professional athlete who has played in the playoffs before or competed in a large-scale event like the Masters in golf.

Earlier in the year, the market was not realistic.

That tended to leave buyers, sellers and agents scrambling. “The end result can be a situation with buyer’s remorse, where the buyer no longer wants to close on their purchase. The banks sometimes struggle with appraisals, which can also result in a non-closure,” he says. “In the fast-paced market that took place earlier, some agents potentially made more mistakes, especially since they weren’t experienced enough to handle multiple offers.”

Home inspections and interest rates

While some homes may not require a home inspection, there are lots that definitely need one. “In an extremely busy market, buyers could potentially end up with an unwanted surprise—at a great expense,” says the REALTOR®.

He likens it to the necessity of having speed limits on our roadways. The faster you go, the more chances you have of getting into an accident.

“We are now facing an increased mortgage rate, which many would not like to see, but the truth is it will help balance the market overall. Lower interest rates basically were one of the reasons for the inflated house prices and homeowners were simply taking on larger mortgages than ever,” he says.

For years many homeowners would tell him the same thing: that mortgage money was cheap to them. His answer to that never varied: “You do know you have to pay it back at some point.” If the rate were guaranteed for a lifetime, it would be a different story, but of course that’s not the way it works.

The market over the summer was slower but typical; that has become the norm over the past few years.

The fall market is already starting to pick up, with increased activity, though the number of listings in Newmarket is quite low. Rental availability is both quite expensive and experiencing a shortage.

Says Starr, “The market moving forward should remain stable. Buyers and sellers will have more time to make the best educated decision for their needs and wants.”

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, he welcomes any calls or emails.

Let Dave Starr Real Estate help you make your next move. Call 416-520-3231 and get the Starr treatment you deserve.

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