"Moody's expects property sales to grow in the single digits in percentage terms over the next 12 months," says Franco Leung, a Moody's Assistant Vice President.
"Easing mortgage financing for first-time home buyers, increasing development of mass-market products, solid underlying demand, and continuing urbanization will lead to improved sales, which in turn will lower the inventories of property developers," he adds.
Leung was speaking on the release of a new Moody's report on the Chinese property market titled, "Improving Sales and Access to Funding Support Stable Outlook ," which he co-authored with Kaven Tsang, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Analyst. The report outlines Moody's expectation for the sector over the next 12 to 18 months.
Developers have been recording positive year-on-year growth in sales since June, after they started building more mass-market housing, which caters largely to first-time homeowners. These first-time buyers are usually based in lower-tier cities, where the government's restrictions on home purchases are less stringent.
"But average selling prices are likely to decline mildly for at least the next 12 months, because developers have now shifted their focus to mass-market projects and away from luxury homes," Tsang says.
In addition, Moody's believes that the Chinese government is unlikely to impose further regulatory restrictions to tighten the property market, because the current restrictions have been effective in controlling speculation and reining in prices.
In the absence of a material increase in average selling prices -- a situation that Moody's believes is unlikely -- the regulatory environment will not change significantly in 2013.
"A further cut back in investment in the property sector would also weigh on an already slowing economy and make it difficult for the government to achieve its stated target of GDP growth of 7.5%," Tsang adds.
Moody's also expects that developers will be able to refinance debt maturities expiring in the next two years, as a variety of funding channels, such as offshore bond financing and asset sales, are now available to them. In addition, only a limited amount of offshore bonds will mature between 2012 and 2014.
Subscribers can access the report at http://www.moodys.com/research/China-Property-Industry-Improving-Sales-and-Access-To-Funding-Support--PBC_147771. ***
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