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China's to speed up construction project approvals - Housing ministry

Reuters citing, the housing ministry, saying that China by mid-year will slash the time needed to obtain approvals for construction projects. In some parts of China, the process now can take more than 1,000 days. It can be reduced to within 120 days.

Vice Minister Huang Yan told reporters, as part of reforms, the housing ministry introduced a shortened approval window in 15 cities and the eastern province of Zhejiang in May 2018, cutting approval time to 120 days from an average of 200 days. The plan to roll out the shorter process nationwide has been approved by the State Council, or cabinet, and is expected to be announced soon.

Local, and sometimes national, approval is needed for projects from residential blocks to roads, bridges and parks.

Cutting red tape is in line with China’s intent to speed up infrastructure spending this year and have a construction boom as part of its efforts to lift domestic demand and economic growth, which has slowed.

Source : Reuters
China new home prices grew at their slowest pace in 10 months in February - NBS

According to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics, prices of new homes in mainland China grew at their slowest pace in 10 months in February, especially in smaller cities. Across 70 cities monitored by the government, prices edged up by 0.53 per cent last month, their slowest pace since April 2018 and down from 0.61 per cent in January.

Yan Yuejin, research director at E-House China R&D Institute, said that “Since property market sentiment cooled last August, it will take a while for buyers to return to the market.”

The prices of new homes rose in 57 out of the 70 cities covered, down from 58 in January and 59 in December. In particular, 35 smaller cities categorised by the bureau as tier 3 towns reported a 0.4 per cent increase, slower than a 0.6 per cent increase a month earlier and the 0.7 per cent gain registered in tier 2 cities.

Prices fell the most – by 0.4 per cent – in Quanzhou, a footwear and electronics manufacturing hub, according to the bureau. An earlier report by consultancy CRIC said Jinjiang, a district under Quanzhou, reported as much as a 73 per cent decline in home sales during Lunar New Year.

Other small cities, such as Yueyang, Bengbu and Huizhou, that reported large declines in sales during Lunar New Year, also recorded price declines.

Yang Kewei, an analyst with CRIC, said that “The Lunar New Year holiday is supposed to be a busy season for developers, as people returning from China’s big cities buy apartments in their hometowns. But this year, this did not materialise. After a bull run, home prices in these cities are already expensive for returnees, and the outlook for further price rises is weak.”

Property sales by area declined by 3.6 per cent year on year across China, and by 2.8 per cent in value against a 12.2 per cent increase last year, according to the bureau.

Source : SMCP
Future of property market lies in China’s small cities - Country Garden chairman

SCMP reported that wherever its rural migrant workers will go, Country Garden Holdings, China’s biggest property developer by sales, will follow.

Mr Yeung Kwok Keung, 64, the company’s chairman, said during its result briefing on Monday “I think highly of small cities and counties. The future of Chinese [property] lies where thousands of migrant workers will settle down.”

Country Garden reported profit slightly ahead of estimates. The Guangdong-based builder’s core profit rose 38.2 per cent last year to CNY 34.13 billion. That just beat the average estimate of 33.8 billion among analysts polled by Bloomberg, but was a far cry from the 126 per cent spike seen in 2017. Its revenue jumped by two thirds to CNY 379 billion, against a CNY 350 billion estimate.

Mr Yeung, born in a farming family, said migrant workers who quit farms for cities, will not go back to these rural areas, and will try to bring their children and families to China’s cities. He said that “However, they cannot afford homes in first or second tier cities. But they can afford homes sold for about 6,000 yuan per square metre in [smaller] counties.”

When asked about the performance of his daughter, Mr Yang Huiyan, who was appointed the developer’s co-chairman in December, he replied “very good” in English. Yeung founded Country Garden in 1992.

Mr Mo Bin, the company’s president, denied rumours that Country Garden was laying off staff amid a downturn in the industry, but confirmed it would continue to build homes in Forest City, the biggest private residential township in southern Malaysia.

Meanwhile, it has been a tough year for Country Garden. In August, Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad said the country would not let foreigners buy property in Forest City, to which Country Garden later said that his comments “may have been taken out of context”.

Source : SCMP
Chinese Group issues letter of intent for USD 2 billion investment in Pakistan

Associated Press of Pakistan reported that the XCMG and HSS Group of China have issued a Letter of Intent highlighting their course of action to materialize its two billion dollars investment recently announced in Pakistan’s housing and manufacturing sectors. “This shows that the foreign investors have started reposing confidence in improving business environment of Pakistan due to investors’ friendly policies of the government, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development remarked while sharing this news with APP.

Earlier, the delegation, representing two Chinese business giants, led by XCMG global sales president Dr Hanson Liu, Chairman HSS Syed Saman Hashmi has apprised Prime Minister Imran Khan of their desire to support the government’s public centric initiatives especially focusing low-costing housing facility and employment opportunities. He said XCMG and HSS Group’s Letter outlined a four-point agenda of the companies for formalizing its investment plan before converting it into a legal instrument.

First of all, Zulfikar said, the investors assured the government to extend financial and technical assistance for construction of one million facilities in support of the prime minister’s 5 million homes project envisioned by the country’s leadership for the low income class of the society.

He said that “The assistance involves designing, building, financing with pre-fabricated steel and concrete assembling house technology.” He added a heavy truck assembly plant would also be established in the Rashakai Economic Zone to ensure Pakistan’s industry development and create local employment under this investment.

Meanwhile, the companies would also provide a solution proposal for sanitation especially, treatment equipments and firefighting engines to the government to make sure the citizen’s safety and convenience.

Source : Associated Press of Pakistan
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