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"The worst is behind us" - J.P. Morgan Jing Ulrich talks about China's property market

(Xinhua)

15:36, March 08, 2012

HONG KONG, March 8 (Xinhua) -- The property market in the Chinese mainland has gone through the worst time, and both transaction volumes and prices are expected to pick up in the second half of 2012, Jing Ulrich, managing director and chairman of global markets, China at J.P. Morgan said here Wednesday.

Ulrich said during the "CFA Institute Asia Pacific Investment Conference" held on Wednesday that the developers in the Chinese mainland has about 12 to 14 months of unsold inventory, with the transaction volumes early on having crashed by about 50 to 70 percent, indicating the property market may remain "sluggish" in the next several months.

However, she said the developers are quite eager to attract buyers in by lowering prices to ease the huge inventory, therefore the transaction volumes are expected to come back and stabilize in the second half of this year.

On the other hand, the housing prices have dropped quite harshly in the last four months, Ulrich said. She visited some property sites in the key cities in the Chinese mainland and found out the prices are coming down by as much as 20 to 30 percent at the high end, and about 10 to 15 percent at the lower end.

She expects the housing prices to keep lowering in the next few months, while starting to pick up some time in the forth quarter of 2012 as the transaction volumes recover, but a major rebound is quite unlikely to be seen.

Ulrich said the tightening program on the property sector has persisted for about 13 to 14 months, and she does not expect any further tightening, instead, people may see some favorable policies coming out at the margin.

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