Announcing China’s Top 5 Real Estate Billionaires for 2012

It has been a tough year for the real estate industry in China, but despite the current downturn, 5 of the 16 wealthiest people in China come from the property business, according to the Forbes’ list of the The 400 Richest Chinese which was published yesterday.

As a service to all of you aspiring property barons out there, Mingtiandi has assembled this top five including their rank on Forbes’ overall list, and some background regarding their companies.  Our thanks to Forbes for letting us steal their photos and facts for this humble blog.

#6 Hui Ka Yan

 Net Worth US$ 6.2 billion

China real estate billionaire Hui Ya Kan

Hui is the head of Evergrande Real Estate Group, one of the largest property developers in China. Despite the downturn, and thanks to heavy discounting sales last year at Evergrande, the Guangzhou developer he founded in 1997, rose sevenfold to $7 billion.

#7 Wu Yajun & family

Net Worth US$ 5.9 billion

China real estate billionaire Wu Yajun

Wu runs commercial and B-grade residential developer Longfor Properties out of Beijing. Despite problems with credit reports from Moody’s, the company’s stock rose more than 30% since last year.

#11 Yang Huiyan

Net Worth US$ 4.5 billion

China real estate billionaire Yang Huiyan

The fortunate Ms Yang received her father’s share in Country Garden Holdings in 2007, and the company’s plans to develop 17 5-star hotels in China have helped propel their stock upwards by 54% in the last year.

#15 Wang Jianlin

 Net Worth US$ 4.0 billion

China real estate billionaire Wang Jianlin

Mr Wang is the chairman of Wanda Group, whose chain of Wanda Plaza malls stretches across several cities in China, and also develops hotels and theatres. The company’s business partners include Wal-Mart and Starwood.

#16 Zhang Xin & family

Net Worth US$ 3.3 billion

China real estate billionaire Zhang Xin

Zhang Xin and her spotllight-loving husband Pan Shiyi run SOHO China and their love for media attention and market aggression seem to have paid off this year as their 2010 sales rose 146% and secured them the #5 spot among China’s real estate billionaires.

Altogether there were six real estate billionaires among the top 20 on Forbes list, with Lu Zhiqiang of Oceanwide Real Estate Group coming in at number 19 with a net worth of US 3.1 billion. Of course, this is only counting individuals whose companies list real estate as their primary business. In reality, many of these China billionaires have substantial real estate holdings, which may in many cases outweigh the value of the company’s other assets. But that’s a topic for another day.

Number one on the Forbes China Rich List was Liang Wengen of Sany Group, and the complete list can be found here.

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