Guangdong-based Country Garden achieved contracted sales of RMB 580.8 billion ($89.3 billion) in 2017 to oust billionaire Xu Jiayin’s Evergrande Real Estate from its position as China’s biggest selling developer and seize the title as mainland sales king, figures from real estate website Guandian show.
Although the same three developers dominated the top ranks of China’s homebuilders in 2017 compared to 2016, the ranking within that triumvirate changed as Country Garden moved past last year’s leader Evergrande and 2016 runner-up China Vanke to jump from third to first in the mainland developer rankings.
The change in the three leading postions came as the country’s ten largest developers boosted their contracted sales by a total of 45.5 percent compared to 2016, to reach RMB 3.19 trillion ($489.5 billion) for 2017, according to Guandian’s figures.
Country Garden Sales Surged 88% in 2017
Guangzhou-based Country Garden recorded a jump of 88 percent in sales value from 2016’s RMB 309 billion ($47.5 billion) to RMB 581 billion ($89.3 billion). Meanwhile, 2016 champion Evergrande saw a 36.7 percent increase in its sales to RMB 510.4 billion ($78.4 billion), as its growth rate slowed from the 85.4 percent expansion recorded from 2015 to 2016.
Country Garden reached its 2017 high water mark by selling units at 959 projects in China as of mid-2017, mostly in the provinces of Guangdong, Jiangsu and Anhui, the company’s figures show. The Guangdong-based developer has also continued to make cross-border acquisitions in the past year despite the government’s clamp down on capital outflow. Country Garden picked up a 60 percent stake in a waterfront residential site in Hong Kong’s Ma On Shan for HK$2.44 billion ($312.3 million) in September and also continues to the $100 billion Forest City mega-project in Malaysia as well as multiple suburban residential projects around Sydney and Melbourne.
Despite that sales progress, Country Garden in December scrapped a planned IPO on the Shanghai stock exchange due to China’s tightened scrutiny of initial public offerings. The developer planned to list its Guangdong Country Garden Property Services for a maximum of RMB 1.1 billion ($166 million).
Sunac Jumps into the Top Five
The biggest change rise in sales, and the largest leap up the developer rankings came from is Sun Hongbin’s Sunac. The Tianjin-based developer grabbed headlines last year with a debt-fueled series of acquisitions, but also saw sales grow by 130 percent from RMB 150 billion ($23 billion) in 2016 to 360 billion ($55.3 billion) last year. The surge propelled Sunac from seventh place among the country’s biggest selling developers in 2016 to fourth place last year.
In the fifth through tenth spots among China’s property developers were Poly Real Estate Group which achieved contracted sales of RMB 315 billion, Greenland Group with sales of RMB 275 billion, China Overseas Land and Investment at RMB 202 billion, Longfor Properties at RMB 155 billion, China Fortune Land Development at RMB 146 billion, and Greentown China Holdings with RMB 145 billion, according to data compiled by Guandian.