16 Oct '11, 5am

Credit crunch in China hurts property developers

SHANGHAI: Property developer Zhang Xin made a fortune over the past decade on the back of a building boom fuelled by China's blistering economic growth and the privatisation of its housing market. Now the co-founder of SOHO China, one of the nation's leading developers, is worried Beijing's efforts to cool the sector are hurting sales and threatening to send some debt-laden property developers to the wall. "In my sixteen years as a developer this is by far the most challenging year I've ever had, in terms of what we could sell," Zhang, chief executive of Beijing-based SOHO, recently told reporters. China has invested heavily in property -- about $750 billion in 2010 alone -- since it privatised the market in the late 1990s, ending decades of state allocated housing and enabling a growing middle class to own their own homes. But with real estate investment now a key driver ...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...

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