Zhongshan: experts look beyond the crisis

Local real-estate portal Leju pulled together some leading property experts to discuss the impact of the coronavirus on the Zhongshan housing market. The general prognosis was: short-term tough; long-term stable. They concluded:

Fan Yibin, deputy general manager of Time China Zhongshan company

The current epidemic situation has frozen the market, and supply will be constrained for an uncertain period. This has some positive effects, however. For buyers, demand will be pent-up. For developers, lessons are being learned about paying better attention to design, improving healthcare support facilities, and may result in “healthy housing” becoming a new niche. After the epidemic, I hope that Zhongshan’s policies on house purchase and online signing can be relaxed, and that more support can be given to the real estate industry by the banks. The rest of 2020 will be tough, but longer-term trends are stable.

Tang Shuai, Marketing Director of Poly Development, Zhongshan:

Compared with catering and tourism, the impact of the epidemic on real estate is relatively small. The Spring Festival is not our traditional hot sales period, and the impact of the epidemic wll be temporary. The resumption of work and normal operation in Q1 will be affected. However, real estate is still an important economic pillar of the country. The industry’s fundamentals are still good, however. More healthy, green and livable products will be favored by the market in the future.

Luo Huanwen, marketing director of Helenburg Real Estate Group, Zhongshan:

In the short term, there will be a longer sales cycle, but after the market returns to stability, Zhongshan will still develop steadily. Mortgage rates are coming down, while credit lines are being eased, and it is possible that there will be further policy support coming. Zhongshan is still a relative bargain in the GBA: less than one third of Guangzhou, one fifth of Shenzhen, and one tenth of Hong Kong.

Li Bing, marketing director of Zhongshan Hesheng Dijing City:

Three key points to keep in mind: 1) This epidemic will likely accelerate the development of smart cities, smart offices, etc; 2) At present, the situation in Zhongshan is controllable and manageable; and 3) The impact will be greater for non-local and investment customers. House prices in Zhongshan may drop slightly in the first half of the year, but not over the whole year. In the meantime, online marketing and transaction development will be speeded up. 

Ding Baoquan, general manager of Zhongshan, Nanfang Daily:

Offline sales are dead, but this is stirring innovation and in the future, online house buying and house hunting may become a new normal. After the epidemic, there may, in fact, be a big sales boom. On the whole, the sales volume of Zhongshan real estate market will not be greatly reduced, but the price should be slightly reduced. 2020 will be the best year to buy houses in the past three years.

Zhi Jianjun, senior development director of Zhongshan Zhongyuan Property Consulting: 

If the epidemic continues to March or even May/June, most real estate enterprises will be under great pressure, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. They need help with regulatory restrictions and capital. For most customers, however, the epidemic will not affect the decision to buy a house. The long-term market will likely be robust after the epidemic. Zhongshan has 9.34 million square meters of commercial housing. Considering the impact of the current epidemic, the turnover in 2020 will be lower than that in 2019. However, the fundamentals of the overall real estate are relatively stable.

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