Chinese developers trim sales forecasts amid housing doldrums

SHANGHAI (Bloomberg) - Chinese developers target lower growth for new-home sales this year, as prospects for the real estate market remain in doubt even after the government eased monetary policy and lifted curbs on housing purchases.

Property companies are targeting median growth of 12.6 per cent for contract sales this year, less than 2014's 16 per cent annual gain, a Bloomberg survey of 28 listed developers showed. The median of sales were 42.2 billion yuan last year (S$9.26 billion), short of the median target of 44 billion yuan.

Last year's targets reflected "blind optimism," said Du Jinsong, Hong Kong-based analyst with Credit Suisse Group AG. Developers face "bigger uncertainty" in achieving this year's targets, he said.

The survey shows that developers are still not confident that a slowdown now in its second year will end. The government last month sought to prop up the flagging market by cutting the down-payment requirement for some second homes. The central bank has also cut interest rates twice and and reduced banks' required reserves.

Shenzhen Investment Ltd., Beijing Capital Land Ltd. and Powerlong Real Estate Holdings Ltd. were the only companies forecasting sales increases of more than 20 percent this year, the survey showed.