Sunac Sees $11 Billion China Home Sales as Wealthy Buy

Sunac China Holdings Ltd., the Chinese developer in which buyout firm Bain Capital LLC has a stake, expects to sell 28 percent more homes this year than in 2013 even as property curbs in major cities are tightened.

Sales at the luxury-home builder will be 65 billion yuan ($11 billion) this year, Chairman Sun Hongbin told reporters in Shanghai yesterday. The Tianjin-based company sold 50.8 billion yuan of properties last year, it said in a statement on Jan. 6. That was a 61 percent jump from 2012.

The target was “cautious” as demand from rich buyers for luxury homes in big cities remained resilient amid government curbs, Sun said. China’s new-home prices in December had the biggest year-on-year gain in 2013, according to SouFun Holdings Ltd., the nation’s biggest real estate website owner. At least 10 cities have tightened local property policies since November.

“Our target was set to make sure we could meet it amid government measures,” Sun said. “In fact, government curbs will limit supplies of high-end homes, which will be positive for us. I’m confident in the purchasing power of Chinese buyers.”

Shenzhen, Shanghai and Guangzhou raised minimum down payments for second homes to 70 percent last month.

Sunac shares rose 5 percent to HK$5.02 at the close of trading in Hong Kong, the highest in a month. The stock fell 23 percent last year, compared with a 5.9 percent decline in the Bloomberg Asia Pacific Real Estate Index, of which Sunac is a constituent.

Domestic Focus

Sunac’s strategy of focusing on some large cities is a “rational choice” because housing demand is more resilient, and operating in fewer cities means more efficient use of management resources, Haitong International Securities Hong Kong-based analysts led by Hugo Hou wrote in a report yesterday.

The developer, with high-end projects in cities including Beijing and Shanghai, has no plans to expand overseas, Sun said.

“I actually don’t really understand why some developers go abroad,” Sun said. “The biggest Chinese market is domestically. Why should we give up the much bigger market of 1.3 billion people?”

Greenland Holding Group Co., the builder of one of China’s tallest towers, said on Jan. 7 that it will invest 1.2 billion pounds ($2 billion) on two property projects in London, the latest Chinese developer to venture overseas.

— With assistance by Bonnie Cao

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