China’s Stumbling Property Sector Shows Long Road To Recovery
Kanebridge News
    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,635,570 (+0.09%)       Melbourne $990,779 (-0.14%)       Brisbane $1,002,534 (+0.89%)       Adelaide $899,189 (+1.63%)       Perth $853,385 (-0.01%)       Hobart $727,599 (-0.08%)       Darwin $665,330 (-2.24%)       Canberra $1,030,329 (+2.00%)       National $1,054,780 (+0.44%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $758,114 (+0.56%)       Melbourne $494,774 (+0.21%)       Brisbane $562,776 (+0.42%)       Adelaide $448,109 (+2.19%)       Perth $451,267 (-0.77%)       Hobart $504,603 (-1.31%)       Darwin $357,621 (+2.79%)       Canberra $496,414 (-0.41%)       National $532,600 (+0.26%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,429 (+70)       Melbourne 14,915 (+41)       Brisbane 7,933 (-18)       Adelaide 2,089 (-116)       Perth 5,787 (-101)       Hobart 1,241 (+4)       Darwin 244 (-2)       Canberra 988 (+18)       National 43,626 (-104)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,586 (+58)       Melbourne 8,221 (+87)       Brisbane 1,635 (+21)       Adelaide 372 (-9)       Perth 1,517 (-36)       Hobart 198 (-10)       Darwin 404 (-2)       Canberra 1,028 (+31)       National 21,961 (+140)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $820 (+$3)       Melbourne $600 (-$5)       Brisbane $650 ($0)       Adelaide $600 ($0)       Perth $680 ($0)       Hobart $550 ($0)       Darwin $750 ($0)       Canberra $680 (+$10)       National $676 (+$1)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $760 (-$10)       Melbourne $595 (-$5)       Brisbane $640 (-$3)       Adelaide $500 (+$5)       Perth $620 ($0)       Hobart $450 ($0)       Darwin $540 (-$10)       Canberra $550 (-$10)       National $596 (-$5)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 5,832 (+125)       Melbourne 6,113 (+155)       Brisbane 4,426 (+39)       Adelaide 1,506 (+63)       Perth 2,727 (+138)       Hobart 431 (+13)       Darwin 95 (-3)       Canberra 602 (+6)       National 21,732 (+536)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,046 (+377)       Melbourne 6,071 (+301)       Brisbane 2,272 (+28)       Adelaide 373 (+1)       Perth 740 (-4)       Hobart 143 (+14)       Darwin 136 (+6)       Canberra 746 (+30)       National 20,527 (+753)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 2.61% (↑)        Melbourne 3.15% (↓)       Brisbane 3.37% (↓)       Adelaide 3.47% (↓)     Perth 4.14% (↑)      Hobart 3.93% (↑)      Darwin 5.86% (↑)        Canberra 3.43% (↓)       National 3.33% (↓)            UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND         Sydney 5.21% (↓)       Melbourne 6.25% (↓)       Brisbane 5.91% (↓)       Adelaide 5.80% (↓)     Perth 7.14% (↑)      Hobart 4.64% (↑)        Darwin 7.85% (↓)       Canberra 5.76% (↓)       National 5.81% (↓)            HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.8% (↑)      Melbourne 0.7% (↑)      Brisbane 0.7% (↑)      Adelaide 0.4% (↑)      Perth 0.4% (↑)      Hobart 0.9% (↑)      Darwin 0.8% (↑)      Canberra 1.0% (↑)      National 0.7% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.9% (↑)      Melbourne 1.1% (↑)      Brisbane 1.0% (↑)      Adelaide 0.5% (↑)      Perth 0.5% (↑)      Hobart 1.4% (↑)      Darwin 1.7% (↑)      Canberra 1.4% (↑)      National 1.1% (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND         Sydney 28.9 (↓)     Melbourne 30.3 (↑)        Brisbane 30.8 (↓)       Adelaide 25.4 (↓)     Perth 36.1 (↑)      Hobart 37.8 (↑)      Darwin 35.1 (↑)        Canberra 28.5 (↓)     National 31.6 (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND         Sydney 29.6 (↓)       Melbourne 30.2 (↓)     Brisbane 29.6 (↑)        Adelaide 25.4 (↓)     Perth 38.3 (↑)      Hobart 30.1 (↑)        Darwin 46.7 (↓)       Canberra 38.0 (↓)     National 33.5 (↑)            
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China’s Stumbling Property Sector Shows Long Road To Recovery

Pressure isn’t expected to ease as data for two key sectors came in negative for July.

By Cao Li
Mon, Aug 1, 2022 11:43amGrey Clock 5 min

China’s major economic pillars wobbled in July with weakness in manufacturing and the all-important property sector, showing the pressure on a country that remains a drag on the struggling global economy.

Chinese manufacturing activity unexpectedly contracted in July, as Beijing’s stringent Covid-19 restrictions and weak demand undercut hopes for a more robust economic revival.

The official manufacturing purchasing managers index pulled back to 49.0 in July from 50.2 in June, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said Sunday. The result left the index below the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction and short of the median forecast of 50.3 among economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, a nascent two-month recovery in China’s home sales ended in July as a widespread mortgage revolt over concerns that ailing property developers wouldn’t be able to deliver still-unfinished apartments weighed on demand.

Sales at the country’s top 100 property developers fell a sharp 39.7% in July from the same period last year to the equivalent of $77.6 billion, or 523.14 billion yuan, according to data released Sunday by China Real Estate Information Corp., a Shanghai-based real-estate data provider.

July sales were down 28.6% from June, ending a two-month recovery in month-to-month sales growth. Apartment sales showed increases in May and June from the previous months as activity picked up following long Covid-19 lockdowns in Shanghai and other Chinese cities earlier this year.

The results in manufacturing and real estate, itself accounting for one-third of China’s economy by some estimates, underscored how far the country remains from any semblance of postpandemic normalcy.

Although local governments across China have grown more adept at controlling Covid-19 outbreaks swiftly and with fewer disruptions than in previous months, Beijing has reaffirmed its commitment to strict zero-Covid policies for the foreseeable future.

And while municipalities have stepped up activity to support the property sector and tamp down public anger over unfinished apartments, the central government has yet to come up with the sort of broad rescue fund that some economists say is needed.

On Thursday, the Politburo, the top policy-making body of China’s ruling Communist Party, indicated the government remains comfortable with its approach. It toughened its language on the importance of containing Covid-19 and explicitly cited political considerations in balancing pandemic controls and economic growth. It also offered little sign that it would relent from its property-sector regulatory campaign.

In mid-July, China reported that gross domestic product expanded at a meagre 0.4% annual rate in the second quarter compared with a year earlier, its weakest growth rate in more than two years, highlighting the depth of the damage caused by stringent lockdowns. The poor showing has prompted top leaders to effectively acknowledge that the government’s official GDP target of roughly 5.5% growth in 2022 is now out of reach, barring a big stimulus push that Beijing has all but ruled out.

Chinese officials speaking Sunday nodded to the challenges ahead for the economy.

“The foundation of economic recovery still needs to be consolidated,” said Zhao Qinghe, a senior official at the statistics bureau, citing insufficient market demand and weakness among energy-intensive industries as particular sources of concern.

The negative readings come as growth in the U.S. has weakened as well.

The U.S. economy shrank for a second quarter in a row, as the country’s housing market buckled under rising interest rates and high inflation took steam out of business and consumer spending.

The U.S. Commerce Department said GDP adjusted for seasonality and inflation fell at an annual rate of 0.9% in the second quarter after a 1.6% contraction in the first three months of the year.

The two consecutive declines meet a rule of thumb for a recession. While the U.S. determines recessions differently, its economy is clearly decelerating.

Economic growth in the eurozone accelerated in the second quarter, buoyed by the lifting of most pandemic restrictions even as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent energy and food costs surging.

The European Union’s statistics agency on Friday said the combined gross domestic product of the eurozone’s members was 0.7% higher in the three months through June than in the first quarter.

Still, business surveys for July suggest the eurozone is already experiencing a decline in economic activity, and Russian cuts to natural gas supplies would add to the pressures on the economy.

The pressure on major world economies comes as global economic activity and consumers have been broadly hurt by supply disruptions and price increases triggered by imbalances arising from the pandemic and worsened drastically by the war in Ukraine. Aggressive interest-rate increases by major central banks around the world are expected to further suppress economic activity.

In China’s manufacturing sector, only 10 of the 21 industries surveyed by the statistics bureau showed expansion in July compared with 13 in June.

China’s export sector, a key growth engine for the country’s initial postpandemic recovery, continued to disappoint. In July, the PMI subindex tracking export orders remained in contractionary territory for a 15th consecutive month.

More downside risks remain after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised its benchmark lending rate by another 0.75 percentage point in late July, its second such move this summer, in a bid to combat inflation. Tightening rates in the U.S. and other major economies threaten to stifle overseas demand for Chinese-made goods, economists say.

Joblessness among workers age 16 to 24 has soared, rising to a record 19.3% in June from 18.4% in May. The subindex tracking employment edged down to 48.6 from 48.7 in June, the statistics bureau said Sunday.

Separately on Sunday, China’s official nonmanufacturing PMI fell to 53.8 in July from a reading of 54.7 in June, the statistics bureau said. The subindex measuring service-sector activity pulled back to 52.8 in July from 54.3 in June, while the subindex tracking construction activity rose to 59.2 from 56.6.

While both subindexes remain in expansionary territory, strict social restrictions requiring, for instance, PCR testing results to board public transit or enter restaurants in many cities as well as quarantines for those traveling from one city to another, continue to cast a shadow over consumer demand, especially for restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues.

The weaker PMI readings took place against the backdrop of continued sporadic Covid-19 outbreaks in July, though the lockdowns were largely confined to less-developed regions of the country, including landlocked Gansu province in China’s arid northwest and poor, mountainous Guangxi in the southwest.

Meanwhile, the property-market weakness that began late last year has gone from bad to worse in recent weeks as home buyers across the country threaten to halt mortgage payments for unfinished apartments, which in turn has further weakened developers and some regional banks, scared off other potential home buyers and dented market confidence more broadly.

The revolt started at the end of June at a China Evergrande Group project in Jingdezhen, a city in south-central China’s Jiangxi province, where frustrated home buyers threatened to renege on mortgages on unfinished properties. Hundreds of buyers from roughly 320 projects across the country had followed suit as of July 29, according to a tally of statements from homeowners who said they would stop paying their mortgages circulating on GitHub, a Microsoft Corp.-owned coding-collaboration site.

Home buyers—some waving signs saying “Construction stops and mortgage stops!”—say the threat to halt payments is the only way to get their voices heard as projects stall and delivery times drag out. A broadly slowing economy that is biting into employment and incomes is adding to the pressure. Some buyers say they are increasingly unwilling to keep paying for a home they aren’t sure they will ever receive.

Week-over-week data put together earlier by CRIC to study the impact of the mortgage revolt had signalled the July decline. In 30 cities CRIC determined to have been seriously affected by the revolt, new-home sales dropped by 12% in the week ended July 10 from the week before, then fell another 41% in the week ended July 17.

Pressure on the government is building, but hopes among some developers, investors and creditors for a large real-estate rescue package from Beijing remain unrealized. The Politburo made clear recently that local governments are ultimately responsible for fixing the property woes in their markets.

Budget-strapped local authorities have strained to boost property demand, resorting to increasingly creative measures. Dozens of cities have lowered down payments and interest rates. Some are offering outright cash subsidies. Others have announced relief funds for cash-strapped developers or plans to take over troubled projects.

Even so, said Song Hongwei, a research director of Tongce Research Institute, which tracks and analyzes China’s real-estate market, “the sector won’t stabilize if developers’ liquidity crunch is not relieved.”

Reprinted by permission of The Wall Street Journal, Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: July 31, 2022.



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A Killer Golf Swing Is a Hot Job Skill Now

Companies are eager to hire strong players who use hybrid work schedules to schmooze clients on the course

By CALLUM BORCHERS
Fri, Jun 14, 2024 5 min

Standout golfers who aren’t quite PGA Tour material now have somewhere else to play professionally: Corporate America.

People who can smash 300-yard drives and sink birdie putts are sought-after hires in finance, consulting, sales and other industries, recruiters say. In the hybrid work era, the business golf outing is back in a big way.

Executive recruiter Shawn Cole says he gets so many requests to find ace golfers that he records candidates’ handicaps, an index based on average number of strokes over par, in the information packets he submits to clients. Golf alone can’t get you a plum job, he says—but not playing could cost you one.

“I know a guy that literally flies around the world in a private jet loaded with French wine, and he golfs and lands hundred-million-dollar deals,” Cole says.

Tee times and networking sessions have long gone hand-in-golf-glove. Despite criticism that doing business on the course undermines diversity, equity and inclusion efforts—and the fact that golf clubs haven’t always been open to women and minorities —people who mix golf and work say the outings are one of the last reprieves from 30-minute calendar blocks

Stars like Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie West helped expand participation in the sport. Still, just 22% of golfers are nonwhite and 26% are women, according to the National Golf Foundation.

To lure more people, clubs have relaxed rules against mobile-phone use on the course, embracing white-collar professionals who want to entertain clients on the links without disconnecting from the office. It’s no longer taboo to check email from your cart or take a quick call at the halfway turn.

With so much other business conducted virtually, shaking hands on the green and schmoozing over clubhouse beers is now seen as making an extra effort, not slacking off.

Americans played a record 531 million rounds last year. Weekday play has nearly doubled since 2019, with much of the action during business hours , according to research by Stanford University economist Nicholas Bloom .

“It would’ve been scandalous in 2019 to be having multiple meetings a week on the golf course,” Bloom says. “In 2024, if you’re producing results, no one’s going to see anything wrong with it.”

A financial adviser at a major Wall Street bank who competes on the amateur circuit told me he completes 90% of his tasks by 10 a.m. because he manages long-term investment plans that change infrequently. The rest of his workday often involves golfing with clients and prospects. He’s a member of a private club with a multiyear waiting list, and people jump at the chance to join him on a course they normally can’t access.

There is an art to bringing in business this way. He never initiates shoptalk, telling his playing partners the round is about having fun and getting to know each other. They can’t resist asking about investment strategies by the back nine, he says.

Work hard, play hard

Matt Parziale golfed professionally on minor-league tours for several years, but when his dream of making the big time ended, he had to get a regular job. He became a firefighter, like his dad.

A few years later he won one of the biggest amateur tournaments in the country, earning spots in the 2018 Masters and U.S. Open, where he tied for first among non-pros.

The brush with celebrity brought introductions to business types that Parziale, 35 years old, says he wouldn’t have met otherwise. One connection led to a job with a large insurance broker. In 2022 he jumped to Deland, Gibson Insurance Associates in Wellesley, Mass., which recognised his golf game as a tool to help win large accounts.

He rescheduled our interview because he was hosting clients at a private club on Cape Cod, and squeezed me in the next morning, before teeing off with a business group in Newport, R.I.

A short time ago, Parziale couldn’t imagine making a living this way. Now he’s the norm in elite amateur golf circles.

“I look around at the guys at the events I play, and they all have these jobs ,” he says.

His boss, Chief Executive Chip Gibson, says Parziale is good at bringing in business because he puts as much effort into building relationships as honing his game. A golf outing is merely an opportunity to build trust that can eventually lead to a deal, and it’s a misconception that people who golf during work hours don’t work hard, he says.

Barry Allison’s single-digit handicap is an asset in his role as a management consultant at Accenture , where he specialises in travel and hospitality. He splits time between Washington, D.C., and The Villages, Fla., a golf mecca that boasts more than 50 courses.

It can be hard to get to know people in distributed work environments, he says. Go golfing and you’ll learn a lot about someone’s temperament—especially after a bad shot.

“If you see a guy snap a club over his knee, you don’t know what he’s going to snap next,” Allison says.

Special access

On a recent afternoon I was a lunch guest at Brae Burn Country Club, a private enclave outside Boston that was the site of U.S. Golf Association championships won by legends like Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones. I parked in the second lot because the first one was full—on a Wednesday.

My host was Cullen Onstott, managing director of the Onstott Group executive search firm and a former collegiate golfer at Fairfield University. He explained one reason companies prize excellent golfers is they can put well-practiced swings on autopilot and devote most of their attention to chitchat.

It’s hard to talk with potential customers about their needs and interests when you’re hunting for errant shots in the woods. It’s also challenging if you show off.

The first hole at Brae Burn is a 318-yard par 4 that slopes down, enabling big hitters like Onstott to reach the putting green in a single stroke. But to stay close to his playing partners and keep the conversation flowing, he sometimes hits a shorter shot.

Having an “in” at an exclusive club can make you a catch. Bo Burch, an executive recruiter in North Carolina, says clubs in his region tend to attract members according to their business sectors. One might be chock-full of real-estate investors while another has potential buyers of industrial manufacturing equipment.

Burch looks for candidates who are members of clubs that align with his clients’ industries, though he stresses that business acumen comes first when filling positions.

Tami McQueen, a former Division I tennis player and current chief marketing officer at Atlanta investment firm BIP Capital, signed up for private golf lessons this year. She had noticed colleagues were wearing polos with course logos and bringing their clubs to work. She wanted in.

McQueen joined business associates on the golf course for the first time in March at the PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. She has lowered her handicap to a respectable 26 and says her new skill lends a professional edge.

“To be able to say, ‘I can play with you and we can have those business meetings on the course’ definitely opens a lot more doors,” she says.

MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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