Residential buildings under construction in Taiyuan, Shanxi province. (Photo/CNS)
A number of residential apartment projects across China are in jeopardy as property developers face rising debts and bankruptcy, reports our Chinese-language sister paper China Times.
Earlier this month, seventeen house owners in Nanjing in eastern China's Jiangsu province recently threatened to jump off the top of an unfinished eight-story apartment building in protest against work stopping at the site.
The protesters took to the roof of the construction, holding placards reading "Ready to jump off building to safeguard rights." The new building was set for completion last year but work stopped in May.
The apartment building project was developed by local firm Yingjia Real Estate, which is reportedly on the verge of bankruptcy. One of the company's other projects has already been taken over by the city government after it failed to pay construction bills.
The Yingjia case is part of a growing bankruptcy trend seen in the real estate sector in China. Over ten housing construction projects have been suspended because of funding problems since March alone. They were located in many provinces across the country, including Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Anhui, Hubei and Hainan.
Chen Guoqiang, deputy chairman of the China Real Estate Society, said that trading in the housing market began to slow down towards the end of 2013. Many developers subsequently plunged into financial crisis as banks raised restrictions on loans for housing construction projects.
More and more debt-ridden developers have been forced to stop ongoing construction projects, Chen said, adding that placing properties in a trust, launching private funds and borrowing money from private lenders has become the companies' "last straw."
A Zhongrong International Trust manager surnamed Zeng told the paper that the slowdown in the housing market was not a result of policy control but market adjustments. "Trust management companies are now all very careful when investing in real estate," Zeng stated.