Chinese Developer Accepts Wheat, Garlic as Payment to Woo Buyers
Comment of the Day

June 21 2022

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Chinese Developer Accepts Wheat, Garlic as Payment to Woo Buyers

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

As China’s property slump persists, one developer is trying to entice farmers to buy homes by accepting their crops as payment. 

Central China Real Estate Ltd. is offering to pay farmers as much as 160,000 yuan ($24,000) for their wheat to offset down payments for homes in its River Mansion residential project in Shangqiu, a city in Henan province, according to a Monday marketing post. Weeks ago, it offered to accept garlic from growers looking to buy homes in another project in Kaifeng city.

The move reflects how far some developers are willing to go to attract wary homebuyers as the economy slows and the industry endures a crippling cash crunch. Central China, the country’s 37th-largest builder, recently sought state support when its parent company agreed to sell a stake to the provincial government. 

Its perk to farmers appears aggressive. Central China was offering to buy wheat at 4 yuan a kilogram, higher than the record 3-3.1 yuan that China’s state stockpiling company was purchasing the grain for earlier this month. 

Landlocked Henan is China’s largest wheat-producing area. The country just had another bumper harvest of winter-sown wheat. 

Similarly for garlic, Central China offered to pay 10 yuan a kilogram last month. That’s higher than the 6.92 yuan wholesale price as of June 10, according to weekly data released by the commerce ministry. 

Eoin Treacy's view

Property manias tend to start in prime areas and move progressively further into the hinterland. During a crash it is usually the third tier cities and far flung suburbs that see the most aggressive selling pressure. Eventually, even the prime areas take a hit. China’s tier 3 cities have seen an epic bull market in housing as capital fled the exorbitant prices in the tier 1 cities. It is a measure of how desperate the company is to make sales that it is now willing to accept volatile commodities rather than insist on cash.

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