Evergrande takes China's 2016 real estate crown
Longtime sales leader Vanke knocked from top spot
YU NAKAMURA, Nikkei staff writer
GUANGZHOU -- China Evergrande Group for the first time claimed the top spot in Chinese real estate sales in 2016, supplanting rival China Vanke.
Based in Guangdong Province, which includes the metropolises of Shenzhen and Guangzhou, Evergrande sold condominiums in more than 100 cities nationwide last year. Its property sales shot up 85% from 2015 to 373.3 billion yuan ($54.4 billion), benefiting from soaring condo prices in mainly large cities, as investment money gravitated to real estate amid a lackluster stock market.
Vanke's sales climbed 40% to 364.7 billion yuan. Ranking third was Country Garden, which is also based in Guangdong Province and saw sales double to 308.8 billion yuan.
Vanke had stood atop China's real estate industry for many years, but in late 2015 it was subjected to hostile bids by investment companies and later allowed Evergrande to acquire a large stake. This disruption appears to have been a factor in Evergrande taking the lead.
Evergrande spent some 36.3 billion yuan buying Vanke shares, amassing a more than 14% stake and raising the possibility of playing an active role in Vanke's management in the future.