World · June 23, 2022

Chinese developers accept wheat and offer free pigs

From accepting grain or garlic as a partial payment, to offering live pigs as an incentive to buyers, the unusual sales tactics underscore the dire state of China’s vast real estate industry. A slump in sales has accelerated since developer Evergrande defaulted on its debt last year due to the slowing economy.

Central China Management – a subsidiary of Central China Real Estate, the largest developer in central Henan province, said in a recent announcement that it will accept grain down payments for homes in Minquan County.

The announcement was posted on the company’s official WeChat account this week. Buyers can use the grain to offset up to 160,000 yuan (nearly $ 24,000) of their down payment. The new homes the company is offering sell for between $ 100,000 and $ 124,000, according to Leju Holdings, a real estate service provider.

Grain it’s not the only pantry staple that’s part of the developer’s promotion campaign.

In a separate announcement last month, the company said it was willing to accept garlic as a down payment for a residential project in Qi County, Henan Province.

“As part of the new garlic season, the company has made a firm decision to benefit garlic farmers in Qi County,” the company said in a WeChat post late last month. “We are lovingly helping farmers and making it easier for them to buy houses,” she added.
An announcement from Central China Real Estate said it will accept garlic as a down payment for homes in Qi County, Henan Province.

Henan Province is an important production center in China for both wheat and garlic.

Management of Central China did not respond to a request for comment and on Wednesday deleted its wheat ad from WeChat. The campaign was widely reported in the Chinese media and set a trend on social media.

“This is solid proof of how weak housing demand is,” a Weibo user said Tuesday.
The Chinese real estate market is in a deep crisis, hit by an economic slowdown, tight Covid restrictions and a debt crisis that is spreading among developers. Property sales fell 31.5% from January to May, accelerating from the 21% drop recorded in the first four months of this year, according to official data shown last week.
China cuts key interest rate as housing sales plummet

A recent survey by China Real Estate Information, a private research firm, indicated that sales of the country’s top 100 developers plunged 59% in May compared to a year ago.

Authorities have stepped up efforts to revive home sales by lowering mortgages rates and loosening the rules on home purchases.

Meanwhile, more and more developers are coming up with imaginative ways to track sales.

Poly Real Estate, a leading developer in the country, said it would give away to buyers a 100 kilogram (220 lb) pig if they buy a house in his residential project in Lianyungang city in eastern Jiangsu province. The company even offered to have the pig slaughtered for the customers.

“Buy a house and get a 200 cat ‘Peppa’ pig. Get a good life in one stop,” Read the announcement, posted on the company’s WeChat account last week, using the popular British cartoon character to refer to the pig.

Poly Real Estate said in an announcement that it would give homebuyers a 200-cat pig for a project in Jiangsu Province.

A “Catty” is a traditional Chinese unit of weight and equals 500 grams. A 200-cat pig is worth around 1,630 yuan ($ 242), according to the latest government price data. Homes in the project cost between $ 184,000 and $ 260,000, according to Leju’s data.

Poly Real Estate did not respond to a request for comment.

Pork is the essential meat in China, and the country produces and consumes the most pork in the world.

Correct: An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed to the wheat and garlic advertising campaigns to an affiliate company.