The transaction amount of real estate merger and acquisition deals in China exceeded $80 billion last year, up 30.6 percent year-on-year, according to a new research report released by consultancy firm PriceWaterhouse Coopers.
In 2017, the number of real estate M&A deals reached 482, up 6.4 percent from a year earlier.
The report said that three main drivers behind real estate M&A activities were achieving economies of scale, acquiring land reserves, as well as diversifying and transforming growth models.
In the future, the trend of real estate M&A will be the transformation of operation modes, said Franklin Zhai, PwC China Deals Real Estate Partner.
Real estate companies are seeking new growth points outside the property business. They changed from the current heavy asset business structure to a light asset model that focuses on tourism, finance, the internet, and other major industries.
In terms of the type of investors, in 2017, real estate M&A transactions continued to be led by corporate buyers. Meanwhile, the activity of private equity funds increased, and the number and amount of transactions increased by 96 percent and 83 percent, respectively.
Last year, South China's Guangdong province became the region with the largest transaction amount, with $19 billion in real estate M&A, followed by Beijing ($8 billion) and Shanghai ($6 billion).
The report showed that China's top-ranking property enterprises continued to maintain rapid growth and industry concentration increased further. More companies achieved 50 billion yuan in revenue, while small companies (less than 50 billion revenue) grew much slower than the industry average.
In 2017, the sales amount of China's top 20 real estate companies exceeded one-third of the nation's total sales, up 7.3 percentage points from the previous year.