For those of you unable to listen to the entire call at this time, a recording will be available via webcast until November 24 on our corporate website at www.century21cn.com/english. At this point, I would like to turn the call over to Mr. Donald Zhang.
Thank you, Josh. Good day to everyone and thank you for joining us on this call.
China’s real estate market in the third quarter continued to be strongly affected by the stringent regulatory environment, and secondary market sales remained at depressed levels.
That said – we are beginning to see prices decline in some areas, a positive sign that the regulations are achieving their intended effect. This has been stronger in suburban areas, although we are also seeing limited price drops in city centers. Also, in some markets there have been changes in the loan approval process, which has resulted in first time homebuyers being able to secure loans somewhat more quickly.
As downward price pressure continues, many potential buyers appear to be waiting for prices to fall further. That said, we are hopeful that we have reached the bottom of the market in terms of secondary transaction volumes.
As you know, our strategy has been to diversify our revenue base in real estate services. And we’re making encouraging progress here. In particular, our primary business line, as well as primary sales through our retail store network saw strong growth in the third quarter.
We believe that primary sector sales [via exclusive contracts] are going to be a key growth area for Century 21 China. First – developers still have a lot of room to reduce prices, which we think will translate into higher primary volumes in the quarters ahead. Second – real estate developers are increasingly realizing the benefits of leveraging Century 21 China’s network of retail locations and established client base. This has been the case in the more sophisticated Shenzhen and Shanghai markets, and we’re just beginning to see traction in the Beijing market.