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Tianjin Property Insight - Oct 2016

​Who will fill the void left by P2P tenants?

Anyone watching the Tianjin skyline is aware that the city has been adding new office buildings at a fast pace over the past decade. As we have mentioned in a previous article, “Strata-title: A danger worse than empty buildings,” some landlords have opted to sell space floor-by-floor or even unit-by-unit in order to lessen their financial burden. However, many landlords remain intent on leasing their space in this increasingly competitive market. One challenge the landlords have is to determine which sector is going to provide the demand needed to lease out all this space? In 2014 and 2015, thanks to financial innovation, the emergence of a new industry – so called “peer-to-peer lending” or P2P – became a welcome driver of office demand. These companies were aggressively expanding throughout the city and leased much of the surplus space from new office completions, as explained in last year’s publication, “Will Shadow Banks save China Developers?” However, after a number of P2P companies declared bankruptcy, the government has stepped in to limit the registration of new P2P companies, which has led to a major slowdown in office demand in Tianjin and many other Tier 2 cities.

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