This week, anxious home buyers poured into the sales office of a housing complex in central China, only to find cranes idle and homes unfinished.
Images from the complex show bare steel and uncovered balconies of the complex’s 16 housing blocks, which are all in various stages of completion.
Evergrande Group, a real estate conglomerate, had been unable to raise funds to pay banks, investors, and suppliers, and had been forced to halt construction on several projects.
Evergrande Oasis, a housing complex developed by Evergrande outside the city of Luoyang in Henan Province, was intended to house over 20,000 people.
“If Evergrande goes bankrupt, its assets may be frozen, and we will lose the home,” said Tan Liangliang, a member of a social media group that includes about 200 concerned buyers at the project.
According to victims, sales agents advised some buyers to wait. The complex is one of more than 1,300 in over 280 cities across the country.
Late last month, the company announced that some projects had been halted due to payment delays to suppliers and contractors.
Due to the firm’s liquidity crisis, rating agencies have repeatedly downgraded it in recent months. Meanwhile, declining property sales exacerbated the company’s deteriorating cash flow.
Over the years, China’s second-largest property developer has been highly leveraged, relying on debt to fuel its growth. Evergrande made $110 billion in sales last year, but its current crushing $300 billion liabilities are nearly three times that amount.