A number of leading mainland developers may be at risk of defaulting on their debt this year because of liquidity problems amid the deteriorating economy and property market, according to Standard & Poor's.

Credit analyst Bei Fu said yesterday she expected the property market to remain volatile this year with a low transaction volume and falling prices, which might force developers with tight liquidity into defaults.

Inventory had been building up as potential buyers were taking a wait-and-see approach, Ms Fu said.

According to official data, there was 136 million square metres of unoccupied space on the mainland in the first 11 months last year, up 15.6 per cent year on year.

South China Morning Post