Chongqing Real EstateBrand-new residential block in Chongqing 2016

Inventories of China's 137 real estate companies listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses exceeded 3 trillion yuan ($461.3 billion) in 2015, according to statistics from Wind, a financial data provider.

Of them, the top five listed real estate companies by market value took up 42 percent of the total inventories.

Excluding Greenland Holdings which debuted on the A-share market last August, the remaining 136 listed companies had total inventories of 2.64 billion yuan, an increase of 328.1 billion yuan or 14.21 percent from 2014.

Greenland Holdings posted 397.06 billion yuan of inventory, outpacing the country's largest residential developer China Vanke Co Ltd, which saw inventory up 15 percent from 2014 to 368.1 billion yuan in 2015.

The inventories data were higher than that for the areas or value of homes for sale, the Securities Daily quoted Yan Yue, director of the think tank center of Shanghai-based E-house China R&D Institute, as saying.

Inventories, as listed in property developers' financial statement, cover many items, including housing inventory, land reserves, and projects under construction, he said.

That said, housing inventory remains a large item, he noted, adding that the inventories data tally with the phenomena that some real estate developers, especially those mid-sized ones, bid for land actively last year.

Inventory turnover, an indicator for a company's ability to manage inventory and pay off short-term debts, varied largely among different companies.

China Vanke, for instance, shortened inventory turnover days from 1,139 in 2014 to 893 in 2015, while Shanghai Capital Development Co Ltd prolonged inventory turnover days to 2,100.