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Boom AND Bust in China : Property Conundrum

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Boom AND Bust in China : Property Conundrum

 

A Boom or a Bust is bad enough. But to have them both at the same time, provides a big policy-making challenge

 

Gloom, boom, or Bubble? - SCMP

Notes

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+ A pile of unsold flats in small cities, exists at the same time as a biigger problem - a price bubble in major cities

+ Beijing's policies since late 2014 were designed to help the small cities, but they have instead triggered the creation of a bubble in a handful of major cities, and the over-supply in small cities is mostly untouched

+ Shenzhen, the third largest city, and next to Hong Kong, has seen the biggest boom - as home prices jumped 72 per cent last year, from a year ago - example from Shanghai: 352 flats priced at 80,000 yuan (HK$95,477 psf = USD $xxx psf) per square foot, were sold in a single day

+ The trigger for this boom has been six interest rate cuts since late 2014 - and mortgage rates are now at record lows

 

The government is trying to deflate the boom, by cutting back on aggressive lending by non-banking entities

 

The boom itself was triggered by limited supply in the major cities. New commercial home supply plunged 73 percent in Shanghai in February, while prices climbed 24 percent year on year. People have been moving from smaller cities to the large ones, as they seek better paying jobs

 

China still has about 718 million square meters of unsold commercial housing, and that was 15.6 percent more than the end of 2014. When you factor in property under-construction, the unsold supply rises to 6.2 billion square meters.

 

China's rate cuts were designed to use property to boost the economy (much like Greenspan used rate cuts after 9/11 to boost the US economy), but they have created a huge imbalance that will take years to sort out

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