採訪/朱智善 編輯/李謙 後製/孫寧
Chinese realty gets a chill in the year of horse, state media say collapse nears
China’s land market in first-tier cities is still lively as 2014
kicks off, with “land kings” showing up frequently.
But an awkward situation has appeared in the real estate
market where valuable house aren’t being purchased, and
the property market turnover has even fell by over half in Jan.
Meanwhile, increasing property market crashes cases
in mid-sized cities have only added to the chill.
Real estate tycoon Ren Zhiqiang once said
housing market risks would be felt in 10 years.
Now, in a rare occurrence, CCP mouthpiece media say
China’s real estate bubble will collapse this year or next year.
Beijing house market also suffered a harsh chill entering 2014.
Compared to January last year, Beijing’s new commercial
house contract volume has dropped by a hefty 53.9%.
Second-hand housing turnovers dropped 20.1%, down 55.2%,
and the average price of transactions fell 1.87%.
It’s been two consecutive months of decline for Beijing
second-hand housing turnovers and prices.
The Guangzhou property market is also in a downturn, with
mainland Chinese media reporting that the new commercial
housing turnover fell 16% in January, down 48%, marking the
lowest turnover since January last year.
Building prices in central areas are down 10%.
Xie Tian, University of South Carolina economics professor:
“The huge decline of new and old house turnovers in Beijing,
Guangzhou, Shenzhen and other first-tier cities may be
the beginning of China’s overall property market collapse."
Although housing sales are in decline, the land market in big
cities is still bustling with high turnovers.
Land transfer fees have broke 100 billion yuan ($16.5 billion)
in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou;
land kings are appearing one after another.
This means that the housing market in first-tier cities
is still rising and the frenzy hasn’t quit.
Chinese Financial expert Niu Dao recently published on his
blog an article titled, “China Real Estate facing collapse."
He says Chinese real estate speculators still plot
and scheme to inflate house prices on overvalued land,
which is typical when serious panic is setting in.
Niu Dao says the civil statistics show that housing prices fell
in 360 cities among 600 third and four-tier cities last year;
and some even fell by 50%.
On Feb. 8, CCP mouthpiece Xinhua published
a rare article with experts saying China’s property bubble
will collapse within two years.
It highlights the serious urgency of China’s real estate problem.
The Chinese website of U.S. based Epoch Times reports that
on Chinese New Year’s Eve, a county government
in Shandong province assigned its staff to a special task:
They must help sell two new commercial houses in 2014.
This is another strange episode of housing market crisis
following ghost city in Ordos and other places.
In addition, land sales have become a problem in these cities.
Statistics show the local government must pay 2.38 trillion
yuan ($393 billion) in debts relying on selling land in 2014.
Land Bureau staff say they have to find developers to sell the
land even some land selling conditions are not good.
Xie Tian: “I expect China’s real estate bust
should largely start from the second and
third-tier cities, slowly affecting the first-tier cities."
Economics professor Xie Tian says the major reason for
the money shortage in mainland China is because
the big loans going into the housing market are trapped there.
The mainland real estate bubble will inevitably collapse with
continually high housing prices and tight monetary situation.
In response to the housing crisis, the Chinese authorities tried
different ways to slow down rising housing prices,
including by building more affordable housing.
But Chinese financial think tank researcher and China expert
Gong Shengli questions this.
Gong Shengli, Chinese financial think tank researcher: “If the
affordable housing is more than one-third, you can imagine
China’s real estate will polarize because such two-track system
will cause disaster to the root of the market economic system."
Gong Shengli emphasizes that real estate registration and
other measures are effective in Western countries.
Under the two-track system of planned economy and market
economy, the Communist rule style deviates from the system
and market economy.
He says if the authorities adopt legislative means to manage
real estate and increase the housing prices without changing
systems such as household registration (hukou), the actual
result is likely to be a growing bubble and more ghost cities.
Interview/ZhuZhishan Edit/LiQian Post-Production/SunNing