Posts filed under “Think Tank”
Today I offer you an insightful look at China’s real estate market – a “burgeoning bubble” that deserves a close eye as the possibility for breaking increases. Remember the chaos in Japan after their own housing dreamscape got violently yanked back to earth? As investors, we have to recognize opportunities – and know what to avoid. With a global economic crisis – and now surging housing prices in China – investors in any global market need to keep watch on political and economic developments around the world.
Today’s analysis comes courtesy my friends at STRATFOR, a global intelligence company. They provide unique and on-the-money analysis and forecasts on all things global, essential for any alternative investment strategy. They’ve got a free newsletter as well, for which I encourage you to sign up by clicking here – so you’re not limited to my caprice.
Editor, Outside the Box
The China Files (Special Project): Real Estate
October 13, 2009 | 1149 GMT
The real estate market in China, particularly the residential side, is a burgeoning bubble that is growing bigger and more breakable by the day. Land and housing prices were already rising steadily when Beijing’s stimulus package hit the sector in early 2009. Now prices are surging, with developers, bureaucrats and investors cashing in while urban Chinese – once encouraged to invest in home ownership by the central government – become less and less able to buy.
Editor’s Note: This analysis is part of a series that explores China’s industry, finance and statistics.
Related Special Topic Page
PDF Version: Click here to download a PDF of this report
On Sept. 10, China Overseas Land and Investment, a Hong Kong-listed company and a subsidiary of state-owned China State Construction Engineering Corp., purchased a prime piece of real estate in the Putuo district in downtown Shanghai. The company paid 7.006 billion yuan ($1.026 billion) for the undeveloped property, which will amount to an average of 22,409.3 yuan ($3,283.9) per square meter of floor space (just in land costs) once the designed residential building is constructed.
The purchase created China’s newest “land king,” a term for the real estate developer who pays the highest price for a piece of real estate during a land auction. And 7.006 billion yuan was the highest price ever paid for a piece of Chinese real estate for any purpose – residential or commercial. The milestone is a result of an increasingly intense competition for land in major cities that began early in the year, when Beijing began distributing stimulus money to various industries – including the real estate sector – to sustain the economy. As a result, land prices have soared throughout China. And with increasing speculative investment in residential real estate, the market faces a surging bubble that jeopardizes the country’s long-term economic development.
Since 1998, real estate investment in China has accounted for more than 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), compared to only 3 percent to 5 percent in the United States. Such investment is also closely associated with many other industries, such as construction and finance, and it provides an abundance of jobs. Therefore, it is seen as a critical pillar of China’s economy and enjoys favorable policies from the government and state-owned banks (more than 70 percent of real estate investment in China comes from bank loans). At the same time, real estate developers, local government officials and investors have escalated housing prices across the country by acquiring massive land holdings, limiting the supply and inflating prices, creating a real estate bubble that is not sustainable in the long run.
Category: Think Tank
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