Chinese Wary of Buying Property Despite Stimulus

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
September 6, 2023China in Focus

A property slowdown is hitting Shanghai.

Residents in the Chinese financial hub are buying fewer homes while fearing for the economy.

Beijing rolled out a string of measures last week to revive China’s debt-riddled property sector including lower mortgage rates for first-time homebuyers.

But they don’t seem to be enough to tempt residents like freelancer Li Yang.

“For now I wouldn’t want to buy a house. To be honest, no matter what policies come out, it won’t reach the point where ordinary people would want to buy a house,” Mr. Li said.

John Lam, head of China and Hong Kong property at UBS Investment Bank Research, expects more easing measures to be announced soon.

But he still believes property transactions will drop by about 15 percent in the second half of the year.

“If the sales continue to decline, or do not have material impact from the policy easing, then we may continue to see the price decline here,” Mr. Lam said.

Leading developer Country Garden is scrambling to avoid default and fears of contagion to other property firms are mounting.

There are concerns developers may struggle to complete projects.

It’s not just the cost of borrowing putting buyers off – white-collar workers are taking pay cuts and unemployment is high.

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