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Cake day: 2023年9月22日

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  • Shenyang in north-east China is offering 100 yuan (£11) a sqmetre subsidies for some homebuyers. Kaifeng in central Henan province is offering an income tax refund to anyone who buys a new property within a year of selling their old one. Changhsa, the capital of Hunan province, is encouraging developers to offer no-questions-asked refunds of housing deposits if a buyer changes their mind within seven days.

    Local stimulus, which differs from Central government policy because contrary to popular belief the Chinese government is not a monolith. Different provinces want to get investment at the cost of other provinces, but this does not change the fact that in aggregate China’s bubble is actively being deflated by the actions of the central government. The prevailing trajectory of the market, and the actions which the central government have taken in this regard, are very clear. In modern terms, this is “picking up pennies in front of a freight train.”

    Last month, the state-owned People’s Bank of China (PBOC) unveiled a 300bn yuan relending fund to support local governments and state-owned enterprises to buy up unsold stock and turn it into affordable housing. The central bank also lowered the minimum downpayment required for prospective buyers.

    sigh do you know what the minimum down payment for a home in central Beijing is? 50%.

    Give me an action that indicates the central government is not trying to institute a controlled collapse (“soft landing”) of the real estate market. The numbers don’t lie, but apparently you do.



  • The Guardian doesn’t speak Chinese (or rather, they don’t understand it). Their reporting on China is consistently incompetent for that single fact. They refuse to dig through Chinese reports and Chinese data because they can’t understand it. The data is right there, plainly published for the world to see.

    If they did, they would know that real estate’s contribution to GDP has fell off a cliff ever since Xi Jinping declared “housing is for living, not for speculation.” If they did, they would know that investment into real estate has pretty much entirely collapsed and shifted into manufacturing (clean energy, EVs, nuclear, robotics, etc.) If they did, they would know that their stories about “ghost cities” a few years back… Ended up being, well, cities. If they did, they would know that the prevailing thought on Chinese social media is that the government is allowing real estate developers to fall… And they’re definitely falling.

    That’s what the data tells us. The bubble is actively deflating as we speak, and many estimate it to have been in excess of a 1% headwind on GDP growth in 2023… Citi just revised their projections of full-year GDP growth to 5%, and so have Goldman Sachs and BNP Paribas.



  • Developers losing money and consolidating property assets in the government? What, exactly, does this threaten?

    GDP growth? It’s been a 1.5% headwind, and China is still blowing through GDP projections.

    Climate change? The collapse of the construction industry has been a huge net positive for emissions reductions.

    Housing prices? Those have been going down.

    Savings? Only insomuch as if you intended to own multiple homes (that is, you’re the landlord class). Otherwise, you still own a single home that you need to live in.