A blog on Chinese economy & society

Vacant homes in China

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How severe is the Chinese property bubble is one of the most heated debate these days. An earlier report from the South China Morning Post about 64.5mn vacant homes, enough to accommodate 200mn people has everybody (as in here, and here) talking.

The problem with these seemingly shocking figures is that China had only completed 577mn sq m of residential housing in 2009 (National Bureau of Statistics), the highest amount in 10 years. Even assuming a conservative 70 sq m (753 sf) per home, it still comes up to only about 8mn homes.  To have 64.5mn vacant homes would imply that every unit built in the past 10 years is vacant!

So what is the true vacancy rate? The developers insist that it’s only in the single digit (yeah right!) while the doomsayers would have you believe it’s closer to 30%. No, I don’t know what the true number is. But reports like this only serve to illustrate that most in the media have already made up their mind on the state of Chinese property market, and as such any writeup they offer may simply be propaganda from either side of the debate.


Written by Cindy Luk

August 1, 2010 at 2:24 am

Posted in China, Industries & Companies

Tagged with ,

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