Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sound familiar, only different?

"Urban residential values
have risen 155 percent nationwide since reforms 13 years ago
created a private residential market in the communist nation.

Prices in Shanghai almost quadrupled over the past decade.

...In October, hundreds of homeowners demonstrated over cuts
...at another project in Shanghai...

There have also been ...reports of similar protests in Beijing
and the industrial city of Shenzhen near Hong Kong.

“This is certainly sending a very alarming signal,” said Cheng Li,
a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.
“If property prices really go down,
there will be a serious political crisis led by the middle class.”

...prices may fall 10 percent this year
and another 10 percent in 2012.

Huang Yiping, a Hong Kong-based...
said the drop would be between 10 to 30 percent
in the next 12 months.

...China’s emerging middle class represents a potent new force...
...from housing to the environment
they are voicing their opposition online and on the streets.

...Property directly accounts for 12 percent
of China’s gross domestic product
even before taking into account building materials,
furnishings and appliances...

A drop in real estate prices could undermine the value
of the collateral for about 40 percent of the loans issued
by China’s biggest...

Falling land values may also impact local governments
which depend on them for one-third of their revenue...

...The home-buying boom
has contributed to a doubling of household debt in China
since 2008...

Concerned a bubble was forming,
the government this year stepped up measures to curb the market,
including limiting home purchases in some cities,
raising down payments and warning
...to cut back loans to builders.

That’s left some developers facing a liquidity crunch,
necessitating price cuts to ensure enough sales are made
to pay off upcoming debts and payrolls."

Fan Wenxin and Shai Oster

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