The Nanfang / Blog

Is China’s Real Estate Bubble Bursting?

Posted: 11/18/2014 1:57 pm

real estate bubbleAfter decades of increasing prices, China’s property market looks like it is heading in the other direction. The price of new homes in 79 of China’s large and medium-sized cities fell in October, with Hangzhou hit the hardest. The Zhejiang city saw prices decline by over 9 percent.

Sixty-seven large and medium-sized cities saw prices drop from the year before, while prices rose in only three cities.

The secondary market wasn’t much better. Prices of second-hand real estate dropped in 65 out of 70 large and medium-sized cities, rose in four, and remained the same in another.

Photo: Caijingxiangboshu

Haohao

Chinese Spending Big Bucks On Housing In The Name Of Their Children’s Education

Posted: 11/17/2014 10:30 am

school districtDespite the threat of a looming real estate bubble, according to the National Statistics Department of China, real estate prices have actually fallen.

Data shows that, with the exception of Xiamen, housing prices have dropped in 69 out of 70, large and mid-sized Chinese cities. Additionally, prices for resale property have also dropped, with many Guangzhou real estate intermediaries reporting that prices and sales are down across the board.

There is however one exception in Chinese real estate that remains steadfast in the face of the downward trend, reports Xinhua. People are purchasing real estate in prime school districts for the sole reason of procuring a hukou residential permit that allows their children to attend the local school. Given that parents are not concerned about living in the area, or even renting out the apartment, these units tend to be quite small; but, since demand is driving up their value, they are extraordinarily expensive.

Wang Wa, a real estate broker, says these types of properties continue to rise in value while the value of other residential properties decline. Wang describes one such example of this trend in Beijing:

Because of the competition for places next to excellent, well-known elementary schools, the prices for these places has risen. We just closed a RMB 1.35 million deal on a place that is just 4.4 square meters large. Each square meter of this location is worth RMB 310,000.

The trend has hit Guangzhou as well. Buyers that purchased real estate to obtain a hukou residential permit accounted for 8.8 percent of all Guangzhou housing sales in September 2014, a rise of 2.3 percent from August.

Huang Tao, a real estate company manager had this to say:

Compared with last year, there has been a slight 2% rise; now, concentrated areas of second-hand properties in school districts are now worth RMB 35,000 to 40,000 per square meter.

The competition to enrol children into good schools is a Chinese phenomenon that starts in kindergarten. While a good school will no doubt provide a child with good education, the school’s reputation is central to the child’s future enrolment in good, if not better, schools in the future.

Photo: house.sina

Haohao

Guangdong Woman, with RMB 44 Billion, Named China’s Richest

Posted: 10/22/2014 8:55 am

Two Chinese women standing in front of a Cartier shop

Yang Huiyan, a 33 year-old woman from Shunde, Guangdong, was voted the richest woman in China for the fourth year in a row by Hurun Research Institute, reported Nandu. Hurun valued Yang’s net worth at a whopping RMB 44 billion ($7.2 billion).

A majority shareholder of her father’s real state company, Country Garden Holding, Yang has nabbed the title more than any other woman in the nine years Hurun has published the rich list. Most of the other women on the list come from the property and financial sectors, accounting for 28 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

Guangdong is home to four of the 50 women on the rich list, Hurun said. The list’s threshold is RMB 5 billion, a 36 percent increase over last year, while the median average wealth for all women on the list is RMB 10.9 billion, a 14 percent jump over the previous year.

While the wealth of China’s richest women is no doubt impressive, it’s still disproportionately lower than the wealth of their male counterparts. Hurun’s wealth threshold for men is RMB 20.5 billion and the median average was RMB 45 billion, more than four times that of women.

Shenzhen and Beijing remain the two most friendly cities for female entrepreneurs, each producing nine women on the list, followed closely by Shanghai.

The title of the country’s second richest woman went to Chan Liwa, president of Fu Wah International Group.

Photos: Red Luxury 

Haohao

China’s Government Officials Are Flooding Into America

Posted: 09/23/2014 3:09 pm
sleeping officials

After a lifetime of service to their country, some Chinese officials can’t wait to escape from it.

China’s government officials may be tasked with serving the country, but many are saving up just so they can leave it.

Naked officials” have come to prominence recently with over 1,000 Guangdong officials reprimanded for having moved their family and assets overseas. However, this doesn’t even scratch the surface. As reported by China Youth Report, Chinese officials have begun forming another demographic that have emigrated overseas to become investors in foreign real estate.

The report is heavily based upon an interview with Wu Guo, a wealthy businessman from Western China who now lives in an upper-class US neighborhood.

Wu’s neighbors and guanxi primarily consist of former Chinese officials who have also emigrated abroad. Wu mentioned an official in his 40s who worked in a railroad department. He decided he had saved enough money a couple of years ago so quit, got himself a fake vacation visa, then took his entire family to America.

These wealthy former Chinese officials primarily invest in real estate, which is common among other groups of Chinese overseas as well.

According to a July report by the US real estate brokers association (NAR), ethnic Chinese purchased $22 billion worth of real estate from April 2013 to March 2014. Chinese buyers were reported to have spent the most at $600,000 each on average. Furthermore, 76 percent of those purchases were made using cash.

An analysis by Yang Ping explains the reasoning behind the tendency to purchase real estate:

My investment may not make a profit, but it will be able to get me a green card.

In 2004 and 2005, Wu noticed a number of Chinese officials emigrating overseas, especially to Beverley Hills and Vancouver. Wu explains how they get away:

(Officials) of lower grade can apply using their own authentic identities. (Officials) with a higher grade will have to apply using a fake identity. Some still receive a salary from (the Chinese government) even after immigrating.

Wu also explains the plight of the “naked official”, and how their position puts them in a compromising position:

The wife and children have already been sent away, and they are getting ready themselves by procuring a green card. However, they are afraid of the risk during their green card application, and so don’t do it.

Once they’ve arrived though, they quickly realize things aren’t the same as they were back in China. Many of them are unable to assimilate into US local society or upper class social circles. Instead, they keep to themselves:

They have money, and so form their own circles. Every day these people eat and drink together, have tea, play mahjong.

But it’s real estate investor Chen Min that categorizes the worst corruption in China as coming from huge bureaucracies, or in distant places beyond the reach of the central government:

(These officials) will come from one of two places: from big cities like Beijing or Shanghai, or from tiny places that you have never heard of.

It comes down to this: A lifetime of toil and moral choices culminates in a decision to escape from the system that made you. Perhaps its for this reason that popular television show Prison Break enjoyed a huge following in China.

Related:

[h/t @ChuBailiang]

Photo: gzxw

Haohao

PRD Today: Street Cleaner Hit Again, Property Sales Down, Huizhou Fire, and Rain Rain Rain

Posted: 05/8/2014 5:05 pm

PRD Today is our daily collection of links and stories from the Pearl River Delta and beyond.

Over the span of four days, three street cleaners have been struck by vehicles on Shenzhen streets leading to two deaths. The latest incident occurred early yesterday morning, when a street cleaner name Zhang was struck and killed. On May 4, a street cleaner was killed when a truck overturned. Another collision with a street cleaner was a hit-and-run incident in Bao’an District.

National real estate sales were down 30 percent over the Labor Day holiday. There were only 49 sales made in Shenzhen, a 36 percent drop from the 133 sales made at the same time last year.

There’s a trend in here, somewhere: The Guang Real Estate Group of Shenzhen has refuted rumors that it is about to close down while also admitting that they have not met key promises to its homebuyers. The group had twice been put on a blacklist by the Supreme People’s Court this past January.

huizhou fire college girls dormitoryA fire broke out at the foreign languages girls’ dormitory at Huizhou College last night at around 9pm. No injuries were reported, and the fire was extinguished within half an hour. An electrical charger is suspected as the source of the fire.

Elsewhere, firefighters rescue a cat trapped up a tall building at Wanxia road and Shekou Street in Shenzhen. It’s this type of ideal service to remind you that police fire warning shots into the air.

10 billion yuan in funds will be allocated towards rectifying the safety hazards of 304 villages in Guangdong Province over the next three years. The plan that will affect 982,000 residents and 5 million migrants will look to improve fire safety, water quality and drainage among other projects.

Performance art is best when hilarious: Two men act out the “toddler public pee dance” while astonished Chinese look on. For a five minute-long video, that’s a whole lot of pee.

Yuan Kejian, the Chairman and General Manager of Shenzhen Century Plaza Hotel, resigns after failing to fulfill his duties.

The Sino–French Business Forum will hold its second meeting at the Sofitel Guangzhou Sunrich on May 15.

In Zengcheng, Guangdong, a woman named Ah Shan said she was violently raped by a gang of four men after she men a man named Xiao Dong on Weixin online. After she had suggested getting a room with Xiao Dong, he in turn mentioned this news to a few of his fellow villagers.

shenzhen subway bathroomPay to pee: If you need to use the bathroom at a Shenzhen metro station, it looks as though you’ll need to pay your fare to get in. That, or you can always use the bathroom outside, the one that is conveniently located everywhere.

Weather: rain is expected to keep falling throughout this upcoming weekend, making for a span of ten days of precipitation.

Photos: Weibo (2, ), Shenzhen News

Haohao

PRD Today: University Stewardesses, Schoolchildren GIF, Crawling Under a Bus

Posted: 05/7/2014 5:37 pm

stewardesses university guangzhouPRD Today is our daily collection of links and stories from the Pearl River Delta and beyond.

In an annual tradition, Guangzhou university students celebrate their graduation by dressing up in various costumes. This year, some students decided to dress for success as their ideal job: airline stewardesses.

The Shenzhen Economic Daily reports that Shenzhen real estate prices have cooled over the past three months. The sale of 2,936 new homes in April signified a slight increase from the previous month, but is a 25.5 percent drop from April of last year.

A mother refused to disclose her son’s HIV-positive condition when admitting him for treatment at a Shenzhen hospital out of fear he wouldn’t be treated. The revelation upset the six doctors and nurses that treated the boy for a head wound, yet it’s unclear if given the choice, they would indeed have refused him treatment.

bed figure four leg lock meme gifAfter having brought you the “flip kiss” meme last month (as well as its backlash), we’re continually pleased at how Chinese schoolchildren are working hard to provide us GIFs worthy of attention. Here’s the figure-four leg-lock bed.

The owner of the electric bicycle factory that burned down in a spectacular blaze last week says he is confident he will be able to rebuild his factory again despite having suffered a loss of RMB 10 million.

ruzi thief stopper dongguan xinjiang barbeque stall

A Xinjiang barbeque vendor in Dongguan named Ruzi is credited with having stopped two thieves in just half a month.

You know, there’s an app for that: Shenzhen drivers can now pay for parking spaces using their cell phones. Called “Easy to Park” (Yitingche), the app will even help drivers paralell park their cars. The trial program will begin in June.

2,000 Shenzhen families have applied to have another child under the “two-child policy”, perhaps to help fill up the 20 large-scale shopping malls planned to be opened later this year.

The most amazing video you’ll see today: An elderly woman is lying on the street, having trouble getting up when she sees a bus coming towards her. So she does the right thing to do in this case: quickly get up, and then crawl under the bus to simulate having been struck by it. Called the “breaking vase” tactic, this often referred to technique online is seldom documented. Until now.

A fourteen year-old Guizhou girl studying to make clothing had only attended classes for three days before she was kidnapped by a person from her own village and forced into a marriage for two years.

Photo: Dongguan Times

Haohao

Shenzhen-based college graduate literally works himself to death

Posted: 11/21/2013 7:00 am

Much has been written about the plight of college graduates trying to survive Shenzhen’s high living costs and competitive job market. A 29 year-old real estate planner based in Shenzhen’s Luohu District who died suddenly on October 29 appears to be another victim of the stresses of life in Shenzhen after his death was attributed to the fact that he was routinely working until three and four in the morning.

Li’s father clutches his son’s photo, image courtesy of Southern Metropolis Daily

Li Maotao, who was born in 1984, came from a poor family who invested everything in his education. In 2006, he graduated from high school in his native Qiyang County in Hunan Province and got into Dalian University to study Engineering Management.

After taking his degree, he was accepted into Chongqing University’s graduate school, but he had to drop out after a few months because his family could no longer support him financially. In March 2011, he came to Shenzhen and got a job at Dingtai Real Estate Brokerage. The base salary was 2,500 yuan, so success was heavily dependent on performance bonuses.

This year he was promoted to planner and his base salary was increased to 4,000 yuan.

After being promoted, he was sent to Xuzhou for six months on a project. While there, he would frequently take to Sina Weibo to complain about the crazy hours he had to work. Li routinely tweeted in the wee hours of the morning, with the latest tweet being recorded at 4:57 a.m.

When it emerged that he was not well, Li was given temporary leave of absence and returned to his hometown. However, just two days after arriving in Qiyang, he died in the local hospital.

The autopsy suggested he had myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, which is usually caused by a virus. He also had an irregular heartbeat.

Southern Metropolis Daily reported Tuesday (November 19) that Li’s family might have grounds for legal action against the Dingtai company, but it must first be established that overwork was directly responsible for his death.

The issue of young, ambitious people doing harm to themselves by working excessive hours is not unique to Shenzhen. This year, Moritz Erhardt, 21, was found dead in the shower at his temporary accommodation in London while he was on a placement at Merill Lynch.

But the young in China are particularly vulnerable to being worked too hard, as this year’s graduates entered the toughest job market in history.

Haohao

Survey: Guangzhou’s middle class save decades for housing

Posted: 03/27/2012 7:44 am

Information Times last week picked up on a report from Savills, an leading international property management service company, with the results from its latest investigation into average residential prices in many Chinese cities as well as the varying local income levels among middle classes in different regions throughout the country.

The Savills report reveals that in Shanghai, which sits at the top of the list, the average middle class family has to save for approximately 30 years in order to purchase a 100 sqm apartment. Tied for second place are Guangzhou and Beijing, in which families must save for an average of 28 years to purchase an equivalent property.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Savills’ statistics also show that the price-to-income ratio (PIR) in several first- and second-tier cities in mainland China is in fact higher than for cities overseas such as Stockholm, Sydney, and even Zurich.

The study also shows that at the same time that income and dwelling size for urban residents has remained roughly stable since 2001, property prices have continued to rise steadily.

PIR figures in China’s top 10 sample cities have soared during every year included in the study, due largely to rising housing prices, save for the last two years when cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou saw PIR figures dip slightly as the result of regulation and market controls.

With regard to the future of housing prices, Liu Deyang, president of Hong Kong-based investment management company First Pacific, remains optimistic that the market will be able to lower prices by between 10-20% over the coming year.

Haohao

If you have cheap rent, lock it in

Posted: 02/17/2011 9:27 am

People out shopping for an apartment in the PRD are finding that prices aren’t as good as they were a few months ago.

Inflation is becoming a growing problem in China as a whole, and rental rates are no exception. From Life of Guangzhou:

In the China’s capital of Beijing, the financial center Shanghai and the southern metropolis Guangzhou, rents have risen by 10 percent for individual homes, stores and office buildings. In Guangzhou, the rent list is five times the length of the leasing list.

The reports on CPI in January, released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics, show this tendency. Individual residence prices went up 7.1 percent compared to the same period of last year, much higher than the rise in other prices.

Let us know if you find any good deals out there, or can recommend any property agents who help you save a few kuai.

Haohao
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