CASS: 85% of Chinese families can’t afford houses

Reported in the People’s Daily on Dec 8th: 85% of Chinese families can’t afford houses.

According to Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), 85 percent of Chinese families can not afford housing expenditure, and house prices are much higher than their incomes. The situation was pointed out in the Blue Paper on Analysis and Prediction of Chinese Economics in 2010 issued by CASS Dec. 7, 2009. The Blue Paper says that house prices are 3 to 6 times greater than people’s incomes; therefore it will be very difficult to buy a house for citizens. Furthermore, the average ratio of house prices to incomes in China, 2009 will be 8.3, well beyond the scope of reasonable affordability. In fact, it will be 22.08 for migrant workers and 29.44 for farmers in 2009. Because of this, 85 percent of Chinese families do not have the ability to buy their own future houses.

This is a very important fact. Chinese real-estate runs a big spectrum. Of the 15% of people that actually can afford a “house”, this means a 40 sqm condo in an hour commute from the city.

So, how many people can afford the huge inventory of 150-300 sqm luxury condos that are being stock piled like bricks of gold? Beyond the people that own them already, my guess is pretty close to nobody.

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