China’s Property Bubble: Andy Xie

Over 64 million electricity meters register zero consumption for six months.

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1027218_warning_icon_glossy_15Economist Andy Xie blogs about empty flats in China. He writes:

How many flats in China are sitting empty? The media recently floated a story — denied by power companies — that 64.5 million urban electricity meters registered zero consumption over a recent, six-month period. That led to a theory that China has enough empty apartments to house 200 million people.

Statistical transparency is lacking in this area, so the truth about empty apartments remains under wraps. Publishing accurate data should be of the highest priority, since the size of the nation’s unused apartment stock is perhaps the most important measure of the extent and seriousness of China’s property-market bubble. Indeed, it’s a grave concern for policy making, since unpublished data may indicate not only a price bubble but a quantity bubble burdening the market. Read the full blog post here.

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