Daily Management Review

Former Chinese Official Claims Even China's 1.4 Billion People Cannot Occupy All The Vacant Dwellings


Former Chinese Official Claims Even China's 1.4 Billion People Cannot Occupy All The Vacant Dwellings
Even China's 1.4 billion people wouldn't be able to fill all the vacant flats strewn around the nation, a former official claimed on Saturday in a rare instance of public criticism of the crisis-hit real estate sector in the nation.
The once-important Chinese real estate market has been in free fall since the real estate behemoth China Evergrande Group defaulted on its financial obligations in 2021 as a result of restrictions on fresh borrowing.
Even now, well-known developers like Country Garden Holdings remain perilously near to going bankrupt, which keeps buyers' confidence low.
According to the most recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the aggregate floor area of unsold residences as of the end of August was 648 million square metres (7 billion square feet).
Using an average home size of 90 square metres, Reuters calculated that to be equivalent to 7.2 million residences.
The majority of empty space, according to experts, is made up of vacant properties that were bought by speculators during the previous market upturn in 2016 and numerous residential projects that have previously been sold but have not yet been finished due to cash flow issues.
"How many vacant homes are there now? Each expert gives a very different number, with the most extreme believing the current number of vacant homes are enough for 3 billion people," said He Keng, 81, a former deputy head of the statistics bureau.
"That estimate might be a bit much, but 1.4 billion people probably can't fill them," He said at a forum in the southern Chinese city Dongguan, according to a video released by the official media China News Service.
The official narrative that the Chinese economy is "resilient" is in stark contrast to his scathing assessment of the economically significant industry in a public forum.
"All sorts of comments predicting the collapse of China's economy keep surfacing every now and then, but what has collapsed is such rhetoric, not China's economy," a spokesperson at the foreign ministry said at a recent news conference.