[photopress:realestatechina.jpg,full,alignright]These are all official figures and thus normally boring. But when you examine the difference between money invested and buildings as yet unlet or unsold they are figures worthy of much more than a cursory glance. On the one hand real estate is booming as if it were powered by rocket fuel. On the other hand the level of unsold, unoccupied, unrevenue earning space is rocketing slightly faster.
- In the past 11 months investment in China’s real estate sector rose 24% on a year-by-year basis. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has reported that in less than a year, RMB1,641.6 billion (US$210.5 billion) was invested. In fact, investment growth is marginally down on the 24.1% recorded in the first 10 months and 24.3% for the first nine months.
- Investment in urban fixed assets in China rose to RMB7,931.2 billion in the first 11 months of the year, up 26.6% on the same period last year, but 0.2 percentage points lower than the January-October period.
- Investment in commercial housing rose 28.4% to RMB1,155 billion.
- Investment in cheaper government-subsidized affordable housing was up 10.4% to RMB52.6 billion.
- In the January to November period, 1.762 billion square meters of housing were built, up 18.4% on the same period last year. About 198.44 million square meters of land were developed, an increase of 38.1%, according to the NBS report.
Now comes the small niggling worry.
At the end of November, 123.55 million square meters of commercial housing were vacant in China, up 7.9% on a year ago. Vacant space in residential buildings was up 6.4% at 67.23 million square meters.