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Houses in 7 Chinese cities among world’s 10 most expensive cities

house price in china, world's most expensive cities

Five big Chinese cities rank among the priciest housing markets in the world, surpassing notoriously expensive cities like Tokyo, London and New York, based on calculations by the International Monetary Fund. In fact, seven out of 10 of the world’s least affordable markets–Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Chongqing–are now in China.



Note that that the price-to-wage ratio, which measures median housing prices in a given city against median disposable incomes, reflects affordability rather than absolute property value. This means the mid-range price of an apartment in New York is 6.2 times more than what a typical family makes in a year. By comparison, it would take nearly a quarter-century of earnings to buy a pad in Beijing’s capital outright。



Residential property is a big mess for the Chinese government–and it’s not going away. Last month, prices on new homes leapt 7.4% in June 2012–the biggest uptick since last December。



In short, policies to curb housing inflation aren’t working. That’s worrying news for the government; housing prices are a major source of public resentment. The danger isn’t just the threat of popular unrest, though: It’s that soaring property prices make people feel less wealthy and less inclined to consume. And that’s exactly what the government needs them to do in order to wean the economy off its dependency on exports and credit-driven investment。



Sure, the announcement over the weekend that the government will stop evaluating party officials solely on the basis of their contribution to growing GDP. If they’re off the hook for hitting targets, it could make them less reliant on land parcel sales–the prices of which have been rising–to fund their budgets。

当然,中国政府周末时已表示,不再将GDP作为衡量地方官员政绩的唯一指标。如果地方官员能够从“唯GDP是从” 中解脱出来,他们便会较少地依赖土地销售来资助预算,而中国的高房价正来源于这种依赖。


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