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 space of unsold residences as of the end of August was 648 million square meters (7 billion square feet).
According to calculations by Reuters, based on an average dwelling size of 90 square meters (970 square feet), that would 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 empty homes are there currently? The most extreme expert claims there are already enough empty dwellings to house 3 billion people, according to each expert’s estimate, according to He Keng, 81, a former deputy director of the statistics department.
According to a video published by the government-run China News Service, He remarked at a symposium in the southern Chinese city of Dongguan, “That estimate might be a bit excessive, but 1.4 billion people probably can’t fill them.”
In a public forum, he expressed a poor opinion of the economically significant sector, which is in stark contrast to the official claim that the Chinese economy is “resilient.”
At a recent news conference, a representative from the foreign ministry stated: “All kinds 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.”