Calls arise for a massive property stabilization fund

2024-06-04 10:30:14China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Experts: Solely relying on demand-side stimulus moves may not fully address challenges

Potential homebuyers look at a property model in Huizhou, Guangdong province.(ZHOU NAN/FOR CHINA DAILY)

A real estate stabilization fund that could be worth trillions of yuan is likely around the corner in China, as policy advisers and economists called for scaling up government funding support in order to address lingering woes like housing inventory worries and unfinished homes.

Their calls came after the biggest cities in China, including Shanghai and Guangdong province's Guangzhou and Shenzhen, lowered mortgage rate minimums and down payment ratio requirements last week to boost homebuying enthusiasm.

Shanghai and Guangzhou eased homebuying restrictions as well last week, following similar moves in Beijing and Shenzhen, igniting market speculation that China may totally forgo residential property buying restrictions.

Gong Liutang, a professor of applied economics at Peking University's Guanghua School of Management, said that the recent policy announcements to ease homebuying curbs and cut mortgage rates will help boost housing demand to some degree.

Yet, given that households' expectations of home prices have changed, Gong said that solely relying on demand-side stimulus may not fully address the property challenges, and scaling up supply-side funding support would be of great significance.

A real estate stabilization fund should be established, said Gong, who is also a member of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body.

The fund should be used to acquire presold unfinished housing projects and unwanted housing inventories before redeveloping them into commercial real estate or affordable housing projects, he said, with the central government providing funding support while attracting social capital.

"Such a fund would be more important than measures such as interest rate cuts in addressing current economic headwinds," Gong added.

"Fundamentally, the country should seize the current time window to formulate a new blueprint for the real estate sector in the coming decades, including determining the necessary proportions of affordable public housing and commercial residential properties," he said.

The Chinese government has stepped up supply-side support for the property sector, yet the funding size is limited compared to the necessary size that some institutions have estimated is required, leaving room for expansion.

On May 17, the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, announced the establishment of a 300 billion yuan ($42.25 billion) re-lending facility, providing funding for State-owned enterprises to buy completed commercial properties for repurposed affordable housing.

The country has also established a "white list" program to encourage commercial banks to provide funding for presold unfinished housing. The approved loan amount under the program had reached 935 billion yuan as of May 16, official data showed.

Sonali Jain-Chandra, China mission chief of the International Monetary Fund's Asia and Pacific Department, said that fiscal support needs to be greater as the volume of presold unfinished housing remains quite substantial.

"We think that if that money is used to get rid of the problem of the property sector, then the future growth will be higher, confidence will be higher and revenues will be higher. So the economy will be on a different path," Jain-Chandra said.

The IMF suggested in a report in February that a central government-funded housing completion program worth around 5 percent of the GDP is needed to complete taken-over projects or provide partial compensation to affected homebuyers.

Using the figure of 2023, 5 percent of GDP would be equivalent to 6.3 trillion yuan.

Chen Dong, chief Asia strategist and head of Asia research at Pictet Wealth Management, said the PBOC's relending program announced on May 17 has represented a positive shift in policy stance.

"But the effectiveness of this initiative largely depends on its implementation and whether there will be further funding support. The scale of funding announced so far is not enough and further financial backing is necessary. Overall, we remain cautiously optimistic (about China's real estate sector)," Chen said.

The National Bureau of Statistics said that in the first four months, real estate development investment fell 9.8 percent year-on-year while sales area of new properties slumped 20.2 percent, compared with 9.5 percent and 19.4 percent falls in the first quarter, respectively.

Related news


Most popular in 24h

MoreTop news


Back to top About Us | Jobs | Contact Us | Privacy Policy
Copyright ©1999-2024 All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
[网上传播视听节目许可证(0106168)] [京ICP证040655号]
[京公网安备 11010202009201号] [京ICP备05004340号-1]