600 Million Buildings Isn’t Too Many for China, Expert Says
Zheng Na
DATE:  Feb 24 2023
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
600 Million Buildings Isn’t Too Many for China, Expert Says 600 Million Buildings Isn’t Too Many for China, Expert Says

(Yicai Global) Feb. 24 -- China has almost 600 million buildings in the country, according to a recent survey that has rekindled the debate about oversupply amid a high residential property vacancy rate. But an expert said the number is not excessive since many are in rural areas and towns while big cities do not have enough.

Besides commercial housing, the first of its kind survey also included residential non-commercial and non-residential buildings such as factories, staff dormitories, hotels, and long-term rental apartments, Song Hongwei, research director at Tospur Real Estate Consulting, told Yicai Global.

Homes in rural areas accounted for 90 percent of the total buildings, and there also were buildings such as plants in urban areas included, so the proportion of residential properties is not very great, a property market insider added.

According to China's 2020 statistical yearbook, the average floor area per person reached 41.76 square meters, which is not small but is still an issue.

In Guangdong province, which has two first-tier cities, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, the living area per person was about 29.59 sqm, with a per-household area of 72.06 sqm, ranking last among the surveyed provinces and municipalities, the yearbook showed. Shanghai and Beijing were also at the bottom. The figure for first-tier large cities dropped to below 27 sqm if the average ratio of usable space to the size of properties was 80 percent.

The number of residential buildings to permanent households in urban areas almost matched, indicating a balance in housing supply. But when accounting for different municipalities, the rates for first- and second-tier cities in 2010 was 0.92 and 0.93, respectively, with third- and fourth-tier cities at 0.96. By 2020, that numbers had risen to 0.97, 1.08, and 1.12, suggesting a relatively tighter housing supply in big first-tier cities.

In addition, the country’s residential building stock also presents a number of issues such as being too old, which leads to demand for renovation. 

Editors: Zhang Yushuo, Martin Kadiev

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Keywords:   house,property