Tag Archives | housing

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China’s leaders mark time till power handover

How many more empty cities like Ordos does China really need? Are 64.5m empty apartments enough, or should there be more? Should we build more steel mills, to add to the current 220MT of over-capacity? These are the questions facing China’s leadership today, as they debate the economic slowdown. Growth has slowed to a relative […]

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China battles economic slowdown

Wenzhou in coastal Zhejiang province was the first city to encourage private enterprise when China began opening its economy in 1978. Its growth accelerated after China joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001, attracting 2.8 million migrant workers to join the city’s population. Now its 9 million people are at the forefront of China’s slowdown, […]

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U is for Uncertainty

The blog’s series on the emerging ‘VUCA world’ today looks at how companies have to manage increased levels of Uncertainty. This can be seen in key areas of demand, such as housing. The above chart shows how US housing starts (blue line) have fallen from 2.1m in 2005 to just 0.6m last year. Housing permits […]

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China’s demand growth remains weak

China’s demand growth continues to be weak down the main value chains. Auto sales are the most obvious example. As the chart shows, they have recovered from the very slow period over the Lunar New Year holiday, but are still only up 2% (red diamond) versus 2011 levels (green line). Even this growth has only […]

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A China ‘hard landing’ gets closer

China’s leadership remain preoccupied with the transition to a new politburo in October, and the continuing fallout from the Bo Xilai affair. Equally, April’s 7% rise in food price inflation remains a major issue for a country where 96% of the population earn less than $20/day. Data for April bank lending and electricity consumption highlights […]

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China’s Q1 PE demand down 4% versus 2010

The story of the past 5 years has been how global economic growth moved from a dependency on the West’s housing boom to a dependency on China’s housing boom. Today’s only problem is that history suggests such booms are unlikely to have a happy ending. But who hasn’t indulged in a little wishful thinking, from […]

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Beijing home prices fall 21% in Q1

Investment bankers and development economists like to talk about China being a ‘middle class’ country. Yet Asian Development Bank data shows that 96% of the population earn less than $20/day on a (PPP) Purchasing Power Parity basis. Similarly, China’s ‘luxury market’ remains very small. Latest data suggests it was just €12.9bn ($16.9bn) in 2011, or […]

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Markets weaken as real problems remain unsolved

It is hard to be very optimistic about the demand outlook for Q2. Demand in Q1 was lacklustre, even though it should have been the strongest quarter of the year. H1 is seasonally strong, and Q1 also benefited from Easter being in Q2. Equally, the Chinese holidays fell in January, so February and March should […]

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US housing discovers New Normal opportunities

The US housing market was the original cause of the current financial crisis. It has gone quiet recently, but this does not mean that the problems are resolved. Quite the opposite, in fact. True, foreclosures have slowed recently, due to legal issues. This is helping to boost consumer spending temporarily, as people stop paying their […]

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A China ‘hard landing’ may be unavoidable

Saturday’s blog post highlighted the risk of a hard landing in China. This risk is very real, and is centred on the government’s need to achieve a difficult balance between reducing today’s high rate of food price inflation, whilst not collapsing the property market. House prices are now falling in 60 Chinese cities. An excellent […]

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