China’s property market cools
A property debt crisis and a sluggish economy in China have touched off a plunge in new home sales and depressed real estate prices for the first time in years — jeopardizing an important investment for millions of Chinese families.
The situation grew worse when a new variant of the coronavirus triggered widespread lockdowns and brought the economy to a standstill. Prices have dropped across the country, but demand has not returned, a frightening sign for an economy that had come to depend on housing for job growth and business spending.
But so far, China’s efforts to revive the housing market with lower mortgage rates, easier credit, subsidies and relaxed regulations have not worked. In April and May, new home prices fell in more than half of China’s 70 biggest cities for the first time since 2016, and sales of such properties tumbled nearly 60 percent.