On China’s Property Bubble

Andy Xie:

Attempts to bail out the property market are unlikely to succeed. China’s property market is a bubble in both volume and price. Oversupply, especially in small cities, is destroying the expectation of price appreciation. Speculation cannot be revived. Household indebtedness is close to saturation. The high prices in large cities cannot be sustained by debt growth. Bailout attempts, such as eliminating purchase restrictions, will only backfire, as the restrictions do not suppress demand in the first place.
 The property market could follow the example of the A-share market. Bailout attempts have less and less impact. The market eventually dies when people no longer pay attention to it.
 Allowing prices to adjust is the best policy. The distortions in the economy due to the bubble shrink. The efficiency of the economy improves as a result. The improving efficiency leads to better labor income, which supports the virtuous cycle of rising wages and rising consumption.