China Mulls New Property Support Package to Boost Economy
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Eoin Treacy's view -
A mountain of developer debt — equal to about 12% of China’s GDP — is at risk of default and poses a threat to financial stability, according to Bloomberg Economics. That’s despite a slew of existing support measures for the industry, which include:
Lower mortgage rates for first-home buyers if newly constructed house prices drop for three consecutive months
A nationwide cap on real estate commissions to boost demand
Allowing private equity funds to raise money for residential property developments
Pledging 200 billion yuan ($28 billion) in special loans to ensure stalled housing projects are delivered
A 16-point plan unveiled in November that ranged from addressing the liquidity crisis to loosening down-payment requirements for homebuyers
Speculation about further policy support helped propel a gauge of Chinese property developers to a more than 6% gain on Friday before the Bloomberg report, the most since December. In the coastal city of Qingdao, the government this week lowered the down payment ratio for first- and second-time home buyers in areas not subject to purchase restrictions, local media reported earlier on Friday.
Everyone can agree that moral hazard is a problem for economists. Create an incentive and resisting regulation ensure it will be exploited to the greatest extent possible by any and all means possible. Unbridled debt issuance is a hallmark of speculative activity in China. That’s been a clear feature of the housing/infrastructure boom. It was equally evident in the pace with which loans were made to foreign governments and projects as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.
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