Tag Archives: Property

Chinese Stop Paying Mortgages as Real Estate Crisis Spreads

Chinese homebuyers are refusing to pay their mortgages in a boycott that’s spreading across the country. Many fear the homes they’re paying for will never be finished.

Now, suppliers to builders are also defaulting on loans.

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From ABC News Australia:

A fast-growing mortgage boycott across dozens of cities in China has prompted some property suppliers to cease their bank loan repayments, raising fears the escalating situation could trigger a further downward spiral in the sector and even threaten the country’s financial stability. 

Hundreds of landscapers, sculpture-makers and construction companies have expressed their anger that they have been bled dry because some debt-saddled developers did not pay their bills while they continued to service or help build apartments, Chinese media Caixin reported.

Chinese usually buy homes and start making payments before they’re complete.

The boycott has spread to 90 cities in mere weeks.

The Chinese government is censoring reports on the boycott, per Bloomberg. So the situation inside China may be even worse than reported.

A real estate meltdown is a catastrophe for the average Chinese saver. Chinese put 70% of their wealth in real estate, compared to 35% in the US.

The property sector accounts for about 25% of GDP. China’s GDP growth has flatlined as the sector sputters.

And it gets worse. Chinese banks have lent huge sums to property developers.

As developers default, bank runs are spreading across China. Government thugs have beaten protesters desperately trying to recover their life’s savings.

Amid a bleak economy and constant COVID lockdowns, workers are struggling. Youth unemployment has spiked, hitting over 19% last month.

Consider the picture for the average Chinese person: most of your savings are tied up in an apartment that will never be completed, the rest is in a bank that’s insolvent, and your only child can’t find work.

Revolution might start to sound good.

In the US, we know that a property crisis fueled by heavy debt can spread quickly. Huge liabilities pop up at different institutions unpredictably.

This undermines confidence in the entire financial system. When that happens, you get a financial crisis.

That’s what China is facing today.

At stake is the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party. Officials have staked their power on offering ever-increasing living standards.

Those days may be over.

I can only hope that Chinese citizens prevail and oust a government that has brutalized them for generations.

More on China:

Mass Protests in China as Bank Runs Continue

Will Evergrande Spark a Global Financial Crisis?

China Is Killing its Tech Industry

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Photo: Unfinished Chinese apartment buildings being demolished in Kunming, China