Real estate transaction volumes increased by more than 100% in four Chinese cities year-on-year, according to a note from Citi.
Tianjin, Foshan, Changzhou and Changsha all saw the volume of real estate being bought and sold, measured in square metres, more than double in September 2016 compared to 2015.
Changzhou, in eastern China, had a particularly explosive September — transaction volume was up 136% year-on-year and 104% month-on-month.
Citi analysts Oscar Choi and Marco Sze acknowledged the existence of a property bubble in China but said that “China is not alone, given such liquidity-driven booms have existed in many overseas property markets.”
Here is the chart from Citi:
The Chinese government has sought to calm the real estate market, rolling out policies in 14 cities to make sure borrowers are taking less risk. But still, the market is looking “red-hot” and “frenetic” in the lead up to October peak season, according to Citi.
Last week, Ken Rogoff, the former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, said a slowdown in China’s credit-fuelled economy is one of the biggest problems facing the global economy.
Rogoff, now a professor at Harvard, said in an interview with the BBC published Monday: “If you want to look at a part of the world that has a debt problem, look at China. They have seen credit-fuelled growth, and these things don’t go on forever.”
Meanwhile, Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, a tycoon who made his fortune in the real estate market, appeared on CNNMoney Wednesday to warn that China’s overheated real estate market is the “biggest bubble in history.”
Jianlin, who owns China’s largest real estate developer, Dalian Wanda Group, said: “If we remove leverage too fast, the economy may suffer further. So we’ll have to wait until the economy is back on the track of rebounding — that’s when we gradually reduce leverage and debts.”