Thursday, July 30, 2009
You don't have to be the 'King of Pop' to get the media coverage and become a super hot topic in China. To be a 'Land King' is enough to make it a hot topic and get continuous and intensive media exposure in this country. What is a 'Land King'? 'Land King' in Chinese refers to the real estate developer who pays the highest land transfer price ever in history to buy a piece of land in a certain geographic area (e.g. a district in Beijing, a city, a province, or China). So, a property developer could be a 'Land King of Haidian District' if it pays the record high price in Haidian District to buy a chunk of land. The developer could also be a 'Land King of Beijing' if the price paid is also the highest price ever in Beijing.
Housing price has been the most talked-about topic in China for years. The surging housing price is the real pain for people living in Beijing, Shanghai and almost everywhere in this country. You MUST have your own house! That's what people think here. The financial crisis brought down the housing prices to the delight of prospective buyers. Apparently, the financial crisis was so 'weak'. The housing price plunged for a short period and begins to soar again! Record high prices have been paid for pieces of land in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou respectively this year. When 'Flour (land) becomes more expensive than bread (house)', the price of the bread (house) will naturally go up. On June 30th, Fangxing Property, a subsidiary of state-owned Sinochem, acquired a chunk of land on Beijing's Guangqu Road for 4.06 billion yuan (US$59.7 million), the highest land transfer price ever in the city's public auction. Fangxing Property is not a big name developer in Beijing. But the developer successfully outbid big players such as SOHOChina, Vanke, Poly and was crowned the 'Land King' in Beijing. This has been big news recently. Those who were selling their houses in the nearby area had either increased the asking price dramatically or withdrawn their properties from the market to wait for a better time to sell. Pan Shiyi, the Chairman of SOHOChina, says to media that the record land price will surely push up housing prices in the nearby area of that piece of land. Understandably, he wasn't happy that SOHOChina failed to win the bid. However, he pointed out that his company could not compete with the less known Fangxing Property, a state-owned enterprise that had benefited from the government's 4 trillion yuan stimulus package and obtained huge loans from Chinese banks. Also, the 'Land King' in Hangzhou 'coincidentally' turned out to be a company with SOE background. I assume we can see clearly where China's soaring bank lending goes! It goes to SOEs and the real estate market (and the stock market, too?). Isn't the government trying to curb speculation in property market? We don't want to see so many 'Land Kings', especially the 'Land Kings' with SOE background! If the housing price continues to rise crazily, a 'HOMELESS' generation of young Chinese will soon come up!
Can you afford to buy an apartment for CNY13,000-24,000/sq. m. with a monthly salary of CNY 3,000-10,000 (before tax) in Beijing?
P.S. The 2008 average monthly salary of staff in Beijing is CNY3,322 (US$488.5).