Wang Shi warns property bubbles tend to get out of control

Updated: 2013-03-21 17:05

By Mao Jing (

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A series of remarks recently published by Wang Shi, chairman of China’s largest real estate developer Vanke, signal China's property market is facing a turning point, 21st Century Business Herald reported.

“There are obvious bubbles in the property market, and it is possible it will get out of control and crack,” Wang warned on his personal micro blog on March 11.

According to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on March 18, new house prices in 70 cities in February increased by 90 percent from January, and the rate of increases in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou were on the top of the list, hitting record highs. The rapid rise in housing prices has caused widespread concern in the industry.

Although there is big demand for housing in Beijing, the speed of the housing price increases since the second half of last year has the nature of bubbles, said 21st Century Real Estate analyst Zhang Lei. If left uncontrolled, it would be lethal not only for ordinary residents but also for the entire city, he said/

Because of the increase in money supply, buyers’ panic at the new policy and accelerated investment by developers, recent property bubbles, particularly those in first-tier cities, clearly show signs of getting out of control, said Zhang Dawei, research director at Beijing Centaline Property.

These bubbles are a test of the strategy for the Chinese government in controlling the property market. The five new policies introduced by the executive meeting of the State Council did not reverse the expectations of buyers but instead have caused a new round of panic.

China has done a commendable job of inhibiting housing prices over the past two years. But relying on rigid administrative measures alone is far from sustainable. Policies need to be adjusted,  Vanke’s Wang said.

What is imperative is the introduction of a personal income tax in housing transfers, said Gu Yunchang, vice president of the China Real Estate Association.

Zhang Dawei of Beijing Centaline, said, “Crushing bubbles to control housing prices is not a fundamental strategy. Making the bubbles solid is the real way to solve the problem. Only by raising the income standard to match the housing prices and reducing dependence of the economy on the real estate industry can we eliminate the real estate market bubble.”