Cities are rich in China?

The mad growth of China’s Glorious Thirty has enriched part of the Chinese population. Cities are among the big winners. The urbanization rate in China is approaching 60% of the population. 

Beijing and Shanghai in the lead

A study by the Bank of China shows that the average wealth per household is 3.179 million yuan ( 450,000 USD) in Chinese cities.  Beijing leads these cities, with an average of 8.928 million ahead of Shanghai, 8.067, and the cities of Jiangsu, 5.069. Disparities are wide, of the 30 provinces, regions and municipalities (managed directly by the central government) in the study*, 8 are above average, with Xinjiang province in last place. See table below. 

Household housing wealth in urban areas in millions of yuan :

1Beijing8,928
2Shanghai8,067
3Jiangsu5,069
4Zhejiang4,807
5Fujian4,183
6Canton3,998
7Tianjin3,616
8Hebei3,539
9Anhui3,140
10Shandong3,020
11Qinghai2,856
12Hainan2,825
13Ningxia2,667
14Guizhou2,470
15Yunnan2,429
16Chongqing2,393
17Shanxi2,382
18Henan2,351
19Hubei2,349
20Hunan2,294
21Jiangxi2,193
22Sichuan1,933
23Inner Mongolia1,904
24Guangxi1,817
25Shaanxi1,808
26Heilongjiang1,736
27Liaoning1,716
28Gansu1,697
29Jilin1,415
30Xinjiang1,275

Unsurprisingly, China’s eastern facade is the richest, with an average of 4.61 million yuan compared to 1.65 in the northeast, 2.076 in the west and 2.635 in the center.

杭州

Real estate above all
Real estate occupies 70% of this heritage. 96% of households are owners, 58.5% own one property, 31% two and 10.5% three. In comparison, the study recalls the data of some Western countries, where the number of owners in the whole country is less important: 

Countries by home ownership rate :

CountryPercentage
Australia67
Canada66,5
France64,9
USA64,2
England63,2
Japan61,9
Turkey60,4
Korea56,8
Germany51,7
Hong Kong50,4
Switzerland42

Owner, yes, but!
Remember that Chinese owners are not owners in a certain sense! A Chinese owner doesn’t have a lifetime title of ownership, but a right of use of 70 years for the residences from the date of authorization of the soil, before construction, and 50 years for most other properties (industrial, commercial).

The largest differences in wealth are explained by the ownership of stores and factories. Owners of business assets have an average wealth of 7.768 million, 3 to 4 times more than those who do not own business assets. 
99.7% of households own financial assets, with an average of 649,000 yuan or 20.4% of average wealth.
56.5% of families have debts. 75.9% of debts come from the purchase of a home.

If this study is interesting, it should be remembered that it concerns only 60% of the population, the urbanized one. The wealth effect comes mainly from real estate market prices. For example, Beijing has an average price per square meter close to 60,000 yuan, or 8,450 USD. For the centre of the capital, the budget has to be increased significantly. Moreover, the surface area is not calculated in the same way. The common areas are included. An apartment of 100 square meter in China may correspond to 88 sq in Europe, or even much less in the large complexes. You can go down to 72. The term “efficient housing rate” is therefore used, 得房率. Thus, the habitable square meter is much more expensive. 

For more information, we will have to wait for a study on the whole of China. With lower sums? Certainly!

* The data on Tibet is not provided!

Articles consulted:
中国城镇居民家庭资产均值逾300万 负债主要是房贷
央行调查:城镇居民家庭资产均值逾300万元

7 May 2020

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