A massive building boom across China, including in tier-two cities like Jinan, has left as many as 65 million empty apartments across the country, according to estimates by Gan Li, a professor at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu. Sales volumes in 24 cities tracked by China Real Estate Index System fell by 44% in the first week of 2019 compared with a year earlier, though the four largest cities — Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Beijing — still saw a 12% increase.
Many analysts now expect China’s home sales to contract this year. Perhaps more worrisome, though, is the growing number of Chinese property companies that appear to be struggling under the weight of heavy debt burdens. Moody’s Investors Service has assigned junk status to 51 of the 61 Chinese property companies it assesses.