Thu, Apr 22, 2010 - Page 12 News List

Economist says Chinese property prices ‘irrational’

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Property prices in China have surged to an irrational level, with the average property price to income ratio in Beijing twice that of most cities in developed countries, an economist said in Taipei yesterday.

“There is an asset bubble problem in China, which, if not well tamed, may turn into a social crisis,” Tom Orlik, China economist for Stone & McCarthy Research Associates, a subsidiary of Xinhua Finance Ltd (新華財經), told a media briefing yesterday.

Xinhua Finance, headquartered in Shanghai and listed on Tokyo’s Mothers Board, is a financial information service provider in China.

Orlik said that property prices average 15 times the annual incomes of their owners in Beijing, compared to seven to eight times in cities in developed countries.

He added that property prices in China are high because of the nation’s emerging affluent buyers and as a result of its one child policy, which allows parents to provide more financial aid to children purchasing property.

Although he said he’s not sure if the Chinese asset bubble will burst anytime soon, Orlik yesterday gave his thumbs-up to the Chinese government’s recent measures to curb skyrocketing property prices.

He said China’s economy will likely see a GDP growth of between 9.5 percent and 10 percent this year.

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