Mon, 26 Sep 2022

Beijing [China], August 19 (ANI): Amid the recession in the real estate sector of China, one of the Hunan officials exhorted the party members and workers to be the leaders in buying property and to buy more and more.

On August 16, Deng Bibo, Secretary of the Shimen County Party Committee, attended the 2022 real estate exhibition and trade fair in Shimen County, Changde City, HunanHis speech quickly became popular on domestic social media in which he said that he hoped that the leaders would take the lead in purchasing houses, reported local media.

"All the comrades, leaders we should take the lead in purchasing houses. If you have bought one, buy two, if you have bought two, buy three and if you have bought three, buy four," he said.

This video was widely shared on Chinese social media and has inadvertently raised many questions.

First of all, the CPC officials remain rich even after the anti-corruption campaign. Not just the county chief or the secretary of the county party committee, but a large number of township and street level officials as well, reported local media.

A county party secretary can publicly call on officials to buy multiple apartments, showing that he does not think that officials' hidden income will be a problem at all.

The next question it raises is that is China's real estate market in really such a bad shape that officials should be taking the lead to promote buying houses.

Notably, Chinese homebuyers across the country who bought the property from indebted developers are refusing to repay loans on their unfinished apartments.

Daisuke Wakabayashi, writing in The New York Times (NYT) said that as China's economy stumbles, homeowners are boycotting mortgage payments.

The boycotts in more than 100 cities across China are part of the fallout from its worsening economy, slowed by Covid lockdowns, travel restrictions and wavering confidence in the government.

Moreover, China's social credit system punishes infractions -- such as failure to repay loans -- by limiting an individual's ability to travel, get their children into school or borrow from banks in the future.

The number of properties where collectives of homeowners have started or threatened to boycott has reached 326 nationwide, according to a crowdsourced list titled "WeNeedHome" on GitHub, an online repository, reported NYT.

ANZ Research estimates that the boycotts could affect about USD 222 billion of home loans sitting on bank balance sheets, or roughly 4 per cent of outstanding mortgages.

The country's economy is on a path to its slowest growth in decades. Its factories are selling less to the world, and its consumers are spending less at home. On Monday, the government said youth unemployment had reached a record high, reported NYT.

The mortgage rebellions have roiled a property market facing the fallout from a decades-long housing bubble. It has also created unwanted complications for President Xi Jinping, who is expected to coast to a third term as party leader later this year on a message of social stability and continued prosperity in China. (ANI)

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