China’s residential real estate prices have plunged more than 80% since 2008, and new government data released on Wednesday shows the housing market is now the weakest in more than five decades.
China’s real-estate market in the last year was hit by a collapse in the value of the yuan, the country’s main currency, which caused the country to fall from the second-biggest seller of property in the world to second-last.
The data also showed that China’s overall property market has slumped by more than 30% in the past two years, with the biggest declines in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Al Jazeera’s Yara Betson-Jones, reporting from Shanghai, said the downturn in Chinese real estate was largely the result of falling demand and higher prices, but also a backlash against the government’s efforts to make the economy more competitive.
“They’re actually trying to make it as cheap as possible, so they’re just trying to drive down the price of the property,” she said.
“It’s also a reflection of the Chinese government’s crackdown on corruption, and the people are starting to feel the pinch.”
Al Jazeera and wire services