Understanding Residential Real Estate in China


Mali Chivakul ; Waikei R Lam ; Xiaoguang Liu ; Wojciech Maliszewski ; Alfred Schipke

Publication Date:

April 28, 2015

Electronic Access:

Free Download. Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate


China’s residential real estate sector plays an important role in the economy and has been a key driver of growth. Since 2014 the sector has softened visibly, reflecting overbuilding across many cities. An orderly adjustment of the sector is welcome. The key questions are how severe the adjustment will be and how long it will last. This paper uses various datasets, an analytical framework to estimate demand and supply conditions, and develops a number of scenarios to determine the oversupply both at the national level and by city tiers. It highlights that the adjustment will be a multiyear process with adverse implications for investment and growth. Smaller cities, as well as those in the Northeast region, face more challenging demand-supply dynamics. The key will be to allow the adjustment to take place, while avoiding a too sharp of an economic slowdown.


Working Paper No. 2015/084



Full text is also available in Chinese.


Publication Date:

April 28, 2015



Stock No:




Please address any questions about this title to publications@imf.org