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开发商降价引抗议,楼市低迷拖累中国经济
Empty Homes and Protests: China’s Property Market Strains the World

来源:纽约时报    2019-01-03 04:59



        JURONG, China — For Hu Peiliang, Jurong was a city of cranes, concrete and opportunity. He was so sure it was on the cusp of a boom that last year he moved his family there.        中国句容——对于胡培亮来说,句容是一座起重机、混凝土与机遇交织的城市。去年,他非常确定这里正处于经济繁荣的顶峰,于是把家搬到了那里。
        On an overcast day last month, Mr. Hu, a 31-year-old real estate agent, pointed to one new building after another as evidence. New city blocks have been built, crosswalks and streetlights erected overnight. One development straddling several blocks called Yudong International will include 120 buildings when completed.        上月的一个阴天,这位31岁的房地产经纪人指着一栋又一栋新建筑,以此作为证据。新的城市街区已经建成,人行横道和路灯一夜之间就建好了。其中一个横跨几个街区的开发项目名为“御东国际”,建成后将有120栋建筑。
        But who will buy all those apartments? Mr. Hu paused before answering. “I was wondering that myself,” he said. Since July, he has sold only a handful.        但是这么多公寓谁会买呢?胡培亮在回答之前停顿了一下。“我也在想这个问题,”他说。自7月以来,他只卖出了几处房子。
        Unwanted apartments are weighing on China’s economy — and, by extension, dragging down growth around the world. Property sales are dropping. Apartments are going unsold. Developers who bet big on continued good times are now staggering under billions of dollars of debt.        闲置的公寓正在拖累中国经济,进而拖累全球经济增长。房地产销售在下降。公寓卖不出去。押注于持续繁荣的开发商如今背负着数十亿美元的债务,处境十分艰难。
        “The prospects of the property market are grim,” said Xiang Songzuo, a senior economist at Renmin University, said during a lecture at Renmin Business School this month.        “房地产的消费也在大幅下降,”中国人民大学的资深经济学家向松祚本月在人民大学商学院的一次演讲中表示。
        “The property market is the biggest gray rhino,” he said, referring to a term the government has used to describe visibly big problems in the Chinese economy that are disregarded until they start gaining momentum.        “房地产就是最大的‘灰犀牛’,”他说。政府用这个词来形容中国经济中明显存在却没有受到重视,直到其发展势头越来越猛的重大问题。
        China is grappling with an economic slowdown brought on by efforts to curb debt and worsened by the trade fight with the United States. But any solution will have to contend with the country’s property problems. More than one in five apartments in Chinese cities — roughly 65 million — sit unoccupied, estimates Gan Li, a professor at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu.        中国正在努力应付由扼制债务带来、并因与美国的贸易争端而恶化的经济放缓。但任何解决方案都必须应对中国的房地产问题。据成都西南财经大学教授甘犁估计,中国城市中有超过五分之一的公寓(约6500万套)是空置的。
        “We are already in a difficult economic situation,” Mr. Gan said. “The decline will only get worse.”        “本来就处在经济困境的情况下,”甘犁说。“下滑会更加严重。”
        In places like Jurong, homeowners are paying the price. Some property developers have slashed prices on new apartments to gin up business or cut corners to save money. That undercuts the property values of earlier buyers, who increasingly are taking to the streets to protest.        在句容这样的地方,房产所有者正在付出代价。一些房地产开发商大幅降低新公寓的价格以促进销售,或者为了省钱而走捷径。这削弱了早期购房者的房产价值,越来越多人走上街头抗议。
        In October, dozens of apartment buyers in Jurong gathered outside the sales office of Center Park, a 22-building residential complex pitched by Country Garden, the developer, as China’s version of Central Park in Manhattan. Security guards barricaded the entrance to prevent protesters from storming the building to demand their money back.        去年10月,句容的几十名购房者聚集在中央公园的售楼处外,这处有22栋楼的居民小区由碧桂园开发,被称为中国版的曼哈顿中央公园。保安人员在入口处设置了路障,防止抗议者冲进大楼要求退款。
        “I am very angry,” said Jia Rui, 24, who bought a Center Park apartment a year ago. He watched last year as property prices rose for months before deciding to buy the apartment, which will be bigger than the one he currently lives in with his wife and parents. When he learned that similar apartments were later being sold at nearly half the price, Mr. Jia said, he felt helpless.        “我很生气,”24岁的贾瑞说。去年,他看到房价一连数月上涨,才决定购买这套比他目前与妻子及父母合住的那套公寓大的房子。贾瑞说,得知类似的公寓后来以低了近一半的价格出售时,他感到很无助。
        “It is not possible to get a refund,” Mr. Jia said. Then again, he added, Jurong will have a subway line connecting it to Nanjing, a major city, by 2023. “Maybe the price will go back up by then,” he said.        “退房是不可能的了,”贾睿说。他还说,到2023年,句容将有一条地铁线路通往大城市南京。“也许那个时候价格会再涨上去,”他说。
        China’s property market has long been a wild ride, driven by speculation from property developers and home buyers alike and made worse by government efforts to tame prices if they get too high and juice sales if they get too low. The current slowdown stems in large part from a three-year building spree driven by a surge in prices in many cities. Officials struggled to contain a white-hot property market with measures that included open consideration of a national property tax.        长期以来,中国的房地产市场一直处于狂飙之中,房地产开发商和购房者的投机行为推动了这一走势;而政府在房价过高时采取抑制房价的措施,在房价过低时刺激销售,这使得情况变得更糟。目前的放缓在很大程度上源于许多城市受房价飙升推动的三年建筑热潮。官员们试图遏制白热化的房地产市场,包括公开考虑在全国开征房地产税。
        “You never know when the music will stop in China, so you try to do as much as possible before the music stops,” said Nicole Wong, a property analyst at CLSA, a stock brokerage. “Which it did.”        “在中国,你永远不知道音乐会何时停止,所以你会在音乐停止前尽可能多地做些事情,”股票经纪公司中信里昂(CLSA)房地产分析师王艳(Nicole Wong)表示。“而它确实停止了。”。
        Housing is key to China’s well-being. It accounts for roughly one-fifth to one-third of China’s economic growth, depending on whether ancillary industries like construction and furniture-making are included. Property is the largest source of wealth for households, a given in a country with strict rules against moving money overseas and a volatile stock market. In major cities, it sometimes accounts for as much as 85 percent of a family’s assets, according to researchers at Southwestern University.        住房是中国繁荣的关键。它占据中国经济增长的五分之一左右,如果加上建筑业和家具制造业等辅助产业,就占据三分之一左右。房地产是中国家庭最大的财富。中国严格限制资金外流,股市也非常动荡,房地产是一种稳定的资产。据西南大学的研究人员称,在一些大城市,它有时可占一个家庭资产的85%。
        That store of wealth is looking increasingly shaky. Sales in terms of gross floor area on the market have dropped sharply since September. The share of apartments in new developments that are being sold has plunged since the summer. The number of failed land auctions has doubled this year, indicating that property developers are unwilling or unable to buy land for new developments.        这种财富储备看上去越来越不可靠。自去年9月以来,以建筑面积计的销量大幅下降。自今年夏天以来,新开发项目中售出公寓的比例大幅下降。今年,土地流拍数量翻了一番,表明房地产开发商不愿、或没有能力购买新开发项目所需的土地。
        Now people are angry, and Chinese officials and property developers are doing something about it. Officials tried various measures to take steam out of the market last year and are now reversing some of them.        现在人们很愤怒,中国的官员和房产开发商在设法应对。去年,官员们尝试了各种措施给市场降温,如今又在扭转其中一些措施。
        In recent months, they have loosened mortgage requirements, eased restrictions on when homeowners can resell their properties and made it easier for university students to continue living in the cities where they are studying after they graduate, potentially increasing housing demand. In some cities, property developers have cut deals with home buyers to give them back the difference between the current price and the one they originally paid.        近几月来,他们已经放宽了抵押贷款要求,放松了房屋所有人何时可以转售房产的限制,并使大学生在毕业后继续居留在所在城市更容易,从而增加了潜在的住房需求。在一些城市,房产开发商与购房者达成协议,给他们退还了当前价格和起初所支付价格的差价。
        As housing prices begin to fall — in some cities by as much as they did during the depths of the global financial crisis in 2009 — some buyers have made their displeasure known. Jurong, a small city by Chinese standards of 600,000 people about a 45-minute drive from Nanjing, has experienced at least six protests alone in recent months.        随着房屋价格开始下降——在一些城市降幅甚至跌至2009年全球金融危机期间的水平——一些购房者表达了他们的不满。距南京45分钟车程、人口60万的句容市(按中国标准为小城市)仅在近几个月就经历了至少六次抗议。
        Jurong represents a bet by home buyers that a buoyant market in Nanjing, a former Chinese capital and one of its more picturesque cities, will spread to surrounding areas. Many home buyers are retired workers or farmers who have moved to the city from the surrounding countryside.        句容代表着购房者的一个赌注:中国古都、风景如画的城市之一南京将延伸到周边地带。很多购房者是从周边农村搬来城市的退休工人或农民。
        Today the city appears to be preparing for a future in which its population more than doubles. There are 19 other projects like Center Park.        如今,这座城市似乎在为未来人口翻倍做着准备。像中央公园这样的项目还有19个。
        Country Garden, the developer behind Center Park and other residential complexes around the country, has endured slumping sales and has slashed prices. It has faced fury from buyers, some of whom have taken to smashing in the windows of sales offices in at least one city, according to the local news media, which posted images and video. In a written statement, Country Garden said fluctuating home prices were “a normal market phenomenon” and said it would “make proper arrangements” to assuage angry home buyers.        碧桂园——中央公园及全国各地其它许多住宅小区的开发商——经受了销量下滑的压力,已大幅降价。它面对了购房者的愤怒,根据当地新闻媒体公布的照片和视频,在至少一座城市,其中一些购房者甚至去砸了售楼部的窗户。在一份书面声明中,碧桂园称,房价波动是“正常的市场现象”,并称其将“做适当的安排”以安抚愤怒的购房者。
        Hu Peiliang, the real estate agent in Jurong, and his friend Wang Liwei were selling homes in Nanjing before they decided to make the move to Jurong. If prices were so high in Nanjing, it seemed only logical to both men that prospective buyers who were unable to afford a place there — or who were locked out of the market because of residential restrictions — would look to Jurong. The government’s plan to build a metro system made the city even more appealing.        句容的房产经纪人胡培亮和朋友王丽伟之前在南京买房,后来决定转到句容。如果南京房价过高,那么在那里买不起房的有意购房者——或因为居住限制被锁定在该市场之外——会指望句容,这对两人来说好像还是合理的。政府修建地铁系统的计划也使这座城市更具吸引力。
        At first they were right. In 2016, some 49,000 apartments were sold in Jurong, a remarkable number for a city where the annual average is closer to 4,000, according to Huifeng Li, a research director at the Purple Mountain Digital New Media Research Institute in Nanjing. The majority of the new buyers these days are speculators, he said.        起初他们是对的。据南京紫金山数字新媒体研究院研究主任李汇丰表示,2016年,句容大约售出4.9万套住房,这对于一个年均销量接近4千套的城市来说,是相当瞩目的数字了。如今大部分新的购房者都是投机者。
        Mr. Hu added: “Mostly it’s buyers who are looking for investments who come here. They see opportunities here.”        胡培亮补充说,“多数是为了投资买房的。他们看好这里。”
        Hundreds of buildings sprang up, offering a glimpse of a future bustling city. Now, these partly constructed buildings have more of a ghost town feel.        成百上千座高楼涌现,你可以瞥见未来一座熙熙攘攘的城市。眼下,这些部分建成的楼房更多是一种鬼城的感觉。
        At the Center Park development site, green netting drapes over a dozen half-built apartment buildings, construction cranes on top of each. Men with white gloves stand at the sales office, from which soft jazz music is playing, waiting to greet prospective buyers. But there are few customers, and the greeters mostly look bored.        在中央公园开发工地,十多座建了一半的住宅楼披挂着绿网,每座顶上还有吊臂。戴白手套的人站在售楼部门前,里面播放着柔和的爵士乐,等待着迎接意向购房者。但顾客很少,迎宾的人大多显得无所事事。
        At the back of the office, a dozen real estate agents sit around coffee tables and stare at their phones.        在售楼部后侧,十余名房产经纪人围坐在茶几旁,盯着各自的手机。
        After a tour of the show apartments, Mr. Wang said quietly, “I wouldn’t buy an apartment from them.”        在参观过样板间后,王丽伟悄悄说,“我不会跟他们家买房子。”
                
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