Thursday, August 14, 2008
If even the autocratic Chinese can’t prevent their bubble bursting, what hope does Mervyn have?
The sizzle is off China's property markets, and that's potentially bad news for the country's social stability. In the past two years China's property market has enjoyed a spectacular rise, with average prices in some cities doubling. But that raised a red flag with Chinese economic policymakers, and in late 2007 the central government made controlling the rise of asset prices a policy priority. Since then, the State Council has rolled out a series of regulations—from credit ceilings to a 40% down-payment requirement for second mortgages—in order to combat property speculation. The effect was immediate. In early 2008 previously soaring housing markets in southern China began to go into a tailspin.