More than one in five homes in China’s urban areas, or 48.98 million units, were vacant last year, China Daily reported Thursday, citing a study carried by China Business News.
The 22.4 percent vacancy rate was 1.8 percentage points higher than that of 2011, according to the Research Center for China Household Finance Survey under the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics.
Chongqing, one of the six cities covered by the study, had the highest vacancy rate of 25.6 percent while Shanghai had the lowest at 18.5 percent, the report said. Beijing had 19.5 percent of its homes unoccupied.
“The survey is quite significant,” the report said, noting that the number of vacant homes can meet the entire demand for housing in China, which needs 32.5 million units at most.
The study also shows that 89.2 percent of urban residents have their own homes, and 21 percent of these homeowners have more than one home.
Gan Li, director of the research center, said owners of the vacant apartments either have migrated to other cities or have more than one unit but are unwilling to rent them out. The unoccupied homes translate to as much as 4.2 trillion yuan in home mortgage loans, he added.
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