Shrinking Population Is Another Problem For China’s Housing Market, by Ye Xie

A shrinking population has both short and long-term consequences for the Chinese economy. From Ye Xie at

The wave of mortgage-payment boycotts has spurred China’s regulators into action. Beijing may be able to prevent the issue from morphing into a bigger crisis. In the bigger picture, however, the housing downturn will be a multi-decade process amid a shrinking population.

After a growing number of homebuyers refused to pay mortgages on stalled home projects, regulators have moved to restore market confidence. Mitigating measures being considered include allowing homeowners to temporarily halt mortgage payments and urging local governments and banks to provide more funding to developers, Bloomberg reported.

The authorities may quell this latest disruption in the beleaguered property market since the number of affected mortgages remains small, for now. But it’s clear that this housing downturn will remain a drag on the economy for years to come. The high-turnover, pre-sale model relied upon by developers has been severely impaired, while households are already deep in debt.

Moreover, demographic headwinds have been gathering momentum since the pandemic. The United Nations’ new population forecast released earlier this month — the first in three years — suggests that China is poised to cede the status as the world’s most-populous nation to India next year. The UN projected that China’s population will peak this year, instead of in 2031 as previously estimated. The population is forecast to shrink by 90 million – more than the current population of Germany today — by 2050.

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