《经济学人》:中国的房地产泡沫,迟早爆破
日期:2011-06-22 11:14

(单词翻译:单击)

Chinese property
中国的房地产

Popping the question
问题突现

China’s bubbly property markets have not burst. Yet
中国房地产市场的泡沫仍未爆破,但迟早会的

Jun 16th 2011 | HONG KONG | from the print edition

BUBBLES are supposed to burst with an audible pop. But in the snap and crackle of the Chinese housing market, it is hard to hear anything clearly. On June 9th the Wall Street Journal put its ear to the ground and declared that “the great property bubble of China may be popping”. It pointed out that prices had fallen by 4.9% in the year to April in nine big cities tracked by Rosealea Yao of GaveKal Dragonomics, a consultancy. Ms Yao herself thinks a “correction” in the next six months is inevitable. But she argues that it is still “a bit early to say the bubble is bursting”.

泡沫爆破时本应是有声的。中国房地产市场虽是噼里啪啦地好不喧闹,却很难听清个中详况。6月9日,华尔街日报侧耳倾听了一番后发表说“中国巨大的房产泡沫也许正在爆破”。该报指出,今年截至4月九大城市的房产价格下降了4.9%,这是一家咨询机构GaveKal Dragonomics的Rosealea Yao所掌握到的信息。Ms Yao认为在未来6个月内房产市场必将迎来一段调整期。但她也认为,现在说泡沫会爆破还为时过早。

Official figures released on June 14th added more noise. They suggested that builders started work on 19% more residential floorspace in May, compared with a year earlier, and sold 18% more. But the sales figures were flattered by comparison with May 2010, an unusually slow month following a government clampdown on speculative homebuying a few weeks before. And the starts figures may have picked up the government’s drive to build more affordable housing.

6月14日发布的官方数据让喧闹之声更起。这些数据表明,承建商在5月开始动工的住宅建筑比起一年前的多出19%,售出的也增加了18%。但销售数据与2010年5月时比起来算是比较可喜的了,那个月正逢政府打压房产买卖投资的几个星期后,销售形势出奇地滞慢。而此段开头的那个数字也许会让中国政府重拾建造更多经济适用房的劲头。

In other countries, such as America, economists can rely on clear signals from credible price indices. In China the National Bureau of Statistics used to publish a price index spanning 70 cities. But that measure muted both the highs and lows of China’s housing market. It suggested that prices for new and existing homes never fell by more than 1.3% during the financial crisis, and never rose by more than 12.8% a year in the boom that followed. That was hard to square with the head-splitting prices homebuyers were paying in the big cities. People stopped paying attention to the national index. In December the government ceased publishing it.

在别的国家,比如在美国,可信的物价指数可以给出明确的信号,经济学家可以借此加以分析。在中国,国家统计局过去通常发表的是包括70个城市在内的物价指数。但那种方法并无法说明中国房地产市场的起起落落。它只是表明,即便是在经济危机时期新建和现有住宅的销售量在一年内跌幅也从未超过1.3%,且在随之而来的繁荣期里其涨幅也从未超过12.8%。那可和大城市里购房者面临的令人头疼的房价是不相符的。人们已不再关注国家发布的指数。在12月政府也不再发布此指数。

The bureau does, however, still track prices in the 70 individual cities that made up the index. Weighting the cities by population, and weighting the mix of new and existing properties by floorspace, The Economist has tried to rebuild China’s abandoned house-price index (see chart) from its constituent parts. Our calculations suggest nationwide prices are still rising—by 4% in the year to April—but only slowly. The pace of increase has eased steadily for 12 months in a row.

然而,统计局仍然关注着构成这个指数的70个城市的房价。按人口来定这个城市的权重,还按建筑面积来定新建和现有房产的权重,经济学人试图通过这种方法来重新得出已被弃用的房价指数(如图所示)。我们的估算表明,全国的价格仍在上升,今年截至4月上涨了4%,但增长速度是比较慢的。增长的步伐在12个月里已趋于平缓。

In the absence of credible government figures, many analysts have turned to private-sector alternatives. A 100-city index published by Soufun, a property consultancy, shows prices rising by 5.1% in the year to May. But in many of those cities its coverage is patchy, especially in smaller localities where developers may not have good, computerised records to share. That is one reason why Ms Yao, who draws on Soufun’s figures, concentrates only on the nine cities it covers best.

由于缺乏可信的官方数据,许多分析家转而借助私营部门给出的数据。房产咨询机构搜房发布了100个城市的房价指数,表明今年截至5月房价上涨了5.1%。但在那些城市中有许多的覆盖范围是不完全的,特别是在一些小地方,开发商也许仍未备有完善的电脑记录。这就是为什么负责制作搜房的这个数据的Ms Yao只关注覆盖范围最完整的九个城市。

The first signs of a sharp reversal may not show up in prices anyway. The volume of sales tends to drop first, because optimistic developers will try to wait out a bad patch, hoping that better times will return. Despite the 18% rebound in May, most analysts believe sales are dropping sharply.

不管怎样,一旦会有强烈反弹,房产价格也许反映不出第一手信号。刚开始销售额往往会下降,因为乐观的开发商会试图死撑到控市政策不了了之,一心希望好景再返。尽管在5月出现了18%的反弹,许多分析家仍相信房产销售量正在急剧下跌。

Developers can stay out of the market only for as long as they can stay out of the red. As their cash pile dwindles and liabilities fall due, they will be forced to sell, whatever the market conditions. To give themselves more leeway, bigger developers have turned away from fickle onshore financing to international bond markets. The 30 developers rated by Standard & Poor’s, a rating agency, raised about $8 billion of mostly five-year money in the first five months of this year, compared with $8.8 billion in the whole of 2010, itself a record year. Developers can bring this money back into the country, despite China’s capital controls, provided they show a bit of patience and a commitment to build things in unfancied cities.

只有能摆脱亏损,开发商才会愿意撤出市场。随着现金减少,贷款到期,无论市场条件如何,他们也得被迫出售手中的房。为了给自己留有更大的余地,更有实力的开发商已从变数多端的境内融资转向国际债券市场。30家开发商由评级机构标准普尔给予评级,在今年的前5个月里便募集到了约80亿美元的5年期资金,而在2010年里则募集到了88亿美元(次数目被认为是创了纪录)。尽管中国对资本有控制,开发商也可以将这些资金带回国,只要他们对在一些不起眼的城市里建房表现出一点耐心和诚意。

Even so, the debts of many smaller developers will fall due next year. Standard & Poor’s expects property prices to fall by about 10% over the next 12 months, but it does not rule out a “price war” if distressed selling by overstretched developers begins to feed on itself. If China’s property market is a bubble, it may end with a squeal as well as a pop.

尽管如此,许多更小型开发商的债务将会在明年到期。标准普尔预计在未来12月内房产价格将会下跌10%,但如果资金已透支的开发商通过廉价出售房产可以填补得了这些债务,也不排除将会有一场“价格战”。如果中国的房地产市场是个泡沫,最后很可能会噼里啪啦般爆破掉。

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重点单词
  • rown. 排,船游,吵闹 vt. 划船,成排 vi. 划船,
  • trackn. 小路,跑道,踪迹,轨道,乐曲 v. 跟踪,追踪
  • bondn. 债券,结合,粘结剂,粘合剂 vt. 使结合,为 .
  • affordableadj. 支付得起的,不太昂贵的
  • mutedadj. 柔和的;无言的;趋缓的 v. 使柔和(mute
  • populationn. 人口 ,(全体)居民,人数
  • bubblen. 气泡,泡影 v. 起泡,冒泡
  • patiencen. 耐心,忍耐,毅力 n. 单人玩的牌戏
  • burstn. 破裂,阵,爆发 v. 爆裂,迸发
  • boomn. 繁荣,低沉声,帆杠,水栅 vi. 急速增长,发出低