Housing Prices Up 1.5%? “Yeah Right,” Say Netizens

The National Department of Statistics recently published a report on economic and social developments in 2009. Among the statistics found in the report are the past year’s housing pricing changes. In a year when people were literally lighting themselves on fire over housing issues and many complained of skyrocketing housing prices, the official verdict is in:

The data shows in large and middle-sized cities housing market prices went up by 1.5%. Newly built dwellings went up 1.3%, the prices of secondhand dwellings went up 2.4%, and the prices for renting/leased housing went down by 0.6%.

Henan Man Protests High Housing Prices
But that 1.5% figure hasn’t exactly been well received. From this article:

The Statistics Department’s 1.5% yearly increase is obviously lower than what many people have experienced in reality. Yesterday, as soon as the statistics were published, there was immediately hot debate on the internet. One netizen wrote, “Even in a small town, prices going up by over 30% was common last year, and in cities it was even more. A 1.5% increase, can you believe it? Obviously they put the decimal point in the wrong place.”

Others have called into question the usefulness of national statistics and called on the government to release more specific local statistics. Said Beijing realtor Yang Shaofeng:

Because of China’s regional differences, the housing prices in cities in different regions could be relatively disparate. Even in the same city, in central and suburban districts there are high and low housing prices. Because of this, the experiences of people from different regions toward the increase in housing prices is naturally different.

Comments on both original articles seem to be closed — clicking “leave a comment” on the Xinhua stories currently results in an error message — and there seems to be a mysterious dearth of comments on reposts of the news on other sites, too. For example this Mop repost has only one comment (“It’s simply nonsense, perhaps the Statistics Department are all blind?”) and this repost on Tianya is getting responses, but apparently slowly enough for someone to comment: “Why is nobody responding?”

What comments are there are pretty harsh. “Those in the public sector are stupid c**ts,” wrote one. Another wrote, “Actually, we common people won’t blame those in the Statistics Department for eating, drinking, and having fun [on the public dime], just don’t come out with messy altered statistics like this, OK?”

The statistic certainly does look questionable, especially in light of January’s apparent 9.5% spike. A botched decimal point? Intentionally fudged numbers? National data thrown off by massive regional disparities? You can be the judge of the cause, but whatever the reason, Chinese netizens certainly aren’t buying.

0 thoughts on “Housing Prices Up 1.5%? “Yeah Right,” Say Netizens”

  1. The economy is only what people think it is.

    That report may have fudged numbers in it for whatever justified or unjustified reasons, but it’s no worse than the economists over here in the West telling people over and over again about how the economy had just hit rock bottom yesterday, and tomorrow we’ll all be making six figures and living in luxury.


  2. Chaji,

    Seriously, quit with the bullshit. It doesn’t have anything to do with the topic and anyone who actually believes anything as absurdly hyperbolic as what you said deserves what they get.

    On topic,

    Publishing a national statistic about housing prices given the vast gap in living standards between say, a villa in Shanghai and a village in Gansu is about as useful as shining up shit and calling it gold or as representative as saying the Red Sox win schedule can predict the future value of the stock market.


    There’s a Wire reference in there. Find it, as if it’s Waldo!


  3. It could be a year-on-year national increase rate – real estate price dropped in the first half of the year and then increased in the second half. Or the price could be per home price. What really matter are regional month-on-month per square meter rate. That’s why you don’t see much response – they are just (nonsensically) averaged figures.

    BTW, the caption of the figure is wrong. The man run with shorts because he lost a bet on the real estate price, not protesting. Poor journalism.


  4. I dont care much about the statistic numbers. they are all bull shit. always have, always will be.

    I just wanna buy my own house
    but now it seems as if I need my offsprings to pay for the debt as well…


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