Our Privacy Statment & Cookie Policy

All LSEG websites use cookies to improve your online experience. They were placed on your computer when you launched this website. You can change your cookie settings through your browser.

June 22, 2020

Chart of the Week: China’s house-price-to-income ratio exceeds 17

by Fathom Consulting.

Over the years, Fathom Consulting has created a wealth of proprietary indicators, a handful of which were released on Refinitiv’s Chartbook last year. As part of a major expansion of data, these added detail on China’s housing market. Recently updated, and covered in last week’s News in Charts, the data confirm that even before the COVID-19 outbreak, China was doubling down on its old model of investment heavy growth. Indeed, the investment boom in China has been actively encouraged by policymakers for years, and the response to the COVID-19 outbreak is no different.

Refresh the chart in your browser | Edit the chart in Datastream

While this tactic will help shore up the economy after China’s worst downturn on record, it presents China’s policymakers with a careful juggling act. One that to date has seen the stock of China’s unfinished residential floor space balloon to more than 6 billion square metres in a bid to prevent a glut of finished housing from weighing on property prices. This artificial lengthening of the construction phase means that the average project now takes more than seven years to complete, with properties only declared as finished in order to meet demand, helping to shield house prices from the massive amounts of spare capacity sloshing around the Chinese economy. Consequently, a typical household in China would now have to save all of its disposable income for a total of 17 years in order to pay for an average-sized house. That is more than double the UK’s house price-to-income ratio of around 6, as highlighted in the chart.



Financial time series database which allows you to identify and examine trends, generate and test ideas and develop view points on the market.

Refinitiv offers the world’s most comprehensive historical database for numerical macroeconomic and cross-asset financial data which started in the 1950s and has grown into an indispensable resource for financial professionals. Find out more.

Get In Touch


We have updated our Privacy Statement. Before you continue, please read our new Privacy Statement and familiarize yourself with the terms.x