The housing boom and bust cycle has called attention to the volatility of housing prices and its impact on other markets. We challenge the conventional wisdom that housing prices are the present value of future rents and show that housing price uncertainty can affect household property investments, which in turn affect rent. Using data from Hong Kong and mainland China, we find a significant effect of housing price on rent and draw important implications for monetary and macro-prudential policies.
Despite reforms to the hukou household registration system and the very large rural-urban migration experienced in China, rural households are still experiencing a risk of losing their land allocation if they migrate. We argue that this risk leads to an inefficient rental market with low rents and is an impediment to migration, with consequent over-employment in agriculture and low productivity.
This paper develops a framework for China’s rebalancing, reviews past progress, and discusses medium-term prospects. China has advanced well in reducing its excessive external surplus and moving towards consumption and services, while still lagging behind in reducing credit reliance, environmental pollution, and income inequality. Going forward, the economy will continue rebalancing in many dimensions, while credit will remain China’s Achilles heel unless decisive corporate restructuring and SOE reforms are implemented.
Dr. Qing Ba from Hong Kong Exchanges and Professor Frank M. Song from the University of Hong Kong discuss the role of offshore debt issuance in the improvement of Chinese issuers’ creditability and transparency. China has the third largest bond market in the world. However, the absence of an accurate local rating and pricing system deepen the risks in domestic debt sectors. Our recent research finds that after Chinese corporates issue bonds in the offshore market, thus binding themselves to stricter market discipline and information disclosure requirements, the rating and disclosed information from offshore issuance may be of a greater reference value in the assessment of Chinese corporates’ credibility. This in turn leads to a signaling effect on their subsequent domestic debt financing. In addition to providing cheap funding, offshore debt issuance could bring about improvements in the creditability and transparency of Chinese issuers. This is of critical importance in pricing China’s credit risk and enhancing the soundness of China’s bond market.
International borrowing by Chinese nationals has increased rapidly over the past 10 years. Some of this borrowing seems to be motivated by carry trade activities. Regulatory arbitrage may have played a role in this trend.