Beijing to Start Investigating Apartment Vacancy Rate
    2010-09-15 13:43:09     CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Zhao
China's State Statistics Bureau has picked five first-tier cities - Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen - to conduct a survey on the vacancy rate of houses and apartments in the residential markets.
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China's National Bureau of Statistics has picked five first-tier cities - Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen - to conduct a survey on the vacancy rate of houses and apartments in the residential markets, the Beijing Youth Daily reports.

The report says that Beijing has singled out pilot residential communities for the survey, which will not last long and may not be directly disclosed to the public once the results are gathered.

At present, the high vacancy rate is under heated discussion in the country. A Beijing taxi driver named Li Jie uploaded dozens of photos he took while working at night, showing dozens of residential communities blacked out.

In March, media reported that statistics from the State Electricity Company show electricity meters in more than 65 million houses are at zero. The reports were based on a survey that was conducted in 660 cities across the country.

Though the State Electricity Bureau denied such statements, netizens have frequently exposed electricity and water meters displaying zero usage.

The government will gather more information on vacancies during the sixth national population census, during which residential communities in some cities will be selected to conduct a vacancy investigation, announced Ma Jiantang, chief of the National Bureau of Statistics .

The vacancy rate by international standards refers to how many of all housing areas stand empty. As a thermometer of a real estate bubble and also basis for analyzing social disparity, usually a 10 to 15 percent vacancy rate or more qualifies as in the dangerous range, says the report.

The National Bureau of Statistics currently only provides data on commercial apartments available to sell, but there is no index for the occupancy rates of apartments sold in China.

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