In 2030, 1 in every 8 people on the earth will reside in a Chinese city.

–From The sky-high cost of China’s Sprawling Cities, by Simon Rabinovitch,

As China experiences the largest migration in human history, we attempt to gain a clearer profile of the main issues facing consumers.

Disposable income levels in urban China:

Shanghai’s urban residents, with an average disposable income of 40,188 yuan (US$6,379) last year, earned the most among China’s 21 provincial areas that have posted their income growth, according to the latest data. Shanghai’s disposable income for urban residents rose 10.9 percent from a year earlier. 

The national average increase was 12.6 percent and with the country’s fastest rising average income – a 13.5 percent rise- recorded in eastern China’s Jiangxi Province.

Shanghai was the only city in China where people earned more than 40,000 yuan on average last year. 

Beijing came second in the disposable income list with an average of 36,469 yuan and Zhejiang Province’s 34,550 yuan put it in third place.

These from a recent study on disposable income in China’s cities, full article here, from Shanghai Daily.

Housing Costs in cities:

Since 2009, average disposable income in China’s cities has risen around 43%, but house prices only 11% according to official data.

An average-priced apartment purchased outright would now cost around 16 years of average income, still high by international comparisons but down from a high of 21 years in 2007. 

Keeping apartments affordable for first-time buyers is a priority for the government, including Vice PremierLi Keqiang who has been a prime force behind the push to build millions of subsidized homes for low-income households.

China Property

 Real estate is the single biggest driver of output in China’s economy. According to the International Monetary Fund, it accounts for about 12% of the total. Factoring in the impact on everything from steel and cement to furniture and home appliances, the sector’s contribution is even higher.

Full article here, from the Wall Street Journal. Another article about housing trends here, from the Shanghai daily.