Could the Chinese monetary tightening be working? The National Bureau of Statistics has released its latest food price update for the period April 1-10, which shows that while most foods continue to rise modestly, several food products have plunged particularly cucumbers and rapes, both falling 8.8%, kidney beans 6.3% and kidney beans down 6.3%. Yet this is nothing compared to what is happening to Chinese real estate: it appears Chanos' long anticipated property bubble may have popped... but the supersonic boom is so loud that nobody has heard it yet.
From Market News:
Prices of new homes in China's capital plunged 26.7% month-on-month in March, the Beijing News reported Tuesday, citing data from the city's Housing and Urban-Rural Development Commission.
Average prices of newly-built houses in March fell 10.9% over the same month last year to CNY19,679 per square meter, marking the first year-on-year decline since September 2009.
Home purchases fell 50.9% y/y and 41.5% m/m, the newspaper said, citing an unidentified official from the Housing Commission as saying the falls point to the government's crackdown on speculation in the real estate market.
Beijing property prices rose 0.4% m/m in February, 0.8% in January and 0.2% in December, according to National Bureau of Statistics data.
The central government has launched several rounds of measures since last year designed to cool the housing market, though local government reliance on land sales to plug fiscal holes mean enforcement hasn't been uniform.
The only question is how much actual equity buffer was used in these purchases. For all intents and purposes a drop of this magnitude levered even 2 times (assuming 50% or so equity down) means that China is on the verge of a complete bubble implosion. If the pummelling in the Beijing real estate market shifts to other cities not only is the Chinese tightening regime over, but the SHCOMP in the next few weeks could get very interesting as people understand the world's biggest marginal bubble has popped.