China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development announced on February 15 that China has nearly 600 million buildings in cities and villages combined. The ministry spent 3 years and mobilized 5 million people (among whom 2.6 million are from the ministry itself), to cover all cities and all natural villages in China to get this result. The ministry has issued a digital ID to each building.
There are multiple interpretations of the 600 million number. One is that China’s housing is over-supplied. The authorities said 90 percent of the housing is from villages and only 10 percent are in cities. Assuming that is right and only 60 million buildings are in cities, and further assuming each urban housing has 16 units (4 floors and each floor has 4 units), that means China has 540 + 60 * 16 = 1500 million units or 1.5 billion units. China’s entire population is only 1.4 billion (without deducting the COVID deaths).
Another interpretation is that this housing census is to prepare the authorities to impose a real estate tax, as the government is running out of money.
Source: Epoch Times, February 24, 2023