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走出楼市崩盘阴影的北海市
Beihai embraces its new boom, forgetting its bust

2017-5-17 06:52| 发布者: 悠儿| 查看: 88| 评论: 0

摘要: From Yang Bishan’s home at the top of a tower block, one can look out across the port city of Beihai and see the fruits of its town planners’ vision. Beihai’s high-rise buildings are arranged in a ...
From Yang Bishan’s home at the top of a tower block, one can look out across the port city of Beihai and see the fruits of its town planners’ vision. Beihai’s high-rise buildings are arranged in a neat grid; a trunk road stretches towards the mountains in the distance, connecting Beihai with the rest of Guangxi province and other ports along the coast.

This urbanisation dates from the early 1990s, when Beihai was undergoing rapid growth — soon interrupted by a property crash. But today Beihai is experiencing a renewed boom, spurred by lavish state lending in the wake of the financial crisis.

Mr Yang was born more than 1,000km away from Beihai, where he moved in the 1990s. Over the years he has employed more than 3,000 migrant workers who used to farm the fields around his hometown of Luzhou in the inland province of Sichuan. They have come to work for his company — Beihai Modern Construction. “Many are now Beihai people,” he says.

Like many Chinese coastal cities, Beihai’s population has swelled with migrants from inland rural areas. In the past 20 years, its population has increased more than 27 per cent to 1.7m people, according to data from Wind Information, a research provider. That means it is still a small city by Chinese standards (Beijing has 21m people).

Its first growth spurt came when Beijing designated it, along with 13 other coastal cities, as a trade zone in 1984 — and the only one for the south-west. Mr Yang says it is fortunate that local officials of the early 1990s were focused on long-term structural development. Beihai’s rapid urbanisation and the success of Mr Yang’s construction business were both made possible by a local infrastructure boom.

“The differences between Chinese cities’ infrastructure development is massive. Much of this is down to the city government, since urban infrastructure building is decided locally,” explains Jin Yongxiang, general manager of Dayue Consulting, which advises central and local governments on infrastructure.

A subsequent bust left its marks too. Many streets are now peppered with windowless, mildew-black houses that stand out among the gleaming tiles of the high-rises. Locals refer to these abandoned buildings as “the ’93 houses”, after the year that marked the period’s nadir.

Following that cycle, the local government made efforts to encourage local industry. The Beihai Industrial Park was set up in 2001, focusing on electronic goods, although it is dwarfed by the success of port cities such as Shenzhen, which has good supply chain links to Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. The local government set up Tieshangang Industrial Park in 2007, focusing on heavy industry and petrochemicals.

But Beihai’s fortunes really changed in 2008 when the global financial crisis hit. Wang Xinling, lead analyst at China Policy, a think-tank in Beijing, says the government responded quickly: “Because exports were threatened by the global financial crisis, the government increased investment — and that went into infrastructure.”

Beihai has been one of the areas that have benefited from China’s abundant, and often excessive, lending from state banks. In mid-2008, the China Development Bank gave a Rmb110bn ($16bn) loan to the government of Guangxi. Rmb18bn of that loan was ploughed into infrastructure investment in the province in that year alone, according to state media.

Infrastructure spending throughout the 2000s on projects like roads created more jobs in construction, which continued to bring workers — such as Mr Yang’s 3,000 migrant farmers — to Beihai, in turn feeding a residential property boom.

Housebuilding was increasing across China after the central government made a push towards privatising the housing market in 1998. As a result, Beihai’s annual fixed-asset investment, which includes infrastructure and spending on property, increased twenty-fold from Rmb2.18bn in 2000 to Rmb48bn in 2010.

Property developers like Mr Yang could be about to enjoy a new boom in property prices, by locals’ reckoning. If that boom does happen, it may be because Beihai, which never developed heavy industries like some of China’s large port cities, has one quality that other parts of China lack — relatively clean air. The city’s tropical climate means there is no need to burn coal for heating, and there is little industry to consume it either.

Local developers say that house purchases rose in the first few months of this year because of severe smog around Beijing in the north. With its climate and sandy beaches, Beihai is both a domestic tourist getaway and a retirement destination. “What China most needs now in terms of public infrastructure is environmental protection facilities, and medical and retirement facilities for our ageing population,” says Mr Jin.

While the city’s sales of residential properties in December grew 46 per cent year on year, in Beijing grew just 3 per cent and in Shanghai they fell by 59 per cent, government figures show.

Mr Yang, who has weathered the city’s worst housing bust, puts his faith in the constant stream of new people moving to the city. “That kind of downturn can’t happen again,” he says. “Beihai has the approval of the country’s migrants.”

杨壁山(音译)住在一栋高层建筑的顶层,从他家可以俯瞰北海这座港口城市,看到城市规划者们的成果。北海的高层建筑井然有序;一条主干道向着远处的山脉伸展,连通北海市和广西境内其他地区及其他沿海港口。

北海的城市化始于上世纪90年代初,当时北海一度发展迅猛,但很快就遭遇了一场楼市崩盘。而如今北海经历着又一次繁荣,这次的复苏是由金融危机后政府主导的巨额贷款带来的。

杨壁山的出生地距离北海市有1000多公里远,他于上世纪90年代来到北海。这些年他雇用过3000多名农民工,他们大多原本在他的老家泸州一带种田,而泸州位于中国内陆的四川省。他们来到他的公司——一家叫做北海市现代建筑的公司——打工。“他们很多人现在都成了北海人,”杨壁山说。

与中国众多沿海城市类似,北海市的人口也因内地农村移民的涌入而膨胀。根据数据服务提供商万得资讯(Wind Information)的估算,过去20年,北海市的人口涨幅超过了27%,达到170万。按照中国的标准(北京市有2100万人口),北海仍旧是个小城市。

1984年,中国将北海等14个城市列为沿海开放城市——其中位于西南部的只有北海市——北海由此迎来第一波迅猛增长。杨壁山说,值得庆幸的是,上世纪90年代的地方官员们注重长期结构性发展。当地的基建热潮使北海的城市化得以迅速实现,也令杨壁山的建筑事业大获成功。

“中国的城市在基础设施建设上的差异很大。这在很大程度上归因于市政府,因为城市的基建是由地方决定的,”大岳咨询公司(Dayue Consulting)的总经理金永祥这样解释,大岳咨询是一家为中国中央和地方政府在基建项目上提供咨询服务的企业。

随后楼市的崩盘也在这座城市留下了印记。许多街道至今仍有很多没有窗户、霉迹斑斑的房子,这些老房子突兀地耸立在外型光鲜的高层建筑之间。当地人将这些废弃的房屋称为“93年的房子”,1993年北海的经济跌到了谷底。

那次经济周期过后,当地政府致力于扶持地方产业。2001年北海工业园区(Beihai Industrial Park)建成,主要发展电子产品,只是不像深圳等其他港口城市那么成功,深圳与台湾、日本和韩国建立了良好的供应链关系。北海政府在2007年建立了铁山港工业园(Tieshangang Industrial Park),集中发展重工业和石化工业。

然而北海命运真正转变,是在2008年全球金融危机来袭之际。齐纳百思(China Policy)是北京一家智库,其首席分析师王欣玲称,中国政府迅速做出反应:“由于出口贸易受到全球金融危机的威胁,政府加大了投资力度——而这些资金被用于基础设施建设。”

北海成为受益于中国政府充足、且往往过度的国有银行贷款的地区之一。2008年中期,国家开发银行(China Development Bank)向广西政府发放贷款1100亿人民币(合160亿美元)。官方媒体称,仅当年的基建投资就用掉了其中的180亿人民币。

本世纪前十年间,用于道路等项目上的基建支出为建筑行业创造了更多的就业机会,由此吸引务工人员——如杨壁山手下的3000多名农民工——来到北海,反之又促成了北海当地住房市场的繁荣。

中国政府在1998年开始推动住房私有化,此后全国各地的住房建设活动一直呈增长趋势。结果,北海的年度固定资产投资,包括基础设施建设和房地产支出,翻了20倍,从2000年的21.8亿人民币增长到2010年的480亿人民币。

当地人认为,像杨壁山这样的房地产开发商可能又将从房价的新一轮上涨中受益。如果繁荣真的重现,那也许是因为北海与中国一些大型港口城市不同,它从未发展过重工业,具备一种中国其他地区所没有的特质——相对洁净的空气。北海的热带气候意味着这里无需燃煤供暖,而且当地也几乎没有需要消耗煤炭的工业。

当地开发商称,今年的头几个月,中国北方北京周边地区的严重雾霾,帮助推动北海的购房量增长。北海的气候和沙滩,也使这里成为中国国内一处度假及养老胜地。“就基础设施而言,当前中国最需要的就是环保设施,以及为老龄人口配备的医疗及养老设施,”金永祥说。

政府数据显示,12月份北海市住房销售量较去年同期增长了46%,而北京仅增长了3%,上海则下降了59%。

经历过北海房市最惨淡时期的杨壁山,如今对源源不断涌入北海的人潮很有信心。“不会再有那样的低迷了,”他说。“北海很受国内候鸟们的赞赏。”

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