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China - The International Perspective


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China60 – An International Perspective

Size still matters…

The China60 is home to an urban population of almost 300 million people. Its wider catchment houses over 400 million people, greater than the entire population of the United States.

Its consumer class is expanding rapidly, with the number of people in households earning over US$5,000 doubling over the past three years to 130 million. An additional 90 million people in the China60 are expected to join the consumer class by 2020.

The China60 has an economy of US$8.6 trillion (GDP PPP) – if it were a single economy, it would be the world's second largest, accounting for 9% of global output.

… and so does growth

China60 is projected to be responsible for 15% of global growth over the next decade, adding the equivalent of India's entire current annual output (or two Germanys), to reach a combined size of US$15.5 trillion by 2025.

Despite a lower economic growth environment in recent years, the China60 will remain among the fastest-growing economies worldwide. By 2025, the economy of the China60 is expected to be almost twice the size of Russia and Brazil combined.

The China60 contains some of the most dynamic cities in the world; Wuhan, Chongqing, Tianjin and Nanjing all feature in the Top 20 of JLL's 2015 City Momentum Index, which measures the rapidity of change in city economies and real estate markets globally.

Commercial Real Estate: China vs. the U.S.

As China competes with the United States for the title of the world's largest economy, broad comparisons of real estate market size (while over-simplistic and fraught with definitional issues) illustrate the huge disparity in international-grade stock. Despite an unprecedented construction boom, Grade A stock in China's main cities is still small in comparison with the United States.

World's largest economies - Very different real estate markets

World's largest economies - Very different real estate markets

China's major cities currently have one-fifth of the current Grade A retail, logistics and office stock of the U.S:

  • Across the China60 cities, JLL estimates the shopping mall stock to be just over 65 million square metres, and including Alpha and Tier 1 cities, it is 83 million square metres. A broadly comparable figure for the U.S. is 405 million square metres, equating to 1,500 square metres per 1,000 people versus 235 square metres for China60 (plus Alpha/Tier 1 cities). Although some commentators point to the United States as an example of an over-supplied market, this gap still illustrates the huge amount of headroom for further supply growth as China continues to develop.

  • China's Grade A leasable logistics stock, at 29 million square metres, is tiny in comparison to the combined equivalent stock of major cities in the United States, which is close to 155 million square metres.

  • Across China's top 20 office markets (including Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen) the existing built stock of 32 million square metres is far eclipsed by the 152 million square metres of Grade A offices in the U.S.'s top 20 markets. Based on the extrapolation of service sector growth, China's top cities are likely to require 80 million square metres by 2025. This will still equate to only half of the current U.S. stock. ​​​​

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