Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn The real estate industry continues to power China’s economy.Credit: Xu Jinbai/VCG via Getty Images People in mainland China weren’t allowed to own property until 1998. Since then, home ownership rates have blossomed. But explosive growth has also fueled a building boom that has saddled some of the nation's biggest property developers with precarious levels of debt. China’s massive property sector sops up steel and cement for major projects each year, creating a symbiotic relationship with the country’s construction firms. One estimate put the real estate industry’s contribution to China’s GDP at 7 percent in 2019, with related sectors like home furnishings bringing up the total to 17.2 percent. The industry is also important for Chinese consumers as a mechanism for investment. A 2018 study estimated that Chinese citizens put nearly three-quarters of their savings into property, compared to just a third for Americans. “Chinese end-users have limited room to deploy their savings into alternatives outside China,” says Henry Chin, head of Asia Pacific research at reSubscribe, register or login to read the rest. Registered users can access a limited amount of content for free.Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.