The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) has issued a clarification statement after media reports cited its research as saying the housing prices in China were expected to fall significantly in 2016.

The top Chinese government thinktank issued the China Housing Development Report 2015-2016 on Thursday. The report said residential property prices are expected to “fall off the cliff” in the second half of next year, according to multiple Chinese media outlets including Xinhua and China Business Network.

A high-end residential project in Huizhou, Guangdong. Photo: Lukas Messmer.

The report pointed out several problems in the property industry, including a huge inventory that the CASS predicts will take over five years for the market to digest. Oversupply has led to housing projects being abandoned and property companies going bankrupt or merging with others, the report said.

An empty house in a ghost town in Guangdong. Photo: Lukas Messmer.

However, on Friday the CASS said it is “inaccurate” for the media to say housing prices will “fall off the cliff” in 2016.

Gao Peiyong, who led the research, said: “The theme of our report was not this, we merely analysied objectively the elements which will affect the housing market in the next couple of years. Our main conclusion was not this.”

Gao added the CASS is “full of confidence” in the Chinese economy in the next five years. Since then, some media reports saying housing prices will “fall off the cliff” have been deleted.

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Vivienne Zeng

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.