And You Think America Has A Real Estate Problem? Look at What's Happening in China

china building industry empty google maps photo 1

"It's a giant new development, which doesn't even have a name yet."

According to Business Insider, there are 64 million empty houses and apartments in China, enough to accommodate 200 million people. They are brand new, held as investments by newly wealthy Chinese who do not have a lot of options.

They need to put their money somewhere, but the stock market is under pressure and bank interest doesn't cover inflation. So they plunk their money into a new property, just as a place to store their wealth, even if they don't intend to live in the place and can't find renters.

The result is extraordinary waste, as displayed in a Google Earth tour.

china building industry empty google maps photo

"In most neighborhoods of Dantu, there are no cars, no signs of life"
china building industry empty google maps photo

"There are no cars in the city, except for a few dozen parked at the glamorous government center."

Forensic Asia (behind fence) is quoted:

There's city after city full of empty streets and vast government buildings, some in the most inhospitable locations. It is the modern equivalent of building pyramids.

Jim Kunstler has been saying for years that the American economy was essentially one of building houses and building big box stores to fill with imported stuff to fill the houses and big cars to move between the stores and the houses, all predicated on an infinite supply of funny money and cheap energy.

It appears that the same is true in China. See all the slides at Business Insider: And Now Presenting: Amazing Satellite Images Of The Ghost Cities Of China

More on Chinese Real Estate:

Back Alleys Fit for a Prince: Charles Crusades For Beijing's Hutong
Jargon Watch: Steven Holl Raises Eyebrows With a "Social Bracket" and "Shade Machines"
Taking the LEED in China: Beijing's Building Green
Stunning Green Buildings in China: A Slideshow

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