China’s real estate scene is reminiscent of the 2007 US market: developers are slashing prices and infuriating owners who paid top yuan for properties. Problems in the real estate market are extending into steel, banking, mining and other sectors. Vacant developments are numerous because wealthy Chinese savers have few alternatives for investing growing wealth. “Beijing’s response to the global financial crisis added jet fuel to the fire,” writes Patrick Chovanec for Foreign Affairs, arguing that investors, not urban residents contributed to the bubble. “To maintain GDP growth of nearly ten percent during a massive downturn in global demand, China’s leaders engineered a lending boom that expanded the country’s money supply by roughly two-thirds.” Developers, after ignoring warnings to ease up on capacity, have urged the government to lift restrictions on owning multiple homes. By letting the bubble pop, the government could instantly create affordable housing for less affluent Chinese. – YaleGlobal Speculation, excess inventory, vacant developments, price reductions – a host of factors are set to undermine China’s real estate market and economic growth Patrick Chovanec Foreign Affairs, 26 December 2011 Rights:Copyright © 2002-2011 by the Council on Foreign Relations, Inc.

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China’s Real Estate Bubble May Have Just Popped