Debunking bubble economies - China pt7: China's 64 million empty properties

Mish has posted a link to this amazing video report from DateLine, a multi-award winning international Australian current affairs program and shown on SBS TV in Australia and online worldwide.

Here are a few quotes from the transcript:
These are satellite images of one of China's newest cities, a sprawling urban centre complete with public buildings, hotels and apartment blocks and this is the view from the ground. 11am on a Thursday morning and Zhengzhou's CBD is deserted, shops unoccupied, hundreds of apartments uninhabited.

All the shops in this mall are empty [...]

His shop is a rare sight in the Great Mall. The majority of this vast shopping centre remains as empty as it did when it opened six years ago. Back then, developers boasted that it would become the world's biggest shopping mall, with plans for 1500 shops that would attract 70,000 shoppers a day - the mall was heralded by the New York Times as proof of China's astonishing new consumer culture. [...]

REPORTER: Is China experiencing a property bubble?

GILLEM TULLOCH, FORENSIC ASIA: Absolutely. A property bubble like which I don't think we've ever seen.

REPORTER: Bigger than the one in the United States?

GILLEM TULLOCH: Yes, I think it will make the United States pale in comparison. It is said that there are 64 million empty apartments in China.

REPORTER: 64 million?

GILLEM TULLOCH: 64 million.

Gillem Tulloch is a Hong Kong-based analyst who has been investigating China's residential and commercial real estate market. He maintains that there's massive oversupply and over valuation of properties right across China.

GILLEM TULLOCH: It's essentially the modern equivalent of building pyramids. It doesn't really add to the betterment of lives, but it adds to the growth of GDP.

Prices for units here range from $70,000 to $100,000 - a fortune in a country where the average worker's annual wage is around $6,000 [...]

Millions of expensive empty homes and millions of Chinese who can't afford to live in them. George Jiao is one of them - his rented home lies at the end of a narrow alley in the capital of Beijing. [...] He and his wife live in a single room off a small courtyard.

GEORGE JIAO (Translation): 10 households, two people per household.

There's a communal sink and toilet - there is no place for children here, which is why their daughter remains with his parents in Sichuan - they see her once a year. [...]

A two-hour drive from Beijing, I'm being shown a duplex with an asking price of almost $300,000 [...]
The China story is going to end in tears and is already a human tragedy.

A must-watch video is available online or as a download but not embeddable.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you are right.