You want reckless property speculation? China’s got it. And they don’t just throw up the occasional condo on spec: They build entire cities.
It’s a five-minute video but well worth watching. Note especially that masses of those empty apartments in this empty city have been bought “as investments” by Chinese speculators. Lots of luck there, guys.
This Australian clip from 2011 notes that New Ordos isn’t China’s only ghost city:
And even if you build amusement parks, they may not come, as Reuters notes this week:
Along the road to one of China’s most famous tourist landmarks – the Great Wall of China – sits what could potentially have been another such tourist destination, but now stands as an example of modern-day China and the problems facing it.Situated on an area of around 100 acres, and 45 minutes drive from the center of Beijing, are the ruins of ‘Wonderland’. Construction stopped more than a decade ago, with developers promoting it as ‘the largest amusement park in Asia’. Funds were withdrawn due to disagreements over property prices with the local government and farmers. So what is left are the skeletal remains of a palace, a castle, and the steel beams of what could have been an indoor playground in the middle of a corn field.
Click over for the photos.
I’m sure building these ghost cities gooses China’s economic stats, gives its workers something to do (see also: FDR and the WPA), and as the Australian item hints, allows the Chi-Coms to generate plenty of PR to entice useful idiots such as Thomas Friedman. But how many of these ghost cities does China have?