Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Global Economy's Next Threat: China's Real Estate Bubble

The popping of China's housing bubble could have widespread consequences
By Charles Smith
Daily Finance

We might be tempted to envy China's spectacularly resilient real estate boom: After sagging in the global financial meltdown of 2008, property values in China's urban centers skyrocketed in 2009. Shanghai's Pudong district, for example, experienced a 57% rise in a matter of months.

By comparison, residential real estate in the U.S. is up 3.4% on average from its bottom in May, but still almost 30% below its peak in April 2006.

However, those admiring China's reflated housing bubble might be careful what they wish for, as the new real estate bubble in China is even more precarious than the one which imploded in 2008.

The popping of China's current housing bubble -- considered inevitable by regional experts such as Andy Xie -- could have widespread consequences. If housing turns down in China, China's growth could slow or even decline. And since the entire world is looking to China to lead global growth, then that could spell major trouble for the "global economy is recovering" story.


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