China's ghost towns not so ghostly after all

James Marlay

China's ghost towns not so ghostly after all? It seems the phenomenon of China's ghost cities may have been overplayed. These massive property developments, which remain largely uninhabited, have often been cited as prime examples of China's unsustainable construction-led economy. CLSA analyst, Nicole Wong, who has just returned from a detailed tour of China, says she does not believe that China's ghost cities are as bad as commonly thought. In particular, the situation whereby cities are built now and occupied later is commonplace in China. As apartments are typically built as 'concrete shells', requiring buyers to fit them out themselves, they necessarily take a long time to get filled. Wong notes that buildings completed between 2008-11 in Zhengzhou, Ordos and Wenzhou-often cited as instances of an overly frothy property market-have typically seen tenants move in over a three-year period. (VIEW LINK)


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