Market Defies Fear of Real Estate Bubble in China

Everyone agrees China is in the middle of a spectacular real estate boom. The question is whether it is in the middle of a rapidly growing real estate bubble, The New York Times reported. When other recent booms collapsed — in the United States, for instance — they depressed entire economies. In China’s case, a bursting bubble could affect much of the world. China is the fastest-growing large economy and, so far, a main engine pulling the world out of recession. Beijing is clearly concerned. Authorities have recently moved to rein in the easy credit that has helped finance China’s hyperdevelopment, including making it more difficult for home buyers to take out a second mortgage. Last year, a record $560 billion of residential property was sold in China, an increase of 80 percent from the year before, according to government statistics that are widely considered reliable. And with prices soaring, developers are scrambling to build more mansions, villas and high-rise apartments with names like Rich Gate, Park Avenue and Palais de Fortune. “This is wild,” said Andy Xie, a former Morgan Stanley economist who is now an independent analyst. “By all the traditional measures, like rental yield, this is a bubble.” Read more.