Monday, December 11, 2006

Build it and they will come

The Chinese have taken speculative building to a whole new level. All around Hangzhou, high-rise apartment buildings are sprouting like weeds. From my apartment, I can see dozens of cranes busy at work within a mile radius, and it's the same all over the city. Dozens of other towers have been recently built. Of the thousands of units available, though, only a tiny fraction is actually occupied. A huge, riverfront tower nearby is nearly dark at night time, with only a handful of lights on. I've been told that wealthy people are snapping up real estate as fast as they can get it, despite having a fat chance of finding renters any time soon.

All this construction is powered by cheap labor from rural China. I'll get into that topic in a separate post, though...

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