The Housing Bubble In China Is Ready To Burst And It's Going To Be Worse Than The One In The US

During the housing bubble that started deflating in 2007, there was too much easy money chasing overpriced real estate. Mortgages were practically being thrown at anyone wanting one even if they really couldn't afford the property were going buy. When the end came, foreclosures skyrocketed as people couldn't make their mortgage payments and couldn't sell the property they'd bought because it was worth less than what they'd paid for it.

New homes went unsold and entire neighborhoods of empty and unsellable homes became ghost towns. Developments that had been in progress came to a halt and the unfinished homes remained that way. Billions of dollars of foreclosed homes were held by banks, with some being sold off for a little at a time for a fraction of their original selling price. Many are still waiting to be sold but haven't yet been placed on the market for fear of damaging a still fragile housing market. In some extreme cases entire developments were bulldozed because they were too expensive to maintain weren't likely to be sold any time soon.

As bad as the housing market has become here in the US, it's going to be far worse in China.

While the conditions are different, meaning that mortgages haven't been thrown at anyone that would sign the paperwork, that doesn't mean that the Chinese housing bubble isn't going to devastate their economy.

Many people in China have sunk their entire life savings and those of other family members into buying homes that are overpriced and, craziest of all, aren't being occupied by their owners. Many of them sit empty. What's even worse is that many of these properties are located in cities that are modern day ghost towns. Entire new cities capable of housing a million or more people are made up of empty apartment buildings, shops, and malls...and they're likely to stay that way.

While I've seen plenty of pictures of these empty cities, seeing the this report makes them seem even eerier than I thought possible.

At least if Hollywood ever needs to shoot a movie in a deserted city all they have to do is go to China and they'll have quite a few to choose from. They'll probably be able to rent one for a small nominal fee.