Urbis Think Tank
China to have 4 times as many skyscrapers as US, but is it the best policy in a Chinese property bubble?
According to a report from Global Times, “A new skyscraper is built every five days in China and by 2016 the country will have 800, four times the number in the US”.
While it is clear that the country does need high rise buildings to house the increasingly urbanised population, some commentators are wondering if the building of skyscrapers is becoming as much a national branding issue as an effective planning approach.
Although cautiously supportive of skyscrapers, Wang Jianmao, an economics professor at the China-Europe International Business School, noted that “… given the high costs of building skyscrapers and maintaining them as well as the environmental problems they cause, government authorities should be cautious in approving skyscraper projects.”
Chinese ghost towns
Those concerns are reinforced by another recent article that shows many of China’s skyscraper cities are completely empty. The article “China’s ghost towns: New satellite pictures show massive skyscraper cities which are STILL completely empty” reports that there are 64 million empty homes in China.
Chenggong skyscrapers still stand empty
Apart from this photo of Chenggong, there are several more from Jiangsu, Ordos and Zhengzhou.
The concern from the Chinese government and analysts is that China is in the midst of a major property bubble. With this much vacant stock, there may well be some substance to the claims.