In stories of a Field of Dreams it’s suggested that “if you build it they will come.” There’s some indication that this is not the case in China these days. In recent times we’re hearing with increased frequency of booming development (building “the equivalent of Rome every two months”) resulting mostly in the biggest ghost cities in Asia. Dongguang, a city of 10 million can now claim distinction of being the world’s biggest ghost mall. With a population of that size one would think the mall would be booming, “but the vast majority of its 1500 stores have been empty since it was finished in 2005.” “In Chenggong, there are more than 100,000 new apartments with no occupants.” According to BBC reports here “It looks to outsiders as though the great Chinese building boom is over, the real estate extravaganza that shook the world.”
The impact of this information seems to conflict with other reports that point to expanded Chinese real estate investment in other parts of the globe, including here in Canada, and shifting more recently across the United States. The question might rightly be asked: As China’s growth continues to slow, how long before the impact of their supply outstripping demand is seriously felt in the global economy–including our own backyard? Or is it already making its impact felt here in greater degree than we care to acknowledge?