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China's housing bubble is losing air (Eerily similar to early stage of US housing crash)
Los Angeles Times ^ | 12/13/2011 | David Pierson

Posted on 12/13/2011 7:49:10 AM PST by SeekAndFind

Home prices and sales plunge after China's government intentionally slams on the brakes. Some recent buyers stage demonstrations, destroy real estate offices and demand refunds of up to 40%.

Falling home values. Debt-strapped borrowers. Real estate woes dogging the economy. It's old news in the United States, but now the air has started to leak from another great housing bubble — in China.

Home prices nationwide declined in November for the third straight month, according to an index of values in 100 major cities compiled by the China Index Academy, an independent real estate firm. Average prices in the Shanghai area are down about 40% from their peak in mid-2009, to about $176,000 for a 1,000-square-foot home.

Sales have plummeted. In Beijing, nearly two years' worth of inventory is clogging the market, and more than 1,000 real estate agencies have closed this year. Developers who once pre-sold housing projects within hours are growing desperate. A real estate company in the eastern city of Wenzhou is offering to throw in a new BMW with a home purchase.

The swift turnaround has stunned buyers such as Shanghai resident Mark Li, who thought prices had nowhere to go but up. The software engineer closed on a $250,000, three-bedroom apartment in August, only to watch weeks later as the developer slashed prices 25% on identical units to attract buyers in a slowing market.

Outraged, Li and hundreds of others who paid full price trashed the sales office, scuffled with employees and protested for three days before police broke up the demonstration. Walking away now would mean losing the $75,000 down payment that he borrowed from his working-class parents.

"I still haven't told them," Li, 29, said of his home's plummeting value. "It will just make them worry, and it's already too late."

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bubble; china; housing

1 posted on 12/13/2011 7:49:15 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: TigersEye

Pei-ping.


2 posted on 12/13/2011 8:12:29 AM PST by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: SeekAndFind

A bubble is still a bubble, no matter what country it’s in and what is the target of the bubble.


3 posted on 12/14/2011 5:24:35 AM PST by dirtboy
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