Excessive market supply of city apartments due to China’s economic boom

China has experienced an exponential economic boom in the past decade, with an annual GDP increase of 7-10% since 2005. Much of China’s economic growth is attributed to the significant investment in new infrastructure. China has recently pledged an initial investment of $50billion towards its next ambition: the ‘Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’ (AIIB).

However, there are recent concerns with excessive market supply of city apartments. This phenomenon, known as “China’s ghost towns”, has created some controversy in regard to the sustainability of China’s economic growth.

Some of the most spectacular ghost towns of China include:

  • Kangbashi district, Ordos, Inner Mongolia – held to be the world’s largest ghost city, Kangbashi district was built to accommodate a population in excess of one million. However, this lonely city is currently home to a population of only 20,000 people, leaving 98% of the city abandoned.
  • New South China Mall, Guangdong – Once boasted to be the world’s biggest shopping mall, it is also the emptiest. The vast majority of its 1500 stores have been empty since it was finished in 2005.
  • Chenggong, Yunnan – High-rise apartment blocks have mushroomed in the new city of Chenggong. However, there are still more than 100,000 new apartments with no occupants. It is still largely deserted after failed attempts by the authorities to attract new residents.

We previously blogged about an article referring to New Zealand’s zombie towns in https://nzconstructionblog.com/2014/11/11/construction-booming-in-zombie-town/. China’s ghost towns put our so-called ‘zombie towns’ to shame.

It will be interesting to see how China will deal with these ghost cities. Much like the stadiums built for the 2008 Olympics, the towns may just become a spectacular tourist site for future generations.

For more information about this phenomenon, follow the link below:


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