The Rise (and Fall) of China’s Skyscraper Economy

Location, location, location.

That’s the real-estate motto. And if the location of the world’s largest skyscrapers is a good predictor of the epicenter of the next global financial crisis, keep your eyes glued on China.

We recently warnrned of China’s looming property bubble in our November issue of Boom & Bust. If you haven’t joined us yet, click here to find out how you can capitalize on the pending collapse of China’s overbuilt housing bubble.

For now, here’s a glimpse into why we see trouble in China’s build-to-prosperity plan, viewed through the lens of the skyscraper index.

First, consider that China is set to complete construction on 10 additional skyscrapers in the next three years, including the record-breaking Sky City building, which, get this, will house some 30,000 people!

Here’s a chart showing how China has ramped up its appetite for erecting the world’s tallest building as its economy has increasingly taken center stage.

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Of course, China’s prosperity comes several generations after Europe’s and America’s. Some say China’s just catching up.

To that I say: “Hardly!”

Here’s another chart, this time showing that China already has more skyscrapers than any other country in the world, both in terms of the number of buildings and in total, combined height. Take a look…

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The combination of newfound wealth and a penchant for real-estate investing (much more than stock investing) has led to a massive overbuild and overinvestment in real-estate assets in China.

Like all good things, this too will come to an end.

One urban-planning expert has called China’s Sky City ambitions “at best a folly, at worst, madness.”

Consider yourself warnrned!