"They are really feeling the effect of the financial crisis."
Chinese manufacturers once snapped up its luxury apartments, but with profits falling as a result of the global downturn many owners need to offload properties urgently and raise cash to repay business loans, estate agents said.
Now apartments on Phoenix Island which reached the dizzying heights of 150,000 yuan per square metre ($2,200 per square foot) in 2010 are on offer for just 70,000 yuan, said Sun Zhe, a local estate agent.
"I just got a call from a businessman desperate to sell," Sun told AFP, brandishing his mobile phone as he whizzed over a bridge to the futuristic development on a electric golf cart.
"Whether it's toys or clothes, the export market is bad... property owners need capital quickly, and want to sell their apartments right away," he said. "They are really feeling the effect of the financial crisis."
China is getting hit by falling exports (despite claims to the contrary; we're told that the falling number of shipping containers don't lie), some of the worst air and other pollution on the planet (probably much worse than generally reported), fierce international competition in the form of lower-paid labor in other countries, very bad accounting standards, obvious corruption in high places, a restless population that will turn on a dime in riots, and a government that really doesn't know what its ideology is.
Not everyone is as cautious about China though. Dan Steinbock sees two shifts taking place that don't seem to alarm him: 1) direct foreign investment in China is moving west in China and is reinvesting earnings from China in China 2) money is shifting from manufacturing to services to take advantage of China's growing middle and upper classes' demand for such services. See: Foreign Investment Relocates in China and Asia.
Top that off with this from Reuters: Exclusive: China plans bond overhaul to fund $6 trillion urbanization - sources. Can they pull it all off? Are you interested in betting your money on that they will? Can you afford to lose it if they fail even partially? Are there better places to invest?
Why? How can it not crash?