October 19, 2005

Warm Bubbles

And I thought Bay Area housing was nutty. At least there it's more a matter of limited supply, with less emphasis on building out. Compare that to Shanghai:

This year alone, Shanghai will complete towers with more space for living and working than there is in all the office buildings in New York City.

That is in a city that already has 4,000 skyscrapers, almost double the number in New York. And there are designs to build 1,000 more by the end of this decade.

And even with that massive building boom, the prices are jumping up to First World levels and beyond. Plenty of folks are rushing to cater to the nouveau riche, on the theory that even a tiny fraction of a billion-plus population makes for a lot of fancy handbags.

And China Central Place in Beijing is being developed by Guohua Electric, a power company that for 50 years has occupied land in an area the city recently designated as its new central business district.

Guohua's real estate arm is now building a $1.2 billion complex that consists of three high-rise office buildings, a 1.8-million-square-foot shopping mall, 1,300 luxury apartments, two five-star hotels and a man-made lake and river walk.

Hey, I do believe that's where our company's new Beijing office is gonna be. If you can't beat 'em… At least we're paying in cash, so if the bubble pops we'll still have a fancy river-front office, if nothing else. It just can't be a good sign for the big Western firms to be jumping into the real estate market. Sucking optimistic Western suckers investors dry has been Asian business practice for centuries.

All that construction and stuff is burning a lot of coal and oil in the process. But at least we don't have to worry about global warming or anything like that, nope. Hope they enjoy Hurricane Wilma down in Florida, but what I'm really looking forward to is Hurricane Alpha, now that they've run out of assigned names for this year's Atlantic storms. I wonder how that Gulf water got warm enough to drive a hurricane from Category 2 to a Cat 5 monster overnight?

Posted by mikewang on 11:38 PM