The real estate market was on fire.
Buyers were snapping up sparkling new condos faster than developers could build them. Investors were grabbing two, three, four apartments each, hoping to cash in on skyrocketing prices.
But then the music ended. Prices started to slide. Developers were stuck with empty buildings. Homeowners saw their wealth begin to slip away.
Sound like the United States in 2007? Nope. It’s China in 2012.
After experiencing a red-hot growth in recent years, China’s real estate market is starting to falter. Developers are offering discounts to unload their unsold inventory. Spooked by falling prices, would-be buyers are staying on the sidelines, while investors mourn the decline in value.
But will a housing downturn plunge China into its own Great Recession, as it did in America? Experts say it will certainly hurt, but it’s not likely to spark the same kind of crisis it did in the U.S. . .