Wednesday, August 17, 2011

China's Ongoing Real Estate Bubble

August 17, 2011
Couples fake divorces to buy homes in China

There, some couples have to fake their own divorces so they can get third mortgages and bank loans to buy properties. And others are actually getting real divorces worried that a fraudulent divorce might come back to haunt them.

In other cases, real estate agents are helping couples with forged marriage licenses and documents to prove local residency and allow buyers to purchase more properties.

Those savvy Chinese! What will they think up next?


Stagflationary Mark said...

As a side note, those who taught China the benefits of capitalism probably should have included a FAQ section on market risk management.

Given the calamity that has since occurred, there has been a great deal of talk, even in quant circles, that this widespread institutional reliance on VaR was a terrible mistake. At the very least, the risks that VaR measured did not include the biggest risk of all: the possibility of a financial meltdown. “Risk modeling didn’t help as much as it should have,” says Aaron Brown, a former risk manager at Morgan Stanley who now works at AQR, a big quant-oriented hedge fund. A risk consultant named Marc Groz says, “VaR is a very limited tool.” David Einhorn, who founded Greenlight Capital, a prominent hedge fund, wrote not long ago that VaR was “relatively useless as a risk-management tool and potentially catastrophic when its use creates a false sense of security among senior managers and watchdogs. This is like an air bag that works all the time, except when you have a car accident.” Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the best-selling author of “The Black Swan,” has crusaded against VaR for more than a decade. He calls it, flatly, “a fraud.”

Troy said...

What I see with China is a wage base that's going double or triple in real terms and who knows in nominal terms.

I'm sure real estate is plenty expensive there now, but so were $35,000 houses here in CA back in the day.

1.3 billion people in such a small country is just insane.

Stagflationary Mark said...


I'm not at all convinced that Chinese wages will double or triple in real terms from here, especially if one factors in the rise of the machines.

Stagflationary Mark said...

I would also point out that Chinese real estate in Bejiing has already priced me out and I have far more resources at my disposal than the typical Chinese factory worker.

China Real Estate: Home Prices In Beijing Dropped By 10%?

According to Homelink, primary market prices dropped from RMB24,945 per square meter to RMB22,512 per square meter...

My Seattle area home is roughly 265 square meters. If it was transported to Bejiing it would have been worth one million dollars. I would have sold it and moved back.

Troy said...

beijing doesn't have a property tax, LOL.

how much would WA real estate rise without the property tax?

as for the robots, robots will make beijingers even richer.

Stagflationary Mark said...


A Brief History of Property Tax

Property taxes were used in Egypt, Babylon, Persia, and China and throughout the ancient world.

I would not bet on China not having property taxes again. It's just a matter of time.

January 28, 2011
China Approves Property Tax Trials to Curb Prices

China approved property tax trials on some homes in Shanghai and Chongqing, adding to measures announced earlier this week in its campaign to curb real-estate speculation and asset bubbles.

Robots will make a few Chinese very rich. It takes many people to maintain a real estate bubble though.

Troy said...

more material goods will boost their service sector. . .

I take it that you're a software/sim guy. Modelling what happens to a dollar in an economy is interesting.

In a pure service economy with no depletion of resources, it is possible for one dollar to ping around the local economy indefinitely.

I'd love to model this, now that I can put 20GB+ in a box . . .

Stagflationary Mark said...


I take it that you're a software/sim guy.

I was a lead software engineer in a computer game company. Good call!

Modelling what happens to a dollar in an economy is interesting.

I wish I could say I saw our demise coming by creating a complex computer simulation, but as it turns out it was mostly just due to the crazy mortgage offers I was getting in my old-school mailbox (in 2004). Go figure.

The problem with complex models is that all it takes is one misplaced/missing assumption to ruin it all. I think more than a few banks found that out the hard way. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

heh, I was too. Well, maybe not lead.

The power of PCs today just blows my mind.

I'd love to figure out how to productize them into arcade games again.

opened up near me now but they kinda suck. Right idea but $5 for 10-15 minutes ain't gonna work.

As for testing complex models, back testing!

Stagflationary Mark said...

The computer games of the future are going to be anti-productivity miracles.

That's assuming my back yard is any indicator. For some strange reason, the lawn has suffered since the Playstation 3 appeared. ;)

Troy said...

The computer games of the future are going to be anti-productivity miracles.

Nah, computer games are going to be peoples' lives.

Excellent substitute good for just about anything -- WOW raids are exactly like bowling leagues now.

Stagflationary Mark said...


We're going to be plugged into the collective. ;)