There’s a potential real estate bubble growing in China that could have major implications for the global economy if it bursts, analysts say.
Fortune staffer Chris Matthews reports that analysts aren’t mincing words when it comes to the potential damage. “The dangers of overly inflated housing prices are huge,” writes Hu Shuli, chief editor of Caixin Media in Beijing. “Indicators such as the ratio of mortgage payments to a buyer’s income indicate that on a relative basis, China’s current housing prices are now more expensive than those during Japan’s property bubble, and are close to U.S. prices just before the global financial crisis exploded.”
However, it’s unlikely that a Chinese real estate bubble will create a financial crisis like the subprime bubble in the U.S. because, in China, real estate borrowers have the collateral to repay their creditors if they can’t make their debt payments. Still, the existence of these bubbles are an indication of the lack of other investments available to Chinese savers, a problem that has troubling global economic implications. The Chinese government has long capped what banks can pay savers, and is also now cracking down on attempts by citizens to move their savings abroad in search of better returns. .