Indeed, these market malinvestments have resulted in some pretty distorted changes:
SHANGHAI, China — In what may be the hottest real estate market on the planet, one fact of life seems extra cruel. In Shanghai, young women expect their boyfriends to buy a home before proposing.
“There’s a joke that goes Shanghai women can’t find husbands because they want a house, a car and a RMB1 million [$150,000] income,” said 28-year-old (male) sales rep Su Bei.
In truth, choosier women even go as far as to require that a spouse-to-be have paid off the mortgage entirely before popping the question.
HONG KONG—One is a China state tobacco company. Another, a Japanese ramen chain. And finally, there is an obscure Hong Kong semiconductor maker.
What they have in common: They are some of the latest companies to jump onto the real-estate bandwagon as prices soar to gravity-defying levels in Hong Kong and mainland China. Some experts see the growing involvement of nontraditional players as yet more troubling evidence of froth in both property markets.
Last week, a small maker of diodes and transistors called Sino-Tech International Holdings Ltd. shocked investors by announcing that it was "diversifying into the property sector," buying a luxury three-story residence in Hong Kong's swank Peak district for more than HK$280 million (US$36 million) in cash, one of the biggest sums ever for a property here.