The Real China Housing Collapse: Actual Buildings

China News

Rescuers carry out search and rescue operation on top of debris of a collapsed residential building in Fenghua, Zhejiang province. Reuters Rescuers carry out search and rescue operation on top of debris of a collapsed residential building in Fenghua, Zhejiang province. Reuters

They don’t build ‘em like they used to, and when it comes to housing in China, that’s probably a good thing.

According to the official Xinhua news agency, the price behind the breakneck pace of China’s construction boom since the reform and opening is becoming clear, with buildings collapses frequently involving those constructed in the 1980s and ‘90s.

That was evident last week, when a five-story residential building constructed in 1994 collapsed in Fenghua in coastal Zhejiang province, killing one person and burying several others in the rubble.

Only an eyebrow-raising 22% of China’s housing stock was built before 2000. But its recent vintage doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll last very long: According to an unnamed government official Xinhua cited this week, China’s buildings are generally expected to…

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