Construction sites across Guangzhou used to be floodlit, so that work could continue through the night on the forests of new residential and office towers reaching toward the stars. But now, during a nationwide real estate downturn, builders are not starting projects or scrambling to finish ones already under way, so there is little need for night-work illumination…Two Guangzhou real estate brokers said that prices here had dropped by up to 20 percent over the last year. The nationwide slowdown in real estate cost thousands of agents their jobs and led to the closing of hundreds of brokerage offices. “There is no buying sentiment in the market right now,” said a broker here who gave only his last name, Leung, because he feared retaliation for publicly questioning government policies. The government has ordered a sharp increase in the construction of low-income housing. But in Guangzhou and elsewhere in China, there is considerable cynicism about whether political connections will be needed to buy such apartments
These problems should hardly be a surprise, since the country made $1.7 trillion in real estate loans in just two years to offset slower export growth.