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China's skyscraper fervor causes concerns of investment misstep (2)


14:25, September 03, 2012

Figures released by skyscraper-observing website show that as of March 2011, the Chinese mainland has built 350 skyscrapers higher than 152 meters, outstripping the number in the United States. The country then was building another 287 high-rises, and planned to construct more than 400 skyscrapers in the future.

But low occupancy is a potential risk developers have to consider, warned He Jingtang, an academic with the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Property market adviser Jones Lang LaSalle has pointed out that cooled economic expansion dampened demand for high-end office buildings in Beijing in the first half of the year.

At the same time, rent for high-end office buildings in the Chinese capital surged 50 percent in the second quarter of 2012, according to property market advisory DTZ Debenham Tie Leung Limited. Rent spikes are likely to keep small or medium-sized companies away.

Hung-Ming Lin, board chairman and general manager of Taipei 101, the second-tallest building completed in the world, said it takes a very long time before developers can make profits from skyscrapers.

"Developers will suffer from a strained money supply," Lin added.

Running skyscrapers is also costly. It is estimated that management expenditure on the 420.5-meter-tall Shanghai Jinmao Tower reaches 1 million yuan each day.

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