These amazing satellite images show sprawling cities built in remote parts of China that have been left completely abandoned, sometimes years after their construction.
Elaborate public buildings and open spaces are completely unused, with the exception of a few government vehicles near communist authority offices.
Some estimates put the number of empty homes at as many as 64 million, with up to 20 new cities being built every year in the country’s vast swathes of free land.
The photographs have emerged as a Chinese government think tank warns that the country’s real estate bubble is getting worse, with property prices in major cities overvalued by as much as 70 per cent.
Prices have continued to soar, investors have increasingly turned to property speculation fuelling the continued bubble.
The onset of the 2008 global recession was the bursting of the real estate bubble in the U.S. and experts fear a similar situation in China could prove catastrophic for still struggling economies and banking systems.
Beijing has introduced measures to cool ‘ridiculous’ property prices, but the risks of a crash mean the campaign is unlikely to ease up in the next year.
Public discontent has been fuelled by high prices in China’s cities and the measures, introduced in April, have made it more difficult for speculators and developers to hoard land and chase up prices as lending has been restricted.
Wang Shi, chairman of China Vanke – the country’s largest property developer – said: ‘Tightening measures will not loosen next year.
‘If we can control the pace of property price gains within a reasonable range, it’s already an achievement.’