milanforever wrote: And the economy booming in China is real.
Everyone in a market bubble has looked around and said those exact same words. Since you live in China your perspective is limited. When things change, they will change in a hurry, be prepared...
Actually I don't live in China. I've been living in Canada for several years, but visit China every couple of years. I've also traveled in Europe, South America, mideast and the U.S. So I have some first hand experience about the change happening in China and the living standard compared to other countries.
Of course not all things are rosy. And I agree with you that there is a real estate bubble in China, especially in first tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai. In 2nd tier cities or less advanced areas, it's not nearly as bad though. Another thing which separates the Chinese real estate with the U.S. disaster in 2008 is that in China, you have to pay a huge percent down payment, and it's hard to get mortgage approval, unlike back then in U.S. e.g. My sister who has a steady job in the government, just bought her 3rd apartment, and she had to pay 40% down payment according to the law in the city, which is unthinkable in the U.S. where the rule was much more loose . Basically banking in China is in a much more secure situation.
The economy booming is for sure real. My city, a 2nd tier one, has been changing at an insane speed. I visited it in 2006, but in 2009 when I visited again, I often couldn't recognize the road and get lost, even at places where I grew up and lived for many years. Within a few years time they built a few more big bridges to connect different areas in the city together, more highway, way more high rise buildings, btw, they're all selling fast. Often I wasn't able to tell the taxi driver how to get the destination because of the roads are changed completely. Without exaggeration, the infrastructure in my home city is pretty much on par as Toronto, where I live right now.
Another huge difference is the number of cars increased. In 2006, the apartment building of my sister , the underground parking was half full, while in 2009, it became completely full and many people had to park on streets. My sister's family is a typical middle class. All her friends, coworkers, and my high school mates, they all have cars, mostly Ford, Honda, volkswagen and some with cheaper domestic brand. They take vacations within China, or to Taiwan, other Asian countries or even to Europe, pretty much every year. Their life quality, I'd say, isn't much different to a typical Canadian middle family except one thing : in Canada there are way less people , much more space and better natural environment. Sometimes I'm tempted to move back, but the overcrowdedness in China has been putting me off.
BTW, many of my friends who decided to stay in China are richer than me. I'm doing decent myself : making $95k CAD a year before tax. I had a reunion with my university classmates in Beijing last year, and I belong to middle of the group when it comes to money, better than many, but worse than quite a few too.
The government has also been investing a lot in the last years to develop western area, which is less advanced than eastern, and help improve living standard in rural areas, reduce the gap between city and rural. My parents, who grew up in country side and still have relatives there, told me that farmers are also getting richer, and have a better life. In rural areas, children not only get 12 years free education. They also get free lunch at school provided by government while kids in cities don't get such thing. Pretty much all the families in countryside have refrigerator, color TV, cell phone , and starving is pretty much eliminated, even the poorest have enough food to feed themselves.
China still has a long long way to go, but future is indeed bright, much better than I could've thought when left the country for Canada.