Bubble Watch: Chinese Property Edition

The global economy is like a boiling pot of water— full of bubbles. Or you might say it's like a glass of soda—full of bubbles. Starting small, inflating, and finally bursting—bubbles. Where will the next economic bubble "pop up," ha? Perhaps in a land far, far away.

It's not just hastily assembled McMansions built on vast arid desert plains that can inflate a bubble; hell, real estate anywhere can reach bubble territory fast, if there's enough demand and enough money chasing a (temporarily) limited housing stock, combined with not enough people paying attention to the thousands of journalists gleefully warning of a bubble. (The media loves bubbles.) Today, we turn our eye to China's major cities, where—surprise—housing prices are rising. Fast! Blomberg reports:

Home prices in China’s four major cities jumped the most since January 2011, heightening concerns a bubble is forming as the government refrains from introducing more property curbs that would hinder economic growth.

New home prices in September rose 20 percent in the southern business hubs of Shenzhen and Guangzhou, 17 percent in Shanghai and 16 percent in Beijing from a year earlier as prices climbed in 69 of the 70 cities the government tracks.

Haha, even the handsy Chinese government is wary of taking more measures to cool down the hot housing market, lest they "hinder economic growth." Perhaps they should consider the American formula: Credit for all! Home ownership for all! And default for most! It's what made this country great, and broke!

All the leading witch doctorconomists tell us that real estate prices can never go down.

Other bubble candidates today: E-cigarettes, farmland, and housing in the rest of the world outside China, too.

[Photo: AP]