PILING IT ON

A single city in China built more skyscrapers last year than the US and Australia combined

Obsession
Shenzhen
Obsession
Shenzhen

China’s skyscraper craze reached another new high last year.

In 2016 the world saw the completion of 128 skyscrapers, up from 114 in 2015, according to the US-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (it defines a skyscraper as being higher than 200 m, or 656 ft). Of those, 84 came from China, a new record for the nation. China has topped the council’s completions list every year for nearly a decade (pdf, p. 2). In 2015 it notched 68 such buildings, also a record in China at the time.

Shenzhen, a city in southern China known for electronics manufacturing, stood out last year, completing 11 such skyscrapers. That’s more than the US and Australia combined. The city was also China’s hottest real estate market last year.

Next was Chongqing, noted for its fast GDP growth (link in Chinese), and Guangzhou, which completed a new finance center with 111 stories and especially fast elevators.

Meanwhile many cities in China have seen growing office vacancy rates. In Shanghai’s central business district—home to the Shanghai Tower, the nation’s tallest building—the rate jumped from 7.3% in the third quarter last year to 10.5% in the fourth, according to a Cushman and Wakefield report.

China’s building boom is likely to slow down, notes the CTBUH, thanks to a “still-cooling national economy” and an uptick in capital outflows (p. 6). But with 328 skyscrapers under construction in 2017, it might take a while.

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