Finishing a building in China takes a lot longer than it used to

Developers are really taking their time in China.

It now takes more than 7 years to finish a construction project in the country, according to Fathom Consulting.

This is strange, given China’s speed of construction used to be the envy of everyone, especially in countries with unionized workplaces like the US.

One possible explanation: Chinese developers are calling projects started because they want to generate buzz and allure investors to jump into new projects, even if building hasn’t begun in earnest. But it’s one thing to bring in some heavy equipment and shovels onto the site, and another to actually have contractors in place to start working, according to Jim Costello, director of RCA Analytics.

“A start is not always the starting point. A developer can move some dirt around and make a splash to say that a project is moving forward, while at the same time they are seeking additional investors,” Costello told Business Insider. “A growing time length between starts and completions may be a sign that developers are facing challenges finding those additional investors.”

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