"Shanghai's hot housing market has fizzled after a run-up fed by speculators, threatening a significant part of China's economy.
...Once one of the hottest markets in the world, sales of homes have virtually halted in some areas of Shanghai, prompting developers to slash prices and real estate brokerages to shutter thousands of offices.
...Shanghai's housing bust comes after a doubling of prices in the previous three years, a run-up fueled by massive speculation. With China's economy booming and Shanghai at the center of worldwide attention, investors from Hong Kong, Taiwan and elsewhere were buying as fast as buildings were going up. At least 30% to 40% of homes sold were bought by speculators, says Zhang Zhijie, a real estate analyst at Soufun.com Academy, a research group in Shanghai."