Socionomics Alert: Beijing Restricts Building Height

The Skyscraper Index is a social mood indicator that shows correlation between economic cycle peaks and the building of the world's tallest skyscrapers.
The first notable example was the Panic of 1907. Two record-breaking skyscrapers, the Singer Building and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, were launched in New York before the panic and completed in 1908 and 1909, respectively. Met Life remained the world's tallest building until 1913. Another string of supertall towers – 40 Wall Street, Chrysler Building, Empire State Building – was launched shortly before the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

The next record holders, World Trade Center towers and Sears Tower, opened up in 1973, during the 1973–1974 stock market crash and the 1973 oil crisis. The last example available to Lawrence, Petronas Twin Towers, opened up in the wake of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis and held the world height record for five years. Lawrence linked the phenomenon to overinvestment, speculation and monetary expansion but did not elaborate these underlying issues.[4] The concept was revived in 2005, when Fortune warily observed five media corporations investing in new skyscrapers on Manhattan[3] (none of them, including the tallest New York Times Building, broke any records).
There are several different takes on the Skyscraper Index, and it has corollaries such as new, lavish corporate headquarters sometimes signaling a peak in a company's fortunes.

The social mood argument is simple: when a society is at peak optimism, it reaches for the heavens. This news out of Beijing signals the massive change in social mood and thinking in China.

The Beijing government has retroactively restricted the height of buildings in a prime plot of the city’s core business district to as low as 100 metres, truncating the building heights and potential investment returns of developers who purchased more than RMB 8.6 billion ($1.37 billion) in sites in the area at least seven years ago.

...The affected area in Beijing’s CBD is located north of Jianguomen Outer Street and east of Third Ring Road in the capital’s Guomao commercial zone, and lies just south of the landmark CCTV Tower. The mega-site, which was characterised in a JLL report last year as Beijing’s “superblock,” is made up of 15 plots, which were sold in 2010-2011, anchored by CIC and CITIC’s 528 metre China Zun tower.

...“The completion of these projects will thus be postponed for at least a year as redesigning and government approvals take time.” The projects are now expected to be completed in 2022-23, Cao added.

The office supply in floor area in the affected area will decrease by 10 to 30 percent due to the height restriction, Cao predicts.
Not everyone will lose out. Early builders get around the restrictions and will now have a larger slice of office supply in the area.
The future headquarters of CITIC Group, China Zun, a substantially finished 108-storey building will reach 528 metres — 198 metres higher than the China World Trade Centre Tower III, and some 340 metres above the new guidelines.
The takeaway from a Socionomic perspective is Beijing is no longer reaching for heaven, by trying to cap growth and population, and worrying about oversupply. It is a local regulation and China is still reaching for the heavens with Moon missions, but it is also China's capital city. A shift in mood is underway.

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