A recent national survey found that 50 million apartments and houses in China are currently empty. In other words, one in every five homes in the country is uninhabited – a vacancy rate unlike that of any other nation. The phenomenon is largely attributed to investment incentives, and – to a lesser extent – buyers seeking holiday homes or migrant workers leaving their residences empty as they move to another part of the country in search of employment opportunities. Bloomberg describes this situation as “a ticking time bomb” due to fears that if owners of these vacant properties were ever to grow uncertain about the housing market’s stability, they may all hurry at once to sell off these homes, causing prices to drastically plummet. Hence, according to Bloomberg, the government views property speculation as “a key threat to financial and social stability.” The solution to this dilemma remains unclear. There has been discussion of introducing a property or vacancy tax. Yet there have been arguments this may be too difficult to implement: defining what exactly is meant by a “vacant” property may be complicated.