Hedge fund manager Jim Chanos has been warning investors for three years about a real estate crisis in China, and he told CNBC that the property bubble there is getting even bigger.
"You can't miss it," he said in a "Squawk Box" interview Thursday, referring to the so-called "ghost cities" of China.
They look like any other, but with one difference: No people. And in many cases, they feature miles and miles of empty apartments and office buildings.
This perpetual sprawl is needed to help fuel the $8 trillion Chinese economy, Chanos said, estimating that gross domestic product there derives half of its growth from construction.
(Read More: Why China's Property Market Is Getting Scary)
"Avoid anything having to do with the Chinese property market—steel, cement, iron ore," he advised, adding that he had been shorting those sort of plays.
By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere
Posted 8 March 2013
Follow Matt on Twitter @Matt_SquawkCNBC
Building continues on a housing development near Shanghai.
Residential apartment buildings stand in the new district of Kangbashi.
A new housing development in Huaxi.
Kangbashi is being built to house hundreds of thousands of residents and has been dubbed as the "Dubai of China" by locals.
Kangbashi's Ordos National Theater, left, and Ordos Culture and Art Center stand in the new district. Kangbashi may have only 28,000 residents.
A man walks through a new housing complex in the Kangbashi section of Ordos.
Residential apartment buildings stand on an empty street.
The city has grown rich over the past decade on the back of a coal mining boom that has transformed it from a sandstorm-afflicted backwater into one of the wealthiest places in China. The boom triggered a frenzy of building in the city, but the local government has struggled to fill the vast tower blocks that sprung up.
Empty apartment developments stand in the city of Ordos.