PHOTO: The Yudong International complex in Jurong, China is one of a sea of apartments that have been built in recent years. A glut of unwanted apartments gets part of the blame for a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. In some places, homeowners are taking to the streets in protest over the loss of their property values.  (LAM YIK FEI / NYT)

JURONG, CHINA—For Hu Peiliang, Jurong was a city of cranes, concrete and opportunity. He was so sure it was on the cusp of a boom that last year he moved his family there.

On an overcast day last month, Hu, a 31-year-old real estate agent, pointed to one new building after another as evidence. New city blocks have been built, crosswalks and street lights erected overnight. One development straddling several blocks called Yudong International will include 120 buildings when completed.