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Are house prices too high in China?


  • Shen, Ling


This short note defines a new measurement of housing affordability in terms of permanent income. Using this new measurement, we find that housing affordability in China is very strong relative to other developed economies, although the ratio of housing prices to current income in China is much higher than those of developed nations.

Suggested Citation

  • Shen, Ling, 2012. "Are house prices too high in China?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 1206-1210.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:23:y:2012:i:4:p:1206-1210
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2012.03.008

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John M. Quigley & Steven Raphael, 2004. "Is Housing Unaffordable? Why Isn't It More Affordable?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 191-214, Winter.
    2. SATO, Hiroshi, 2006. "Housing inequality and housing poverty in urban China in the late 1990s," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 37-50.
    3. Michael Stone, 2006. "What is housing affordability? The case for the residual income approach," Housing Policy Debate, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 151-184.
    4. Gan, Quan & Hill, Robert J., 2009. "Measuring housing affordability: Looking beyond the median," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 115-125, June.
    5. Nandinee Kutty, 2005. "A new measure of housing affordability: Estimates and analytical results," Housing Policy Debate, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 113-142.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wen-Yuan Lin & I-Chun Tsai, 2016. "Asymmetric Fluctuating Behavior of China's Housing Prices," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 24(2), pages 107-126, March.
    2. Zhang, Dingsheng & Cheng, Wenli & Ng, Yew-Kwang, 2013. "Increasing returns, land use controls and housing prices in China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 789-795.
    3. Xu Zhang & Xiaoxing Liu & Jianqin Hang & Dengbao Yao & Guangping Shi, 2016. "Do Urban Rail Transit Facilities Affect Housing Prices? Evidence from China," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 8(4), pages 1-14, April.
    4. Gregory C. Chow & Linlin Niu, 2015. "Housing Prices in Urban China as Determined by Demand and Supply," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(1), pages 1-16, February.
    5. Feng, Qu & Wu, Guiying Laura, 2015. "Bubble or riddle? An asset-pricing approach evaluation on China's housing market," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 376-383.
    6. Yongheng Deng & Eric Girardin & Roselyne Joyeux, 2015. "Fundamentals and the Volatility of Real Estate Prices in China: A Sequential Modelling Strategy," Working Papers 222015, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
    7. Deng, Yongheng & Girardin, Eric & Joyeux, Roselyne, 2018. "Fundamentals and the volatility of real estate prices in China: A sequential modelling strategy," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 205-222.
    8. I-Chun Tsai & Shu-Hen Chiang, 2018. "Risk Transfer among Housing Markets in Major Cities in China," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(7), pages 1-20, July.
    9. Jingzhu Chen & Yuemei Ji, 2022. "Is Finance Good for Growth? New Evidence from China," CESifo Working Paper Series 9882, CESifo.
    10. Yongsheng Jiang & Dong Zhao & Andrew Sanderford & Jing Du, 2018. "Effects of Bank Lending on Urban Housing Prices for Sustainable Development: A Panel Analysis of Chinese Cities," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(3), pages 1-16, February.
    11. Wei Hu & Shanggang Yin & Haibo Gong, 2022. "Spatial–Temporal Evolution Patterns and Influencing Factors of China’s Urban Housing Price-to-Income Ratio," Land, MDPI, vol. 11(12), pages 1-15, December.
    12. Liang, Wenquan & Lu, Ming & Zhang, Hang, 2016. "Housing prices raise wages: Estimating the unexpected effects of land supply regulation in China," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 70-81.
    13. Niu, Dongxiao & Sun, Weizeng & Zheng, Siqi, 2021. "The role of informal housing in lowering China’s urbanization costs," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C).
    14. Wu, Jing & Gyourko, Joseph & Deng, Yongheng, 2016. "Evaluating the risk of Chinese housing markets: What we know and what we need to know," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 91-114.
    15. Chunhui Liu & Weixuan Song, 2019. "Perspectives of Socio-Spatial Differentiation from Soaring Housing Prices: A Case Study in Nanjing, China," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(9), pages 1-16, May.
    16. Mei Liu & Qing-Ping Ma, 2021. "Determinants of house prices in China: a panel-corrected regression approach," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 67(1), pages 47-72, August.
    17. Huang, Daisy J. & Leung, Charles K. & Qu, Baozhi, 2015. "Do bank loans and local amenities explain Chinese urban house prices?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 19-38.
    18. Wang, Lei & Li, Shouwei & Wang, Jining & Meng, Yi, 2020. "Real estate bubbles in a bank-real estate loan network model integrating economic cycle and macro-prudential stress testing," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 542(C).
    19. Sun, Tianyu & Chand, Satish & Sharpe, Keiran, 2018. "Effect of Aging on Urban Land Prices in China," MPRA Paper 89237, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Li, Keyang & Qin, Yu & Wu, Jing, 2020. "Recent housing affordability in urban China: A comprehensive overview," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C).

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    More about this item


    Housing affordability; Price-to-income ratio; Growth; China;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • E64 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Incomes Policy; Price Policy
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets


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