Evaluation of China's Urban Housing Reform
China began its urban housing system reform in 1980. This paper will explore whether the reform has fulfilled the scheduled goals. In terms of urban housing availability, living space per capita is now more than double what it was before the reform, and living conditions have been improved. But, in terms of establishing a new urban housing system based on a market oriented economy, the reform has not completed its scheduled aims. First, the proportion of the housing investment by central or local governments and work units amounts to 80 percent of the total of urban housing investment. Second, due to dual-track housing prices, two housing markets exist: an 'internal housing market' and an 'open housing market'. The former still follows the old welfare system. The latter is limited to a very narrow range. Third, rent reform has not stimulated individual investment in housing and the rent for public housing still is subsidised by the government and by danwei's. The experience of China's housing reform has shown that the reform has not fundamentally changed the old housing system. Although the reform has made some gains, the results still fall short of the targets.
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