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Housing Reform and the Housing Market in Urban China

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The housing market in Urban China has experienced many important changes since the Communists came to power in 1949. In general, we can divide China’s housing reform into three significant stages: the pre-reform process (between 1949 and 1978), the reform process (from 1978 to 1998) and the post-reform process (after 1998).
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... Land was nationalized and virtually all urban housing in China was public rental housing (Yang and Chen 2014, 15). During this time, no land transactions existed and land use rights were allocated to a variety of state units; these rights were granted or distributed without term for virtually free (Yang and Chen 2014, 26). The state served as effectively "as a landlord and developer, solely responsible for housing provision, distribution and management" of public rental housing stock (Yang and Chen 2014, 15). ...
... These work units and other public employers received funds from the central government budget, then financed, constructed, owned and managed housing stock (Yang and Chen 2014, 19-20). Allocation of housing to workers and their families from the work unit included several factors: "occupational rank, years of working experience, number and ages of family members and the current amount of living space" (Yang and Chen 2014, 20;Kim 1987). ...
... By the 1950s and 1960s, housing began to become a substantial financial burden on the state (Yang and Chen 2014, 20). Given the extremely low rents, represented in both absolute terms per area and relative to income, this is not an unexpected phenomenon. ...
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... However, studies on the Chinese house price movements are scant, although studies on the housing markets themselves are extensive. Deng et al. (2009) and Yang and Chen (2014), among others, focus on the Chinese housing policy reform. Others such as Wu et al. (2012) discuss the sustainability of its boom. ...
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