Housing class and tenure decision in contemporary urban China

J. H. (Carlson) Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


This article examines the division of housing class in the context of Chinese society since the market-oriented housing reform in 1998. Based on the data from a recent study, this paper inspects three housing classes and their tenure decisions in China’s major urban centres. Compared with the conventional definition of ‘class’ as politically constituted social formation with an economic base, housing class in urban China is formed by the differentiation in people’s possession of residential housing property. The results of multivariate analysis on housing tenure decisions among the three housing classes show that apart from some similar socioeconomic factors to those in the West, the institutional factors, such as Hukou* system and resident status are also significant. The paper implies that limited housing tenure decision may have caused over privatisation, and, to certain extent, a single urban housing system, which would lead to the conflict among people in various housing classes, as a response to the inequality in urban housing market.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-21
Number of pages2
JournalExpo 2010 Higher Degree Research : book of abstracts
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventHigher Degree Research Expo (6th : 2010) - Sydney
Duration: 19 Nov 201019 Nov 2010


  • housing class
  • tenure decision
  • Hukou
  • urban housing market
  • China

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