The determinants of Chinese housing price inflation.
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Lin, Fangshi, 1988-
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Housing prices in major Chinese cities have been soaring since 2003. Some economists believe that this represents a dangerous speculative bubble while others argue that Chinese housing price inflation is a normal consequence of supply and demand adjustments in a rapidly-developing economy. This study attempts to explain the movement of housing prices in 35 large and medium-sized Chinese cities between 2002 and 2010. Here, we review many of the causal relationships that have been explored in previous research, but we uncover some interesting evidence on the financial side of the Chinese housing market that has received little attention in previous studies. We find, for example, a reciprocal relationship between local housing prices and the revenues of local governments. A strong housing market provides rising revenues for a local government, and rising revenues, along with personal saving, seem to feed back into the financial base of the local housing market.