The urban housing market in a transitional economy: Shanghai as a case study
The urban housing market has been an important research topic for urban geographers and urban economists. After 1990 when former communist regimes were transformed from planned to market-oriented economies and globalization accelerated, the urban housing markets of the transitional nations attracted increasing attention from academia. Most of these studies addressed housing market structure, housing price and residential location. Similarly, this research examines housing market structure and housing price in the newly established housing market in Shanghai.
This research begins with an exploration of market structure and market players and the interactions between them. Market structure sets the framework within which market players' maximize their market related interests. China's reform and its integration into the world economy have brought many players into its urban housing market. These players not only have unique interests in the market but also share common interests to some extent. Players include international institutions, private companies, and traditional forces, such as the government and work units. It is necessary to understand market structure and players and how they interact because this knowledge is fundamental for any further investigation of the market. Moreover, the analysis of market structure and market players adds texture to the following empirical analysis.
Housing price is another focus of this research. The determinants of housing price and the geographical distribution of housing price are the main research topics of housing price studies. Previous literature has documented the effects of houses' structural and locational characteristics on housing price. However, they rarely pay attention to the influences of 'macro factors' (such as FDI, economic transition (ET) and urban transformation (UT)) on housing price, although these factors do play crucial roles. Using hedonic modeling techniques, this research conducts quantitative analyses of the impacts of 'macro factors' on housing price. The hedonic models are fitted for both the whole housing market and individual submarkets. Since the modeling results may be affected by definition of submarkets and there are many methods to delimit the submarkets, this research also explores an appropriate method of market segregation for Shanghai's housing market.