Life course and housing tenure change in urban China: A study of Guangzhou

Si Ming LI*, Limei Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


In the West, homeownership has been seen as the ultimate housing career. It is interesting that in 'socialist' China, a major objective of the urban housing reform, which began in 1979, is to privatize the housing stock and promote homeownership. The past few years in particular have witnessed rapid increases in the homeownership rate. The present study seeks to conduct a longitudinal analysis of China's road to homeownership, making use of retrospective life history data collected in 2001 in the city of Guangzhou. The event of interest is the transition from renting to owning. Analysis using Cox's proportional hazards models shows that age is associated with increasing homeownership, as is higher education attainment. Change in marital status is a more important factor causing the housing tenure switch than is marital status perse. The subtle relations among households, work units and the state still affect households' housing access and tenure choice behaviour. People working in non-state work units tend to be associated with lower tenure change risks. On the other hand, membership of the Chinese Communist Party enhances the tenure switch.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-670
Number of pages18
JournalHousing Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies

User-Defined Keywords

  • Guangzhou
  • Housing tenure change
  • Life course
  • Proportional hazards model


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