Land and Residential Property Markets in a Booming Economy: New Evidence from Beijing

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Mattew E. Kahn & Siqi Q. Zheng

Beijing’s housing market has boomed over the last fifteen years. The city’s population grew by 40.6% and per capita income (in constant RMB) by 273.9% from 1991 to 2005. Using two geocoded data sets, we present new evidence on the real estate price gradient, land price gradient, population densities, and building densities in Beijing’s recent free housing market. The classic urban monocentric model’s predictions are largely upheld in Beijing. We also document the importance of local public goods, such as access to public transit infrastructure, core high schools, clean air, and major universities, most of which have exogenous locations, as important determinants of real estate prices.

July 14, 2008