Bubble or Not? Beijing Housing Prices

Joshua C. Michnowski, University of Pennsylvania


The Beijing housing market is highly important to the people and leaders of Beijing, China and the broader world for a variety of political, welfare and economic reasons. Is a bubble occurring in Beijing’s housing market? The objective of this paper is to provide a foundation to assess the potential of a bubble/mispricing occurring in this market. This research used an overarching literature review-methodology to analyze the structural nature of the Beijing housing market, the market’s history of bubbles and price levels and subsequent policy responses. The paper is structured in five parts. First, an introduction of the topic and its relevance. Second, a modern history of the creation of a market-based housing system in urban China and Beijing is presented. Third, an operational definition of a bubble is established and discussed. Fourth, the paper provides a chronological history of Beijing housing market bubbles and price levels through today via synthesizing literature on the topic. Fifth, using the analyzed studies and other sources, conclusions, future research and preliminary policy recommendations are discussed. It is hoped that this paper can serve as a contributing foundation for future research and guiding knowledge for policy and investment decisions.


Date Posted: 14 September 2017