Pathways to homeownership among young professionals in urban China

14th Jul 2017

Pathways to homeownership among young professionals in urban China: The role of family resources

A new paper by Tsz-ming Or is now available online


Studies on China’s new housing regime primarily focus on state and market as major provision mechanisms and the role of family assistance is largely ignored. This paper explores how family resources help Chinese young professionals in their pathways to homeownership by drawing on qualitative interviews done in Beijing. It was found that young professionals who managed to secure parental help usually came from middle-class families, with parents who were public-sector professionals and managers benefiting from the state’s generous housing reforms in the 1990s. As a result of these intergenerational transfers, housing advantages of these middle-class parents were reproduced among their younger generation, making it easier for them to become homeowners. They might also exacerbate the pre-existing housing inequality. These transfers were made possible in the unique family context with frequent reciprocal exchanges of help and care, which was strengthened by the country’s one-child policy. The new housing regime, characterised by the neoliberal shift of the state’s role and the house price inflation, also enhanced the necessity of relying on family resources.

You can access and read the full paper here

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