Tropical Geography ›› 2020, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (5): 832-842.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003275

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Characteristics and Influence Factors of Middle-Class's Housing Location Choice Behavior on Residents' Housing Demand in Guangzhou, China

Yan Bian1(), Chunshan Zhou2(), Jincan Hu1   

  1. 1.School of Management (School of Tourism/Sino French of Tourism), Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
    2.Guangdong Key Laboratory for Urbanization and Geo-simulation, Geography and Planning School, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • Received:2020-04-02 Revised:2020-06-17 Online:2020-09-28 Published:2020-10-10
  • Contact: Chunshan Zhou;


Consequential to socio-economic development, the middle class in china has grown considerably, gradually becoming an important social group. With rapid urbanization and constant suburbanization, the emergence of middle class exerts a profound impact on the gentrification and housing choices in a country or region, contributing to the urban social space reconstruction. According to the previous research, the middle class social area is expanding in Guangzhou, with evident suburbanization and centralization. The middle class social area in Guangzhou can be divided into four subtypes according to their changing condition: stable, unstable, decaying, and growing. What is the cause of this phenomenon? What are the main features of housing demand, or the willingness to pay for a residential location, and what affects the middle class' behavior in the microcosmic aspect? What are the similarities and differences of the middle class' housing location choice behavior in Chinese and Western societies? This study primarily analyzes the middle-class's housing location choice behavior from the perspective of housing demand and residential location selection, based on the questionnaire survey of 24 sub-districts in 50 middle-class neighborhoods of Guangzhou in 2014 and using the multinomial Logit model. The results show that first, the middle class's housing location choice presents centralization. Second, residential conditions (living space per capita, the current residential location, age of the current settlement, length of residency), family life cycle (such as age, family size, number of children), and economic performance (annual household income, annual personal income, number of private cars) have significant impacts on housing demand. Third, family life cycle (age, family size) and individual factors (educational level, registered residence) have a marked impact on housing location choice behavior. Generally, institutional, location, and individual factors have a combined effect on the middle class's housing choice behavior. Furthermore, this paper analyzes the differences and similarities in the influence factors of middle class's housing location choice behavior on resident's housing demand by comparing Chinese to Western societies. In western societies, children's education is the chief reason for housing choice, followed by commuting time. However, in China, the influence factors are exactly the opposite: commuting time followed by children's education. Regarding the housing location choice, the middle class's housing location choice shows centralization in China. On the contrary, for most western middle-class families, moving to the suburbs seems like a logical step to take once they have children.

Key words: middle-class, housing location choice, multinomial Logit model, Guangzhou

CLC Number: 

  • C912.8