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Dynamics of Housing in East Asia

Bertrand Renaud, Kyung-Hwan Kim, Man Cho

ISBN: 978-0-470-67266-2 March 2016 352 Pages


This book is the first to evaluate the organisation, behaviour and performance of six major East Asian real estate markets. It offers a unique analysis of the growth and transformation of the real estate sector across East Asia.  The authors examine the interactions between volatility in the sector and the overall stability of the economy, in particular during the Asia financial crisis of 1997-98, and the global financial crisis of 2008-09.

  • draws on the best available theoretical and empirical


  • applies analytic tools in the context of East Asian
    institutions and policies


  • helps understand factors affecting resilience and
    stability in East Asian real estate markets.

Preface xi

Part I: Foundations and Emergence of Modern East Asian Housing Systems 1

1 Introduction: Motivations of the Study 3

1.1 The first comparative study of housing dynamics across East Asian countries 3

1.2 Distinguishing features of East Asian economies 6

1.3 Organization of the book 12

2 Growth Take-Offs and Emerging EA Housing Systems 21

2.1 East Asia and the global experience with growth and development 22

2.2 East Asian growth policies from an urbanization and housing perspective 27

2.3 East Asia has had the highest tempos of urbanization in the world 35

2.4 The 50% urban population marker signaled the arrival of the growth transition 36

2.5 Exceptionally powerful land price increases during East Asian growth take]offs 40

3 From Vernacular Housing to Organized Housing Systems 45

3.1 Housing transformation from a Von Thünen to a Krugman urban dynamic 45

3.2 Stylized facts of organized East Asian urban housing markets 48

3.3 Four distinct East Asian housing strategies during the period 1950–1980 50

3.4 Patterns of EA government intervention in housing policies 53

3.5 Transition from the take]off stage to sustained long]term economic growth 69

Part II: Current East Asian Housing Systems 73

4 East Asian Housing Systems Today: A Regional Overview 75

4.1 Basic quantitative East Asian comparisons 76

4.2 Volatility of housing output across East Asia 81

4.3 The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis triggered important structural reforms 83

4.4 Limited impact of the 2008 global financial crisis on East Asian housing 87

4.5 Six economies, six different housing system behaviors 90

5 Housing Volatility in Japan and Taiwan: A Study in Contrasts 93

5.1 Japan: housing underinvestment followed by multiple asset bubbles 94

5.2 Taiwan: a housing market with little government intervention 113

6 Housing Volatility in East Asian City States: Hong Kong and Singapore 123

6.1 Hong Kong: volatility in an open economy with a dual housing system 124

6.2 Singapore: where housing is part of macroeconomic policies 139

Part III: Drivers of East Asian Housing Cycles: Evidence and Analysis 153

7 East Asian Housing Price Cycles: The Evidence 155

7.1 An overview of East Asian housing cycles 155

7.2 Country]specific housing price dynamics 161

7.3 Institutions and regulations shaping East Asian housing cycles 175

8 Drivers of East Asian Housing Price Cycles: An Analysis 187

8.1 What makes housing prices cyclical? An analytical overview 188

8.2 Quantifying the role of market fundamentals in EA price cycles 193

8.3 Two]way interactions between housing and the macroeconomy 201

Part IV: The Six Actors of Housing Cycles in China and in Korea 207

9 Housing During China’s Growth Transition 209

9.1 Impact of investment]led growth policies on households 210

9.2 The great housing boom during a unique decade 215

9.3 Incentives and behavior of the six key players in China’s housing boom 220

9.4 Channels of interaction between housing and other sectors of the economy 243

10 Korea: Overcoming Housing Shortages and Stabilizing Housing Prices 247

10.1 An overview 247

10.2 Housing outcomes and housing cycles 249

10.3 Key issues in housing policy 258

10.4 Main players in Korean housing cycles and their behavior 266

10.5 Looking ahead: Korean housing at a crossroads 277

Part V: Conclusions 279

11 Overall Findings and Outlook for East Asian Housing 281

11.1 Distinctive characteristics of East Asian housing systems 281

11.2 Issues and outlook for East Asian housing systems 289

References 303

Index of Names 329

General Index 331

This is a significant contribution to the Real Estate Issues series... To make housing the central theme is welcome, since the role of the housing market in economic instability is crucial. The focus on East Asia will be valuable, given that most literature on real estate cycles has tended to concentrate on Europe and the US. The behavioural and institutional perspective that the authors favour should also provide useful insights.
-Richard Barras, Property Market Analysis