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The empirical study of the price mechanism in the Chinese housing market
In China, the history of the establishment of the private housing market is pretty short. Actually in less then two decades, the market has grown from almost the scratch to playing an important role in the economy. A great achievement! But many problems also exist. They need to be properly addressed and solved. Price problem---simply put, housing price is too high--- is one of them, and this paper is focused on it. Three basic questions are posed, i.e. (1) how to judge the housing affordability? (2) why the housing price is so high? (3) how to solve the housing price problem. The paper pays particular attention to answering the second question. Except the numerous news reports and surveys show that most of the ordinary city dwellers complained about the high housing price, the mathematical means, the four ratios, are applied to judge the housing affordability in Shanghai and Shenzhen. The results are very clear that the price problem is severe. So why? Something is wrong with the price mechanism. This research shows that mainly these five factors contribute to the price problem: the housing reform, the housing development model, the unbalanced housing market, the housing project financing and the poor governmental management. Finally the paper puts forward five suggestions to solve the housing price problem in first-hand private Chinese housing market. They include: the establishment of real estate information system, the creation of specific price management department, the government price regulation, the property tax and the legalization of "cushion money".