GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2010, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (6): 1117-1128.doi: 10.11821/yj2010060016

• Urban and Rural Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Life course and housing tenure transition in urban China: A case study of Guangzhou

LIU Wang-bao1, YAN Xiao-pei2   

  1. 1. School of Geographical Sciences, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China;
    2. Center for Urban and Regional Studies, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • Received:2009-04-21 Revised:2009-07-30 Online:2010-06-20 Published:2010-06-20


Housing tenure choice is one of the main topics in urban geography, urban planning and sociology and longitudinal analysis has become the main methodology for housing micro studies in Western countries. As an important event in the life course of a household, housing tenure transition correlates closely to the change of household profile, institutional variables and local housing market variation as well. Using COX's proportional-hazards model, this study analyzed the factors which shape the transition of house tenure by taking into consideration housing tenure together with big events of individual life course. Results reveal that renters displayed the greatest desire to change tenure status, but for those who have already obtained the ownership, partial or full ownership as it may be, the desire to change tenure status fade intermediately. For the survival time, the longest are the spells that change to full ownership, the second longest are the spells that change to partial ownership, and the shortest are the spells that change to rent. The model shows that both household characteristics and institutional variables have strong influences on the housing tenure transitions. The decision of individuals on the shift of housing tenure from rent to own is not only related to major events in the life course but also affected by the relationship between households and work units (or governments). This phenomenon is believed to be the result of interaction between the double powers of planning economy and market economy in transitional urban China.

Key words: housing tenure transition, spells, survival time, proportional-hazards model