Housing conditions and life satisfaction in urban China

Fang Zhang, Chuanyong Zhang, John Hudson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Citations (SciVal)


Housing is closely related to people's daily life. In the past three decades, China's real estate market has experienced significant rapid development. People pay more attention, not only to the market value of housing itself, but also to the subjective or non-market value of life satisfaction brought about by owning a house. This paper aims to investigate how housing conditions affect individual life satisfaction in urban China, focusing on both housing satisfaction and overall happiness, using the Chinese General Social Survey dataset. We divide the full sample into age groups and income groups to analyze the homogeneity of the results across society. Through the ordered probit model, the empirical results suggest all the house-related characteristics utilized in the analysis have significantly positive effects on people's housing satisfaction, however, only homeownership and house size play important roles in determining overall happiness. Further, using housing satisfaction as an explanatory variables, housing satisfaction and homeownership are both significant factors determining overall happiness. Finally, we estimate the perceived value of homeownership at approximately 4.5 times individual income.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-44
Number of pages10
Early online date27 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Housing condition
  • Housing satisfaction
  • Overall happiness
  • Urban China

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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