Annual Conference


Economic Transformation of Asia


May 2015

Housing vacancy rate and urbanization in China

In recent years, the phenomenon of housing vacancy rate (HVR) has attracted considerable attention, especially concerning unjustified expansions of Chinese cities. /e aforementioned trend is disadvantageous in that it will ultimately lead to tremendous wastage of valuable land that could otherwise be more productively utilized. Consequently, the methods for accurately determining the HVR are of great importance. Based on nighttime light data from the Luojia 1-01 nighttime light imagery provided by Wuhan University in June 2018 and the building data obtained from the Resources and Environmental Sciences Data Center, we estimated the HVRs of 49 cities in China by determining the building areas and considering the floor height. /e results revealed that (1) the lowest (15%) and highest (24.3%) HVRs occur in Shenzhen and Nanning, respectively. (2) /e urban HVR correlates positively with the three production structures (0.3143) but is significantly negatively correlated with population (0.3841), GDP (0.6139), and urban average housing prices (0.5083). (3) /e first-tier, new first-tier, and second-tier cities showed the lowest (16.9%), relatively concentrated (20.5%), and highest (21.3%) average vacancy rates, respectively. (4) /e vacancy rate is relatively low in the eastern coastal areas, whereas high in the northeast and western inland areas. /e proposed method can help urban planners by identifying vacant areas and providing building information.
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