Land use regulation and urban land value : Evidence from China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number104432
Journal / PublicationLand Use Policy
Online published31 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


Land use regulation has always been regarded as one of the most crucial means of macro-control of urban growth, which can affect a city's land values directly and further determine related urban economic well-being. Since the New Type Urbanization Strategy proposed by the government in 2014, China's mode of urban growth has been transformed from addressing “quantity” to “quality" in the urbanization process. In this case, the regulation of land use by the Chinese government plays a more important role in urban growth. With their planned land regulatory scheme, the various instruments employed by Chinese governments have quite different mechanisms influencing land prices. However, there are no rigorous studies focusing on the land use regulation system and its impact on land values to date, particular in China. This study seeks to explore how land use regulation affects urban land values through the systematic lens. We summarize the main land use regulatory instruments based on the analysis of China's planned land use system and urban land banking system, including the construction land quota, constraints on the allowed floor area ratio (FAR) of each land transaction parcel, and land supply restrictions. A new dataset based on land transaction data from 2007 to 2016 that covers 286 prefectural cities from the country's coastal, central, and western regions is used in the empirical analysis. The results show that the effects of the floor area ratio (FAR) on land values are significant and positive, with the residential and commercial land supply ratio being a key factor. Moreover, the results imply that the effects of constraints on FAR and commercial land supply vary between regions. These findings indicate that the Chinese land market is considerably distorted by excessive administrative interventions by local governments, in the stage of urban transition guided, the capable regulatory instruments could play an important role in adjusting urban land prices and hence impact on urban growth.

Research Area(s)

  • Floor area ratio, Land prices, Land supply, Land use regulation, Urban growth

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