Featured in Newsweek, Deng’s Study Examines the Highly Concentrated Nature of China’s Housing Industry

In one of the first studies of its kind, Taubman College faculty member Lan Deng examines how China’s real estate development industry became highly concentrated before the COVID-19 pandemic and how this concentration has exacerbated the ongoing housing market crisis in China.

While analysts frequently attribute the crisis to China’s tax system, land finance, state intervention, and various other factors, Deng, professor of urban and regional planning, identified three factors that contributed to China’s real estate industry concentration: access to low-cost capital, an open land market system, and the use of pre-sale business practices.

Several tall residential buildings in Yuanyang County, Henan.

Residential buildings developed by Evergrande in Yuanyang County, Henan. Image credit: Windmemories – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

“The concentration of the real estate industry not only exacerbates challenges for the national economy, but also brings negative impacts to local economies,” says Deng.

Deng’s research and teaching interests fall broadly in the areas of housing, real estate, and local public finance. She has studied housing and real estate development in the U.S. and China. As a planning scholar, she is interested in examining the different interventions the two countries have developed to ensure adequate housing and suitable living environments for their residents.

Newsweek recently highlighted the study, as did University of Michigan News.

Faculty: Lan Deng ,