Impact of urban rehabilitation : evidence from subdivided units in Hong Kong

Cong LIANG*, Eddie Chi Man HUI, Tsz Leung YIP

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


Purpose: This paper aims to explore one question: to what extent does urban rehabilitation impact the housing search cost of the low-income tenants. 

Design/methodology/approach: This paper adopts the fixed effects time-on-market (TOM) model and pricing model to study the research question. 

Findings: Urban rehabilitation lifts the subdivided units (SDUs’) prices by around 7%. For the SDU located in old districts, urban rehabilitation gives rise to the rental price up by 11%–12%. The SDUs in the area without urban rehabilitation experience a short marketing period of 16%–17%. The SDU located in the old district that is without urban rehabilitation would have a short marketing time. 

Originality/value: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the pioneering research to investigate the relationship between rehabilitation and low-income rental housing from the improved search theory. The improved search theory posits that under the circumstance of urban rehabilitation, low-income tenants’ options are limited and the search behavior will be restricted in the affordable areas, and then TOM will be shortened. With the concentration of SDUs in Hong Kong, the test of the search theory is broken down into two hypotheses. (H1) Urban rehabilitation leads to low-income housing prices increase. (H2) Low-income housing located in areas without urban rehabilitation has a shorter TOM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)716-735
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis
Issue number4
Early online date12 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the research grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (UGC/IDS16/17), the Postdoctoral Fellowships Scheme of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Number: P0000319 and 1-YW3L) , and the Hong Kong Metropolitan University Research Grant (Project Ref. No: RD/PFDS/2021/13).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Hong Kong
  • Housing markets
  • Market-rate housing
  • Subdivided units (SDUs)
  • Time-on-market (TOM)
  • Urban rehabilitation


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