Inter-generational differences, immigration, and housing tenure: Hong Kong 1996–2016

Si Ming LI, Huimin DU*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

5 Citations (Scopus)


The present work purports to draw the links between two strands of literature: the vast literature on homeownership access across ethnic/migratory groups, and the emerging literature on inter-generational differences in ownership and their implications for wealth inequalities. It examines the case of Hong Kong, where homes are unbelievably expensive irrespective of the large public housing sector, and where recent immigrants from mainland China constitute a quasi-ethnic group even though the great majority of the local populations are Chinese nationals. The study draws upon the micro-data files of the 1996, 2001, 2006, 2010 and 2016 population censuses, and situates the analysis on the changing housing market dynamics and immigration scenes since the eve of the 1997 handover. The findings reveal a significant drop in homeownership among younger generations in recent years, and the drop is more pronounced for recent migrants from the mainland. The latter also suffer from increasing inaccessibility to public housing, rented or owned.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1523 - 1545
Number of pages23
JournalHousing Studies
Issue number9
Early online date10 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by the Public Policy Research Funding Scheme, Policy Innovation and Co-ordination Office (PICO) of Hong Kong SAR Government [grant number 2016.A2.016.17A].


  • Homeownership
  • Hong Kong
  • immigrants
  • inter-generational differences in housing tenure


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