Macroeconomic policy-induced wealth effects on Chinese foreign housing investments

Ying Fan, Tien Foo Sing

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The unpegging of China's currency in 2005 creates positive wealth effects that trigger Chinese foreign buyers' responses to pay 3.42% more in housing prices relative to other foreign buyers. We find evidence of a higher propensity to purchase housing units with more visible features among Chinese foreign buyers after the policy shock relative to other foreign buyers. Chinese foreign buyers pay 11.0% premiums for high-floor units, 7.25% premiums for large units and 4.61% for luxury (more expensive) units after experiencing positive incomrtde shocks. We find that conspicuous consumption motives are augmented in high-income neighborhoods and neighborhoods with strong enclaves and social networks comprising residents from China. We show that conspicuous consumption motives are more significant for Chinese foreign buyers who are owner occupiers than for those who are investors. The results survive a slew of robustness and falsification tests, and we cannot reject the finding of wealth-induced conspicuous consumption by Chinese foreign buyers in Singapore's private housing market.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101675
JournalChina Economic Review
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Conspicuous consumption
  • Exchange rate regime
  • Foreign buyers
  • Housing transaction
  • Wealth effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics

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