Residential mobility in an era of economic transformations and population reformations: A case study of Hong Kong

Chi Man Hui, Ka Hung Yu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


This paper compares the home-moving patterns of Hong Kong citizens in the periods of 1996-2001 and 2001-2006, highlighted by economic downturns, population reformations and subsequent housing policies adjustments during the second period. It is first shown in the findings that the supply of public housing, instead of its tenure, dictates home-moving propensities and patterns. Then, housing needs among elderly and pre-elderly people appears to be overwhelmed by social needs such as attachment and existing social networks, along with direct or indirect financial constraints. Besides, spatial lock-in appears to be more prevalent among Chinese immigrants as compared to non-Chinese immigrants, owed to the former's ties to local Hong Kong residents and subsequent eligibility for government assistance. Yet, despite the availability of jobs and schools, the recent trend of people moving out of new towns gradually turns these areas into marginalized communities clustered with poor people, alienated within and in a sense excluded from the city landscape altogether. A variety of policy implications, from public finance, allocation of social resources, to land use planning of rural areas and potential social conflicts, are discussed in response to the trend of population aging and immigrations from the Mainland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-453
Number of pages9
JournalHabitat International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Census analysis
  • Government housing policies
  • Hong Kong
  • Residential mobility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies


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