The China Greater Bay Area Strive to Build Higher-quality Live Circle in Region’s Urban Agglomeration

By Xu Lei     Date: 18 January, 2019     Source:

Recently, according to Mr. Zhang Xiaoming, Director of Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area focuses on five particular strategic positioning. That is, to build a dynamic world-wide urban group, construct a powerful international science and technology innovation center, greatly support the “Belt and Road” project, set a good example of deep cooperation between China mainland and Hong Kong and Macao, and shape more livable and touristy environment.

With the continuous development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the five strategic positioning indicate more specific aspects. The first and foremost keyword is “livabale”in the construction of high-quality life circle in China’s Greater Bay Area, which has received much attention.

Q 1: How to bring out development synergy in urban agglomeration life circle?
Positioning Differences between Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou and Shenzhen
The primary problem is how to achieve coordinated development in the China’s Greater Bay Area’s city group. Compared with Shanghai as the center of Yangtze River Delta and Beijing as the center of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, four metropolises are involved in China’s Greater Bay Area, including Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. How to determine the urban center in such a big city group?

Mr. Zhang said that the four cities in the huge urban agglomeration could be considered as central cities, since they shall play vital roles in leading and moving the development of surrounding areas. In the meanwhile, they have clear and specific responsibilities, each with its own emphasis.

“It takes time for the overall development of the China’s Greater Bay Area. It definitely cannot succeed overnight,” said Mr. Huang Tao, General Manager of Project Department in Centaline Property. The vitality of the urban agglomeration comes from each city's development based on its own advantages. Different cities should complement and reinforce each other to achieve synergistic development and increase overall competitiveness. “Therefore it requires breaking inertia barrier between these cities.” Mr. Huang said.

“The first goal in the urban agglomerations development is to motivate the cities to be livable and provide more chances for jobs,” estate expert Mr. Han Shitong said. On one hand, more and more attention has been paid on city integration. New industrial parks and living facilities complement each other. On the other hand, it will be a good mode to enhance commuting efficiency by greatly improving public transportation. “However, there is also a long way to finally accomplish and develop orderly the city integration in the course of successive exploration.” Mr. Han mentioned.

Q2: How to make cities more livable in the process of city renovation?
It still needs to explore ways for sustainable development

There is no doubt that city renovation has become such a heatedly discussed issue especially in Guangzhou and Shenzhen that set a good example. The technical name changes from the “three old transformation” to “city innovation”, which indicates a more in-depth phase in improving cityscape and all-round development.

“Destroy the old and build the new is the main principle in the beginning. As time went by, the idea came into being and implemented that demolition, reconstruction and maintenance are of equally significance.” Mr. Han insists that we cannot expect to increase urban carrying capacity by expanding area spanning without limit. Taking the first-tire city as an example, under the circumstance with more and more limited available space in the city center, city innovation not only releases space but also provides new possibility for community construction and even industry upgrading and transition. One of the successful practice in Guangzhou City is the micro-renovation project represented by Yongqingfang. The dangerous and old building was reconstructed and redecorated as Creative Park.

Xiao Wenxiao, principal analyst of Ke Rui Guangzhou, claimed in an interview that it was not as easy as traditional renovation to build a livable area from the perspective of real estate. Housing shortages is no longer a problem. In China’s Greater Bay Area, the per-capita living area of urban residents has reached more than 35 square meters long ago. Nowadays, real estate market in China’s Greater Bay Area ought to develop more stably and reasonably. For example, it is vital to balance the relationship between city upgrading and cultural preservation. Consolidation between enterprise benefits and social public interests. Another factor must be took into consideration is that employment issue counts equally with living environment in city developing. Xiao said, “not only is a property developer needed in city development, but also an operator is welcomed for contributing to city sustainable development.”

Q3: Will the concept of integrated city group drive home prices?
Home prices ultimately depend on supply and demand relations.

Home price is one of crucial factors influence a city’s livability index. Real estate experts denied the concept of integrated city group as a motivator of land price and home price.

Here comes a data record of home price. In China’s Greater Bay Area, Ke Rui’s record reveals the most expensive home price is averagely 55,551 RMB per square meter in Shenzhen City in December 2018. After that is 25,485 RMB per square meter in average in Guangzhou City. The third expensive one is 20,831 RMB per square meter in Zhuhai City. When compared with those in November 2018, Guangzhou’s home price slightly declines 4%, while Shenzhen and Zhuhai drops 1% and 2% respectively. It remains the same level in Huizhou City. Other cities have price hike between 1% and 6%.

“I think the land price and home price in China’s Greater Bay Area is fundamentally determined by supply and demand relations,” said Mr. Xiao. Relations between supply and demand relies on population attractiveness, which is in turn influenced by local economic development level and spirit of inclusiveness and openness. Land price and home price on that basis would come favorable. It won’t last long even if the prices are risen merely by the concept of unifying city group. “Moreover, it is one of the most early-developed and the most mature real estate markets in China, which cannot be easily collapsed.” According to Mr. Xiao, it is indeed a state strategy to build China’s Greater Bay Area, therefore, home price ought to be reasonable politically. “So I don’t think the land price and home price will become extremely high.”

According to Mr. Han Shitong, home price should be remain in somehow the same level so that the cities are more livable. Neither price skyrocketed nor price nose-dived is helpful for market development. “Before the idea of China’s Greater Bay Area came into being, interaction between Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau attributed to Chinese economic reform,” he said. Mr. Han also pointed out that it is impractical to stimulate home price by a sole concept of city integration. Instead, technological innovation and emerging industry will lead economic growth and therefore attract more and more high-level personnel. Only in this way can ultimately establish effective housing demand and boost the real estate market.

Seen from another perspective of view, Mr. Huang Tao realized that it will be a great support for real estate market in China’s Greater Bay Area because its gross economic amount reaches to more than 10 trillion RMB. With the concept of integrated China’s Greater Bay Area, asset-allocated house buyers will show more interest. As a result, both the first-hand property and second-hand trading markets will be more active.

(Editor: Liu Zeqi)

World Trade Center Macau
Av. da Amizade, No.918
World Trade Center Building, 16th Floor, MACAU
Tel : (853) 2872 7666 Fax : (853) 2872 7633

E-mail :