While property markets in several of China's first- and second-tier cities began showing renewed signs of life toward the tail-end of last year, many third- and fourth-tier cities have not been so lucky.
When most of China's largest urban housing markets were chilled last year by government curbs, developers flocked into smaller cities which seemed to offer more growth potential as authorities pushed urbanization to the top of their agendas.
But as developers poured into lower-end cities hoping to snap up cheap land on which to build homes they hoped would one day sell for high prices once demand materialized, they ended up saturating several markets. While China may be shooting for lofty goals when it comes to improving its cities, the process of urbanization will not happen overnight and demand will grow slowly on the bottom of the country's urban ladder.
The author is Bi Xiaozhe, a media personality.