(ECNS) -- Unreasonably high housing prices have a negative effect on the development of a city, preventing upgrades and transformation projects, according to a new report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
The Chinese City Competitive List by CASS looked at the economic performance and livability of nearly 300 cities on the mainland, as well as Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.
Shenzhen City in Guangdong Province topped the economic ranking, followed by Hong Kong and Shanghai. Taipei, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Beijing, Macao, Suzhou and Wuhan were also on the Top 10 list.
Most of the mainland cities centered around the Pearl River Delta, the Yangtze River Delta and the Bohai Sea Rim.
In terms of the livability ranking, Hong Kong, Wuxi and Guangzhou took the top three spots. Macao, Xiamen, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Nantong, Nanjing and Shanghai also made the list. Wuxi made the most dramatic rise since 2016 due to a strong performance in education and medical care.
The report said a majority of middle-sized and smaller cities lacked sustainable development, facing more challenges when it came to security and traffic congestion than their bigger-city counterparts.
Development disparities stood out as nearly 60 percent of China's total wealth was accumulated in the top 20 cities.
It also warned that property bubbles in some central cities and soaring real estate prices could be a trap for a city's transformation.
The report called for authorities to be proactive in building more city clusters, rather than high concentration in fewer hubs, and to further coordinate development between large and small cities. More effort is needed to regulate the real estate market and curb speculative investment, according to the report.