Urban housing development was an important factor for the sustained economic growth in China over the last three decades. The poor urban living environment and landscape formed from the 1950s to the 1970s were gradually replaced by modern, high-rise and well designed and managed housing estates. The socialist welfare housing provision has been reformed and publicly owned houses privatised. In the last fifteen years, housing market was established in all cities and commercially built properties became the main source of housing for most young people. The new housing market in large cities however performed very violently in response to the global, national and local economic situations. Government policies were changed frequently. This resulted in a series of short wave of booms and slowdowns. While the early housing reform policies were reported widely, recent housing market performance and policy changes were not examined systematically. This paper updates our understanding of the recent development of urban housing market and policies in China. After a brief review of the public housing system and the reform, the paper focuses on the last fifteen years with discussion of the social, demographic and economic changes in cities, the performance of the housing market, the recent housing policy changes and the re-introduction of the social housing ideas, and finally the problems and challenges for the future. Information and data mainly came from secondary sources. Analysis and discussion benefited from many fieldworks in China during the last several years.