Housing intermediary services in China: The rise and fall of 'Fang Wu Yin Hang'

Bo Sin Tang, Anne Haila, Siu Wai Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Housing reforms in China are often conceived to have engendered a gradual shift towards a market system. New institutions have been introduced to enable decentralized, monetarized and privatized allocation of housing units. This study explores the emergence, growth and downfall of an intermediary service (known as 'fang wu yin hang') created spontaneously by real estate agents to facilitate housing transactions in the Chinese cities. Although this new institution looked capable of strengthening the rationality, efficiency, transparency and impersonality of China's housing market, it was abandoned soon after its inception. The failure of this transient service suggests the presence of some social institutions, which could have blocked China's progress towards a full-fledged market system in the housing sector. 2006.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-354
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Housing and the Built Environment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006


  • China
  • Housing transactions
  • Institutions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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