This study examines the particular role, services and functions of property agents in the housing markets in mainland China. Since the implementation of housing market reforms, cities on the Chinese mainland have transferred from a centrally-directed, welfare-oriented housing system to a more decentralized, market-based one. Commodification of housing has expanded the opportunity of new market intermediaries to service the growing urban housing markets. Yet there appears to be little research on these agents, which bear similarity in name, but not exactly in operation, to those in a market society. Based upon insights from new institutional economics, this study examines how the existing institutions in China have constrained and facilitated their services in the housing transaction process. This micro-analytical study provides a different means towards understanding the market transformation of a socialist housing system.
- Housing transaction
- Transitional economy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Urban Studies