Even though the number of self-employed persons decreased from 190,900 in 2017 to 182,100 in 2018, the number of registered property agents in Singapore rose. It increased to 28,571 as at 1 January 2018, up from 28, 397 the previous year. This is proved by the data provided by the Ministry of Manpower and Council for Estate Agencies (CEA).
Singapore’s mortgage market is one of the best in the world, and the leading one in Asia. It has seen its golden period in the last two decades. The market grew from approximately 8% of GDP in 1990, to 15% of GDP in 1996, to 27% of GDP in 2006, and to 43.9% of GDP in 2018.
While the number of real estate agents has increased, there has been an alarming observation. There has been a slight increase of disciplinary action taken against real estate agents from 2018 to 2019.
The statutory board sets out all the necessary regulations to ensure real estate make an ethical practice in their profession. But sadly, one agency – PropNex Realty – proved a failure when 11 of its agents got fined or suspended by the CEA.
Ngu Ping Chuan James Nathan of PropNex Realty received the scariest sentence till date. He was fined $30,000 and suspended for 12 months. And he was guilty of faking offers in a private property transaction in a bid to get a bigger commission for himself at the expense of his client. The CEA mentioned that the real estate agent behaved unethically and such behaviour won’t be entertained.
It is alarming that the top two listed agencies in Singapore – ERA Realty Network PropNex Realty both have fraud agents. But PropNex Reality has 10X more disciplinary cases against its agents than ERA Realty Network.