Hong Kong's sales agents face a bleak year end, with 8,000 jobs on the line, as months of rallies crimp property transactions

By Lam Ka-sing kasing.lam@scmp.com / https://www.scmp.com/property/hong-kong-china/article/3024773/some-8000-agents-face-elimination-transactions-shrink-hong?utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=contentexchange&utm_source=EdgeProp | September 11, 2019 11:57 AM SGT
Some 8,000 agents face "elimination" as the prolonged protests and US-China trade war hasten the decline in Hong Kong's property prices and shrink transactions amid a lack of buying interest.
"In the last two weeks, the extent of decline has sped up," said Sammy Po, chief executive of the residential division at Midland Realty, adding that some homeowners were willing to slash prices by 10 per cent or more in the hope of finding buyers quickly.
Po said as transactions shrink in the second half, keener competition for the limited number of deals could lead to the "elimination" of about 20 per cent of agents in the city.
"There are about 40,000 agents. We estimate there will be a total of about 4,000 to 5,000 deals a month, which means about 10 agents will compete for each deal [per month]."
The secondary market will be the hardest hit, with only about 40,000 deals taking place this year, the lowest since records began in 1996, said Freddie Wong, chairman of Midland Holdings.
"The number of deals [of used homes] will be worse than when Sars occurred," Wong said, adding that they were likely to drop by 13 per cent this year. Some 46,131 deals were completed in 2003.
Midland said the asking prices of around 4,072 listings had been cut as of Monday, up 58.6 per cent from June 1, before the extradition bill controversy erupted.
Police throw a tear gas grenade during a clash with anti-government protesters in Tsuen Wan, on Sunday. Photo: Edmond So alt=Police throw a tear gas grenade during a clash with anti-government protesters in Tsuen Wan, on Sunday. Photo: Edmond So
It said its net profit for the six months ended June 30 plunged 37.8 per cent to HK$93.6 million (US$11.93 million) on the back of significantly higher rental expenses and commission rebates because of intense competition, according to its filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Wednesday.
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