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Thursday, March 3, 2016, 22:51

Heyday is back for mainland property agents

By Chai Hua and Oswald Chan
Heyday is back for mainland property agents
Jiang Junwei — a 21-year-old real estate agent armed with only a junior high school diploma — made his first million yuan last year by selling some 30 homes in Shenzhen, and is confident of raking in another million this year.

“I was so lucky,” exclaimed Jiang who mostly handles sales of luxury apartments at one of Midland Realty’s branches in the city. He took the plunge into the property trade from selling doors in 2014 in the belief that the housing sector would be more “promising”.

Jiang exemplifies a growing trend of young people on the mainland who have given up whatever they’re doing to try their luck in the property market as homes prices continue to go through the roof.

His first month as a real estate agent, Jiang recalled, had been very difficult as a new salesperson would only be paid and offered an employment contract after he or she has sold the first apartment.

“When I successfully negotiated the sale of the first apartment, I leapt for joy,” Jiang said.

Homes buyers in Shenzhen swarmed the market last year as property prices continued to surge. According to the Urban Planning, Land and Resources Commission of Shenzhen Municipality, the city’s property prices have been going up for the past 17 months.

Midland Realty data show that the transaction volume and prices of new homes climbed 66 percent and 52 percent, respectively, in 2015.

According to Jiang, his sales team has been growing — from 20 to about 40 at present — and most of them have been earning a decent income from commissions of more than 1 million yuan ($153,000) a year.

Jiang Shaojie, Midland Realty’s managing director for Shenzhen and Huizhou, told China Daily the agency had expanded from about 2,000 staff in early 2015 to more than 5,000 at the end of last year.

The company has also opened about 50 new branches, bringing to 180 its total number of outlets in Shenzhen.

Shenzhen’s property sector was buoyant in 2009 until it started to cool down in 2010 after the authorities imposed a series of measures to curb a runaway market, leading to a wave of closures of real estate agencies. The measures included homes purchase restrictions, limiting residents without a Shenzhen hukou to purchasing only one apartment if they have paid tax for more than a year. There was speculation recently that the policy would be tightened further by lengthening the tax payment period to three years. The authorities responded by saying that “related policies are under study”.

Wang Feng, director of the Shenzhen Real Estate Research Center, told China Daily the government’s policies are aimed at curbing short-term speculation and investments that violate laws and regulations.

grace@chin adailyhk.com

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