The value of local real estate is gradually increasing, says the Government’s Permanent Secretary for Lands and Mineral Resources, Malakai Finau.
He noted this at a recent consultative workshop hosted by the Real Estate Agents Licensing Board in Nadi, while speaking on the industry’s close link to the performance of the economy.
“The real estate industry contributes significantly to the overall economic development of Fiji as an average of 1,500 real estate transactions rake in a worth of $413 million in value and statistics indicate this on annual basis; the value of real estate transacted gradually increasing,” he said.
“This underpins the immense worth of the real estate industry to our local economy as it exists in an interdependent, mutually benefitting relationship. Thus, a strong economy leads to strong growth in the real estate industry.”
Echoing earlier sentiments by Land and Trade Minister, Faiyaz Koya, the Permanent Secretary also noted that while the Government was taking steps to make affordable housing available for agents, it was also the duty of real estate agents to work within the realms of the law and ensure that their industry was clean of unscrupulous dealers.
“There is a somewhat general mentality that real estate agents hike property prices because of commission,” Finau told agents and salespersons at the workshop.
“This should motivate you further to prove this general consensus wrong and the only way is to conduct business in a professional way in line with a code of ethics.”
He noted that had been the basis for the introduction of the Real Estate Agents Act in 2006, which regulates the industry in terms of licensing agents and their sales staff.
“The Real Estate Agents Licensing Board, in this regard, has been adequately resources by the Fijian Government as part of its commitment to clean up the real estate sector,” he highlighted, adding that an integral part of the Board’s function was to develop and administer a more vibrant and confident real estate industry in the country, through creating an environment of professionalism, expertise, integrity and quality.
Finau noted that such workshops by the REALB were the best ambient for property professionals to further educate themselves on the regulatory requirements and functions of various stakeholders in the industry, and an opportunity to improve service delivery on both an individual and industrial level.
“Property professionals such as real estate agents, valuers, property developers and estate managers all play a pivotal role in developing our housing industry.”
Agents and salespersons were reminded that the onus was on them to provide your services in an ethical manner while maintaining the highest level of professional conduct to effectively contribute to our nation as it involved into a socio-economic maturity as a developing state.
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