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List of licensed property agencies decline as number of registered property agents increase

The Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) in a press release on 4 Jan said that the list of registered property agents rose in the past year, when compared to 2017. CEA said that the As at 1 January 2019, there were 1,229 licensed property agencies and 29,146 registered property agents.

The number of licensed property agencies and registered property agents as at 1 January over the last three years is shown below:

  As at
1 Jan 2017
As at
1 Jan 2018
As at
1 Jan 2019
Number of Property Agents 28,397 28,571 29,146
Number of Property Agencies 1,286  




CEA issued 57 new property agency licences and 1,198 new property agent registrations throughout 2018. A total of 59 property agency licences and 2,091 property agent registrations lapsed after 31 December 2018.

The CEA revealed this data in launching the the first phase of the Property Agents’ Transaction Records Initiative to
publish the records of residential transactions facilitated by property agents in Singapore. From 4 January 2019, information on completed resale transactions for Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats closed by registered property agents will be made available on the CEA Public Register on the CEA website.

The initiative to publish property agents’ transaction records is aimed at making property agents’ information more transparent to consumers for their selection of  registered property agents to help them buy, sell, or rent a residential property.

Property agents will be able to provide verified records of their experience in closing residential transactions, which will help them build and sustain consumer trust.

The CEA Public Register was introduced on 1 January 2011 to increase transparency and foster confidence in the estate agency industry. It is the primary platform for the public to check whether an individual is a registered property agent and whether a company is a licensed property agency.

In the first phase of the Property Agents’ Transaction Records Initiative, a property agent’s records for HDB flat resale transactions will be shown on his or her profile on the Public Register, with the following information:

  • the transaction completion date;
  • the general location of the property; and
  • the party (i.e. buyer or seller) the agent represented in the transaction.

The additional information can provide consumers with a clearer understanding of the agent’s experience in terms of how active he or she has been in the last two years in closing HDB resale transactions, in which HDB towns, and whether he or she was acting for the buyer or the seller.

The published records of HDB flat resale transactions closed by property agents are based on the information submitted to HDB in the course of the HDB flat resale transaction process. The information will be updated on the 15th of each month and will reflect records of transactions completed within the last 24 months from the date of access.

CEA said that this is to ensure that consumers have access to the most recent transaction records. Records older than 24 months from the date of access, starting from 1 January 2017, are available at, the government’s one-stop portal to publicly available datasets from public agencies.

CEA added that it had consulted industry stakeholders including the industry associations, Key Executive Officers of property agencies, property agents, as well as consumers in developing the Property Agents’ Transaction Records Initiative, and before deciding on the information to be displayed. The initiative was refined after receiving and incorporating feedback from these key stakeholders.

In the second phase of the initiative, CEA plans to make available property agents’ records of HDB renting out of flat transactions, as well as private residential sales/purchase and lease transactions from end-2019.

The Property Agents’ Transaction Records Initiative is one of the recommendations under the Real Estate Industry Transformation Map (ITM). The Real Estate ITM was launched in February 2018 with a view to enable property agencies and agents to enhance productivity, innovate, raise professionalism, and build stronger client relationships to remain relevant in the industry.

On the launch of the initiative to publish property agents’ transaction records and the latest registration and licensing numbers in the estate agency industry, Ms Chia I-Ling, Director, Policy & Licensing of CEA, said:

“Notwithstanding a slight increase in the number of registered property agents compared to the same time last year, the industry continues to face a challenging road ahead with rising consumer expectations and technological disruption.
“In order to remain relevant, it is vital that the real estate agency industry keeps up its efforts to transform itself and enhance its professionalism. The availability of property agents’ verified transaction records online is one such effort to help property agents build stronger relationships with their clients, as greater transparency increases consumers’ confidence in engaging property agents.”

registered property agents

Mr Paul Ho, the chief mortgage consultant at said the Real Estate ITM is a good initiative and that in keeping up with proptech start-ups, registered property agents “must upgrade or die”.

He noted that many property agencies struggle to keep up with all the regulatory changes in the industry, as well as the changing financial calculations for acquiring a property. He urged property agents to master the basics in property financing, refinancing, taxation and CPF.

Mr Ho said that runs a full 2 – 3 days course on how property agents can produce such reports for their customers. He added that the trademarked course teaches Property Agents how to generate complicated Financial calculations using –  Home Loan Report (TM) – in 3 mins flat. This helps Property agents to close deals faster and serve customers more professionally.

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Written by Ravi Philemon


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