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Fiji Time: 6:01 PM on Friday 18 April

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Home sales rise

Geraldine Panapasa
Saturday, February 09, 2013

MOST real estate businesses are still taking place in the Suva and Nasinu areas simply because of demand and supply, says Real Estate Agents Licensing Board chief executive officer and registrar Ravinesh Murti.

Sharing an overview of the real estate industry over the years, Mr Murti said the desire by people to live in Suva and Nasinu was high.

"People prefer to live in the city or nearby areas but it is how we gauge the real estate industry in terms of volume or dollar value," he said.

"We can't gauge the industry by the numbers; agents have different levels of business. Vast majority of the agents are based in Suva followed by Nadi and Lautoka. There are some real estate companies in Savusavu and Taveuni as well.

"The real estate industry is diverse and enourmous. There are some agents who only sell upper market properties and some who lease upper market properties.

"Other agents concentrate on lower market properties while some concentrate on the commercial market and residential properties. There are even agents who only market properties for overseas investors.

"With our population, it is encouraging to note that the real estate industry in Fiji is booming. There is a demand for residential, commercial, industrial, tourism development and agricultural properties all around."

He said the demand for real estate was scattered around the country with world class residential properties at Denarau and multi-million dollar projects at Naisoso, Pacific Harbour, Savusavu, Taveuni and outer islands.

Fiji, he said, was blessed with an abundance of natural resources and landscape adding to the already thriving image of the industry.

"We breathe fresh air, drink clean water and have good properties to live in. With better bank rates and upcoming housing projects by the Housing Authority, many locals can afford to buy houses.

"People here are fortunate. Almost 98 per cent have shelter or a place to live. In terms of the real estate industry, Fiji is progressing very well.

"The type of properties rented out for $500 per month would be rented out at $500 per week in some developed countries.

"In many populated countries, the land size is very small compared to residential land size in Fiji," Mr Murti said.

Given there were initially 39 established agents or real estate companies issued with licences in 2008, the board has since issued 114 licences to real estate agents so far.

"However, there are only 85 agents with valid licences. There are 109 real estate salespeople and 15 branch managers," he said.

"The grounds for revoking licences and refusal for applications are based on several factors including unethical practice by agents, real estate agents not complying with the duties stated under the relevant Act, agents involved in fraudulent deals, agents providing false information to the board and agents not operating from their office."