Industry concerns

THE real estate industry is an integral part of Savusavu’s economy, says director of Ki-Maren Real Estates Aren Nunnink.

Speaking during the Real Estate Agents Licensing Board (REALB) consultation forum which was recently held in Savusavu, Mr Nunnink said most clients of the three licensed real estate agents in Savusavu dealt with foreign investors.

Mr Nunnink said these foreign investors bought significant properties that they had developed creating employment for the local people.

“These include properties like Savasi Island, Wavi Island, and Nawi Island where large estates have been developed,” he said.

“Apart from that, there are foreign investors who like the environment in Savusavu so they have brought properties here with intention of building homes for their retirement, vacation or some of them to operate small income business.

“Most of the times these investors employ locals providing them with a source of income.”

Mr Nunnink said however their concerns were on the increase in illegal foreign agents that continued to make away with selling properties in Savusavu even though they were not licensed.

He added that these agents were not bound by Fiji laws and henceforth entered into a lot of corruptive dealings.

“These are the sort of agents that need to be brought to task and that the REALB need to scrutinise with other agencies,” he said.

REALB acting chief executive officer Virisila Tuimanu said the Real Estate regulation in Fiji was outdated and needed to consider these issues.

Ms Tuimanu said this was why they were holding consultations, to hear the concerns of real estate agents before incorporating them into the amended regulation which was to be released soon.