Consumer complaints against property agents in Singapore fell to 702 cases in the 2014 financial year, from 751 cases in the previous year, reported Channel NewsAsia, citing figures from the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA).
Complaints relating to HDB flats accounted for 46 percent of all cases, while 34 percent were related to private residential properties, said CEA.
Of the HDB-related complaints, 91 were linked to rental deals, 232 were related to resale transactions and another 134 complaints were linked to the sale of private properties.
According to CEA, the decline in consumer complaints was due to enhanced industry standards, due to the professional development of salespersons, consumer education and regulatory enforcement.
In a joint statement, council president Greg Seow and executive director Chionh Chye Khye revealed that CEA ramped up investigations and took disciplinary actions in various cases of malpractices and breaches of industry guidelines during the 2014/15 financial year.
“We invested in staff training relating to investigation work and industry regulations so that our officers are equipped to ensure rigorous standards and timely completion of all investigations, and effective management of consumer complaints,” they said.
Meanwhile, the number of licensed estate agents dropped to 1,422 as of March 2015 from 1,449 in the previous year. The number of registered salespersons also fell to 32,006 from 33,498 previously.
Looking ahead, CEA plans to strengthen capabilities in support of industry development. It also plans to add more resources and avenues to enable practitioners to sharpen their competencies via continuous learning.