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First Quarter Property Sales Encouraging

Increased activity has been noted in the real estate sector within the first quarter of this year.

Property sales has increased in the first three months this year in comparison to the same period in the past two years.

Real Estate Agents Licensing Board of Fiji (REALB) registrar Peni Komainavoka attributed the increase to the stimulus packages offered by Fijian Government and financial institutions post- COVID recovery.

“The resilience of investors to support economic growth and development for Fiji is also another key factor,” he said.

“Key industry partners have made this possible through their collective concerted effort in our recovery efforts in building a better Fiji for all Fijians.”

However, the Board has received eight complaints between January to March this year from potential buyers regarding bogus agents and real estate agents holding onto deposit/bond.

He said the two major types of complaints received were on bogus agents which have been referred to Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

Mr Komainavoka adds that in January to March, 2020, REALB received a total of 60 complaints that has been dealt with through the complaint’s resolution process.

The top three complaints include: -

- Bogus agents – 15 cases (25 per cent)

- Landlord and tenancy issues – seven cases (11.7 per cent)

- Failure to refund deposits – seven cases (11.7 per cent)

Mr Komainavoka advises buyers to deal with registered real estate agents only and to always ask for their identification card.

“Ensure that a proper valuation is done for the property, get to know the background of the property, ensure that the location of the property meets your needs, get to know the risk of buying a property and your mitigating strategies so that your investment is protected,” he said.

Talanoa session

REALB will be undertaking talanoa sessions in Lautoka on Monday April 19 and in Suva on Tuesday April 20 as part of its awareness and engagement with agents and salespersons.

This is an ongoing activity undertaken on a quarterly basis in addition to road shows and inspections.

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