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REALB records surge in property sales

Published Date : 20-21/04/2024

Housing market activity has increased significantly in the last two years, despite fluctuation in the price of properties in Fiji.

Real Estate Agents Licensing Board (REALB) Chief Registrar, Peni Komainavoka said in the past two years of post COVID-19, the market has slowly picked up as economic activities are slowly returning to pre-COVID levels.


“The properties market had also responded positively, with agents becoming more engaged in real estate activity, a boost for the properties market,” Mr Komainavoka said.


“This is evident from the number of properties advertised by real estate agents between July 2022 to January 2024. From the period July 2022 – July 2023, a total of 2012 properties were advertised and between the period August 2023 – January 2024, a total of 500 properties were advertised. This is an indicator of the properties that are being made available and possibly transacted in the market,” he said.


In addition, Reserve Bank of Fiji quarterly reports indicated that commercial banks lending to real estate increased from $146.4 million in Quarter 1 to $542.4 million in Quarter 4.


Similarly, for 2022, lending to real estate increased from $118.6 million in Quarter 1 to $421.9 million in Quarter 4.


“The notable increase in lending reflects a growing confidence in the real estate market. Higher lending figures suggest that financial institutions are willing to invest in a broader range of real estate projects. This will lead to market expansion and diversification, providing opportunities for real estate agents to engage in a variety of property transactions,” he said.


Mr Komainavoka said during the pandemic, it was a challenging time for real estate as well as other sectors.

At the same time, Mr Komainavoka said the banks were also reluctant to give ut loans due to the prevailing economic conditions at that time.

“There were locked downs, restricting movements, there were COVID-19 guidelines/protocols and meetings between agents and clients were mostly done through digital platforms,” he said.


“These restrictions were a challenge for real estate agents since they were not able to meet with clients for property viewing and work the deal towards settlement,” he said.


According to the Reserve Bank of Fiji, the momentum in investment activity has been slow in 2023, as revealed by partial investment indicators.


New credit for investment purposes grew by 8.6 per cent in quarter 4 of 2023 to $881.3 million, largely boosted by higher credit to real estate at 21.2 per cent to $542.4 million.

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