SINGAPORE - With the property market still softening, figures released on Wednesday (Oct 5) showed that the number of licensed real estate agents in Singapore fell by 1,583 to 30,423 in the year to March 2016.
That's about 5 per cent lower than the 32,006 agents in the year ago period.
The figures from the annual report of the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) also showed that 1,307 agents joined the industry, down from 1,654 in the previous fiscal year.
But the number of agents who let their licences lapse declined to 2,890 from 3,146 in the previous year.
CEA said the non-renewal of registrations could be due to several reasons such as some agents "taking a hiatus" or those deciding to leave the industry.
The number of licensed real estate agencies also fell - by 50 - to 1,372 as at end-March from 1,422 a year ago. This was the net effect of 108 licences that were not renewed and 58 new ones granted.
CEA said that while some firms may have closed shop, others may have merged or are still operating but handling other types of work such as property management, while no longer undertaking property sales/purchases and rentals.
The industry body also said the number of customer complaints per 1,000 transactions saw a steady decline - to about 4.5 for the year to March, from about five in the previous fiscal year and around 15 six years ago.
The absolute number of complaints, though, rose to 780 from 702 previously.