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Real estate meltdown fears

(China Daily)

13:33, November 08, 2011

Agents' price-cutting boards fail to attract passing trade in Shanghai on Nov 5. Some real estate agencies are closing outlets as the government's ongoing property-tightening measures cause transactions to slump and the price of pre-owned homes to hit a record low. Yong Kai / For China Daily

BEIJING - A number of leading real estate brokerages have started shutting outlets, as the government's ongoing property-tightening measures cause transactions to slump and the price of pre-owned homes to hit a record low.

In Shenzhen, the brokerage giant Centaline Property Agency Ltd on Thursday announced it will close 60 outlets and lay off 1,000 workers nationwide. The wave of shutdowns has also spread to Beijing, with several large-scale property brokerages following suit.

Century 21 Real Estate LLC closed 34 outlets across the country in the first two quarters, according to its financial statement. The number increased further in the third quarter, according to reports in the Beijing News, which didn't provide figures.

An industry insider, who declined to be named, estimated that around 3,000 outlets might close this year, leaving some 50,000 real estate brokers facing redundancy.

Liu Jun, chairman of Geland Real Estate Co Ltd, a Beijing- based real estate brokerage, said the company closed 50 of its outlets in February, following the government's announcement that its property policies would remain in force.

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