The structure of Singapore’s residential property market has changed considerably over the past 10 years. Nowhere was the transformation more obvious than during the “circuit breaker” months when Covid-19 safe management measures forced the marketing of residential properties to go digital and put the onus of promoting a project squarely on the shoulders of property agents.

Meanwhile, developers are paying commissions averaging 3% to 4% for new launches compared to 1% just five years ago. Small boutique developers are reported to be paying commissions of up to 8% for projects that have difficulty selling. For example, a large development in Marina Bay is said to be paying agents a higher commission to sell the remaining units.

Furthermore, instead of many small- and mid-sized agencies competing for projects, the property agent sector here is dominated by a handful of sizeable players. Four or five property agencies or 90% account for the bulk of property agents compared to 71% just two years ago.

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