Real estate agencies are laying off sales agents amid a slump in home prices, China Daily reported Tuesday.
Beijing Weiye Real Estate gave the pink slips to at least five sales agents at one of its branches in the capital’s Chaoyang district, the report said, citing an employee who refused to be identified. The layoffs came after sales plunged over the past two months to just one-third of the levels seen in 2012, it said.
Weiye will not open new branches until the market recovers, the source was quoted as saying.
In Shanghai, Centaline Property Agency Ltd. and Shanghai Deovolente Realty are also shedding staff, the National Business News reported on Monday.
The two companies are reducing their non-sales workforce by 10 percent while shelving plans to open new branches, the newspaper said, citing employees with the two companies.
Centaline denied the report, however, telling China Daily it has opened as many as 500 sales positions, adding that it has launched more than 20 branches since the end of 2013.
“We have always had high turnover in our sales force, which means we always sack and hire at the same time,” a Shanghai-based press officer with Centaline was quoted as saying. “We are good as we always have been.”
The housing market has been losing steam since late last year. A report by the China Index Academy shows that 45 of China’s 100 biggest cities saw price declines in April. Home prices grew just 0.1 percent in April from a month earlier, 0.28 percentage point lower than the increase in March, according to the report.
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