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Notices passe for real estate agents

CATHERINE HARRIS
Last updated 05:00 04/08/2014

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The number of real estate agents entering or re-entering the industry is on the rise, but public notices of applications will no longer be put in print.

Agent numbers dropped after the global financial crisis, but Real Estate Agents Authority chief executive Kevin Lampen-Smith said the number of agents had climbed steadily over the past three years.

There were now nearly 13,000 active licences, up 5 per cent in the past year.

"The average age in the industry is about 51, and so each year you'll get a few dropping off, but in the last couple of years we've had a net 1000 increase."

The new licences were evenly spread and not just based in the hot Auckland market, he said.

In response to the rising numbers, the authority is dropping its requirement for aspiring agents to advertise their application in two newspapers.

Would-be agents will instead declare their intentions on the authority's website.

Lampen-Smith said it was a practical move.

"There's basically hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent every year by licensees which really wasn't adding much value to the decision we make - which is: ‘Is this person a fit and proper person to be given a licence'?"

He said the public should take comfort from the authority's checks and balances.

Consumer NZ head Sue Chetwin said she was not concerned about the change as long as the public knew where the details were. Information was inexorably moving online, she said.

Real Estate Institute chief executive Helen O'Sullivan supported the move. She said the authority's move to centralise the details would make scrutiny easier. Fairfax NZ

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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