Licensing Fees for Estate Agents (Agencies) and Salespersons (Housing Agents) in Singapore

I read the Press Release issued by the Ministry of National Development (MND) on 15 September 2010, pertaining to the $230 annual registration fee for each sales person.

Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) which is formed and under MND, will officially take over in regulating the real estate industry from 22nd October 2010.

It is certainly a move that is more than welcome, to clean up the 'cowboy industry', which was given the opportunity to self-regulate for years. Unfortunately, the opportunity was not treasured.

However, the annual registration fee of $230 is an eye sore in my opinion. I understand fee is necessary to maintain the administration workload. But at $230 annually? This equates to $6.9M to be collected annually from 30,000 sales persons(housing agents), excluding the fees to be collected annually from 17,000 estate agents (agencies) ranging from $300 to $30,000 per agent. Minister Mah Bow Tan in his parliament speech of 'The fees will be kept affordable'. I thought at $20 annually is real reasonable and affordable.