Competition watchdog 'looking into' 2pc minimum commission call by four real estate agencies

The Competition Commission said on Friday that it is looking into the matter of four real estate agencies requiring agents to observe a minimum net commission of two percent in first-hand property transactions starting this year, and warned arrangements that restrict competition are prohibited. 

A statement came after media reports revealed the direction of 2 percent minimum commission was issued by Centaline Property Agency Ltd, Hong Kong Property Services (Agency) Ltd, Midland Realty Int'l Ltd, and Ricacorp Properties at similar times via their internal memos. 

The commission said it will reach out to relevant parties and take all necessary actions to assess whether the conduct may give rise to competition concerns under the Competition Ordinance. 

It added no assumption has been made that there has been a contravention of the ordinance at this point. 

The commission then warned that under the First Conduct Rule of the ordinance, arrangements between market participants that prevent, restrict or distort competition in Hong Kong are prohibited. 

“Over the past two years, real estate and property management has been one of the top three sectors where the commission has received the most number of complaints,” the statement read. 

“The commission considers that effective competition is key to delivering benefits for consumers. Accordingly, it is concerned about any action from businesses that are aimed at reducing the level of competition, particularly in sectors such as the property market which affects many people in Hong Kong.” 

The watchdog then called on citizens who can provide information on the matter or relevant practices in the industry to contact them by phone at 3462 2118, e-mail (, post, or in person at the commission’s office (by appointment only).