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Property sector pay rises most in China

HONG KONG: Professionals in the China property industry saw the highest growth in their annual salaries, outperforming East Asian counterparts, a survey shows.

The survey, conducted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Macdonald & Company, shows that those working in fund management firms, consultancies, architectural firms and surveying companies on the mainland saw their annual base salary rise by 28.5%, to US$97,331 (RM301,774.77), from last year's US$75,700, thanks to the robust property industry.

The growth rate is higher than the average of 22.3% for real estate professionals in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

The results of the annual study — the Asian Real Estate Market Salary, Benefits and Attitudes Survey — were released on Tuesday, Nov 9.

A total of 949 Asian real estate professionals — mostly managers, associate directors or vice-presidents — took part in the survey.

"Chinese development continues to be a dominant story with average salaries across the region rising everywhere, but established markets with relatively little development activity such as Hong Kong and Singapore seeing low growth in average salaries," said William Glover, international director of Macdonald & Company, the property professional recruitment consultancy.

The average salary growth rate in China was almost identical to the previous year, underlying why, as an engine for so many careers and business in the region, the China growth story was becoming so crucial, according to Glover.

Professionals from Singapore earned the highest average salaries in the region this year, at US$103,118, a slight decrease from last year's US$104,200.

Those working in Hong Kong's real estate industry are taking home average salaries of US$98,652, against US$97,000 last year. Malaysia saw average salaries declining from US$29,800 last year to US$26,653 this year.

"The 2010 salary survey confirms that the recovery in the Asian real estate market is as a result of domestic Asian growth," Glover said.

"This is particularly true in mainland China, but the majority of that growth has been driven by Asian developers and property companies rather than the global investors we saw pre-2008."

Respondents who received a bonus comprise 65.6%, up from 2009's 53.4%. The average bonus they received was US$28,791 against US$24,421 in the previous year.

Only 7% of respondents have been made redundant in the last 12 months, down from 15% in the previous year. Of those made redundant, 85% have found new jobs, up from 2009's 71%.

About 56% of the respondents believe the property market will get better in the next 12 months.

The study also showed that traditional activities of real estate service providers, such as quantity surveying, valuation, consultancy and leasing have seen increases in average salaries of 36% to 63%, reflecting a surge in fee incomes. That increase is attributable in large part to the continued explosion in development on the mainland.

Robert Peto, president of RICS, said: "This is a solid proof that taking the time to qualify as a chartered surveyor is of great value for an individual's future in the profession." — South China Morning Post
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