HONG KONG -- Major real estate brokerages in Hong Kong are slicing payrolls as they try to reduce costs in a historically weak property market. Led by Centaline Property, a big brokerage that is planning to eliminate 30% of its positions, layoffs in the industry are expected to reach more than 3,000.
Rising interest rates, emigration by Hong Kong residents and a slower flow of money from mainland China are accelerating declines in housing prices in the territory. The real estate brokerage business, which was built on the assumption of ever-rising home prices, faces a shakeout. Some may not survive.