Aug 06, 2014

    JLL buys 20% stake in PropNex arm

    INTERNATIONAL real-estate consultancy JLL has bought a 20 per cent stake in PropNex International, the project marketing arm of home-grown property firm PropNex.

    This was announced by both companies at a joint media briefing yesterday.

    However, the investment amount was not disclosed.

    The partnership means both companies will share a single network of over 5,770 sales staff - a sizeable contender against Singapore's largest real-estate agency, ERA Realty, which has more than 5,800 sales staff.

    Chris Fossick, JLL's head of Singapore and South-east Asia, explained that the move "addresses the missing link in JLL's residential business - sales of new mass-market homes".

    "It is (also) a considered and strategic response to Singapore's evolving residential and commercial markets," he added, noting that the bulk of new residential sales now come from the mass-market segment.

    He pointed out that the number of new home sales in suburban regions rose 250 per cent in the last five years, compared to the preceding five years.

    In recent years, JLL has been growing different aspects of its residential property business in Singapore, including acquiring real-estate firms such as Property Edge, DST International, Credo Real Estate and Halcyon Real Estate.

    For PropNex, the partnership melds "the best of two worlds", said chief executive Mohamed Ismail.

    "It is a timely move, given the slowdown in sales here due to property cooling measures," he said.

    "PropNex needs to move on to the next stage - to (properties) beyond the shores of Singapore - and we are confident that our clients, investors, developers and own sales force will benefit from the opportunities of a wider global reach with JLL's global network."

    ERA Realty's key executive officer, Eugene Lim, remained unperturbed by the news.

    "Both JLL and PropNex come from different backgrounds - one is known for catering to the higher-end market, while the other is mass market-driven," he said.

    "It remains to be seen whether they can work together."