Minister urges real estate operators not to inflate prices

Azlan Othman

Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar yesterday said that developers, real estate agents, valuers and financial institutions should not consider real estate market value as a means of maximising profits through the exploitation of customers.

The minister was speaking during a presentation of certificates of appointment to members of the Brunei Darussalam Board of Valuers and Estate Agents (BOVEA) at the Ministry of Development (MoD) building, in addition to a handover of certificates of registration and practice.

“Valuation must be provided in accordance with international standards and they cannot be inflated indefinitely in order to benefit the seller or developer, without the need to consider the capabilities of the citizens and residents. It should be based on market demand and supply,” said the minister in his speech.

He also highlighted some of the issues identified in connection with the services of real estate agents and real estate developers such as late payments or non-payments to building consultants or contractors; reducing development at the lowest cost, but providing low-quality products; not being responsible for the development of their projects after the Defect Liability Period (DLP); not being responsible for maintaining all public areas after the unit is sold; and land being left undeveloped for many years.

Meanwhile, Permanent Sec-retary (Planning, Land Use and Environment) at the Ministry of Development (MoD) Dr Nor Imtihan binti Haji Abdul Razak, as Chairperson of BOVEA, said that valuers, pursuant to Section 14 (2) of the Valuers and Real Estate Agents 2009 Order should not carry on business or take up a job as anvaluer under any name, designation or title; and that no person should exercise charges for any work of a valuer unless he is a registered valuer.

Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar witnesses the MoU signing between the Ministry of Development and IBTE. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN

The ceremony also witnessed the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the MoD and the Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) for the re-opening of a course in real estate, while providing ongoing bilateral support to ensure the development of the property industry in Brunei Darussalam.

The MoU was signed by Dr Nor Imtihan; and by Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) at the Ministry of Education (MoE) Dr Haji Azman bin Ahmad as a member of the IBTE Board.

The minister also launched a website at www.bovea.gov.bn for those who are actively involved in the real estate industry, as well as for those interested in applying as a registered valuer and estate agent and as a practising registered valuer and estate agent.

Applications should be submitted to the BOVEA Secretariat of the Board Management Division under the MoD. The ceremony was also attended by the Deputy Minister of Development; Deputy Permanent Secretary (Corporate and Legal) at the MoD; Deputy Permanent Secretary (Construction Industry and Development) at the MoD; and President of the Institution of Surveyors, Engineers and Architects (PUJA) Brunei.