With focus on secondary market, branches will deepen firm's presence in Beijing New World Development Group is branching out into the real estate agency business with plans to open two branches in Beijing. According to sources, the group will focus on the second-hand residential market in Chongwen district, where its mainland property arm New World China Land owns a portfolio of residential, office and hotel projects. 'Two outlets in the area are being fitted out. They are just waiting for licences to begin operations,' said the sources without disclosing a date for their official openings. The group's property agency would not be involved in the primary market, said the sources. As the group has its own marketing and sales team to handle each new project on the mainland, the sources said the property agency would likely focus on the second-hand market. The group decided to diversify into real estate agency mainly due to its large portfolio of investments in Chongwen district, southeast of urban Beijing, said the sources. In Chongwen district, New World China Land owns five investment properties including phases one and two of Beijing New World Centre and New World Courtyard Hotel. Construction work for Beijing New World Garden is also under way. Unlike Centaline Property Agency and Midland Realty, New World has no immediate plans to expand its property agency business to other major cities, the sources said. 'It is not the group's corporate strategy to expand aggressively into the real estate agency market,' said the sources. The group believes Beijing's sales and leasing market will remain active given the demand generated by job-seekers in the capital. According to DTZ Tie Leung Debenham, prices for luxury homes in Beijing are continuing to rise, especially in central districts with a shortage of new supply. The company said the overall luxury leasing market was stable in the third quarter. 'Average rents and vacancy rates were similar to last quarter,' said the report. Traditionally, the fourth quarter has been a low season for the residential leasing market. 'Demand for serviced apartments may be affected by Christmas as many expatriates will return home or come here after the festival season,' said the report.