13 property agencies boycott SouFun over website’s fees

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 August, 2014, 11:08am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 August, 2014, 12:57pm

SouFun’s American depositary receipts (ADRs) plunged 6.5 per cent, the most in four weeks, in New York as 13 major property agencies in Shanghai terminated their listings on the mainland’s biggest property website.

 The Shanghai Agent Alliance, formed by the 13 agencies, refused to pay the rising fees SouFun has been charging them and stopped listing on the website from Tuesday.

 Realtors boycotting SouFun include Centaline China, Bacic and 5i5j.

 They complained SouFun’s charges had soared more than tenfold in the past five years while their own commission rates had hardly changed.

 “It raised the operating cost for realtors amid a slump in sales and home prices on the mainland,” a spokesman from Centaline China said.

 The dispute with the property agencies over its fees has hurt SouFun badly. The firm’s ADRs have plunged 36 per cent this year

 SouFun slid 6.53 per cent to US$10.59 in New York. Rival property website provider E-House dropped 6.06 per cent to US$10.69, while Leju tumbled 9.6 per cent to US$11.94.

The 13 realtors represent more than 70 per cent of the listings on SouFun’s Shanghai platform, according to data tracked by Shanghai-based 86Research.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg