For those new to house hunting in PNG, whether it be to buy or rent, it may come as a surprise to learn that Papua New Guinea’s real estate industry is unregulated by the government. Unlike in many other countries, any individual or company can represent themselves as a real estate agent and begin selling land, houses or even development sites; the sky really is the limit. Whilst the unregulated nature of the industry is of benefit for those budding sales people and entrepreneurs, it does present a challenge for the person seeking the perfect home to rent or development site to purchase.
In this article we discuss some of the things to be aware of when conducting your property search to make sure you achieve your goals and avoid being scammed.
Start your property hunt off the safe way
When you start your property search it’s important to plan your strategy well from the start. Avoid the temptation to immediately put a request on Facebook or ask friends; this is a sure fire way to get caught up in ‘private deals’ that unfortunately often go wrong. Instead, you should begin by looking at either individual real estate agency websites (such as Century 21 Siule or Strickland Real Estate) or a real estate portal such as Hausples.com.pg.
As many real estate agencies in PNG do not have websites, portals aggregate all of the property for sale or rent in a single site. Using these sites not only will this save you time in searching, but it will also very quickly give you a sense of the current real estate market in the area you are looking in.
In order to identify the right property for your you should start by reviewing various websites for information such as:
- What is the average selling price or weekly rental for the type of property you are considering?
- How many properties are available within your price range?
- Which real estate agents seem to have the most properties that suit your criteria?
Before arranging inspections make sure the agent is reputable
You have narrowed your search down to 3 or 4 properties and now you are keen to take a look through and make sure they are clean, safe and meet all of your other criteria. The next step is to now ensure that the agency you are dealing with is reputable and professional. For safety reasons, it’s extremely important to avoid attending properties alone with private individuals who are not from one of a recognised agency. So how do you know if the agent or agency is trustworthy?
Here are our tips:
- Ensure that the agency is carrying a decent amount of homes for sale or rent. 1 or 2 properties is likely a hobby, rather than a business.
- Check that they have a website. Companies that have invested in a website are generally larger and more professional than those without a website.
- Source the agencies from a recognised source such as the Real Estate Industry of Papua New Guinea or other directories that only allow genuine real estate companies to list their property stock – the Hausples Agent Directory is one such place.
- Ask friends and family to confirm whether they have dealt with the agent before and what their experience has been
Established real estate agents in Papua New Guinea
There are a number of well established real estate agents in PNG and in particular in the major cities of Lae and Port Moresby. The following is a list of prominent real estate agencies, however please note that this list is not exhaustive and there are likely to be number of other agencies throughout the country that are also reputable:
- Arthur Strachan Real Estate (Port Moresby & Lae)
- Budget Real Estate (Port Moresby)
- Century 21 Siule (Port Moresby)
- DAC Real Estate (Port Moresby)
- Hawaii Real Estate (Port Moresby)
- Our Real Estate (Port Moresby)
- Pacific Comfort Real Estate (Port Moresby)
- Perlease Management Services (Port Moresby)
- Sovereign Real Estate (Port Moresby)
- Strickland Real Estate (Port Moresby)
- The Professionals (Port Moresby & Lae)
- Urban City Realty (Port Moresby)