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Press release

4 MAY 2018

Asia Salary & Benefits Survey: improving prospects & higher talent turnover

RICS and Macdonald & Company have released the twelfth annual Salary and Benefits Survey for the Asian property sector. The survey paints a relatively optimistic picture for the Asia Pacific real estate industry and its RICS professionals, while also suggesting a trend of increasing talent turnover.

The 25–30 years old age group received the largest average salary increase. But, unlike last year, the primary reason was moving jobs/new employer (26.5% of respondents).

68% of respondents stated that they are likely to move job in the next 12 months (up 13% from last year).

Better salary remains the primary motivator for leaving an employer (76% of respondents), followed by management style at 68% and career progression at 63%. Compared to last year, job security showed the largest decrease in relative importance (65% in 2017 to 57% in 2018).

Across Hong Kong, mainland China and Singapore, RICS-qualified respondents continued to enjoy higher base salaries than their non-qualified counterparts, with the average earnings gap landing at 18.1%.

Respondents in mainland China recorded the highest average pay rise at a noteworthy 14%, in contrast to Hong Kong’s average of 9.4%. Average annual salary between the two regions was almost equal, but with mainland China showing a higher year-on-year rise.

Economic optimism was high overall. In Hong Kong, 40% of respondents anticipated increased economic activity in the next 12 months. The number in mainland China was slightly higher at 45%.

Gender and age: Within the region overall, male property professionals earn on average 27.5% higher than female counterparts. However, this is mainly due to men generally earning more than women among the older age groups. The difference in average earnings is smaller within the younger generation, incidentally with females earning more than males among both 18–24 and 25–30 age groups.

A thriving industry

"The Asia Pacific real estate industry continues to thrive, with improved year-on-year sentiment across the region," said Chair of RICS Hong Kong Board Mr Clement Lau FRICS. "Qualified RICS professionals generally enjoy higher remuneration packages within the industry and remain well-positioned to reap the rewards of regional economic growth. From a business perspective, the findings may put pressure on companies to strengthen their talent retention strategies, given the higher market value of RICS professionals and increased employee tolerance for lower job security.

Mr Lau added: "From employees’ perspectives, the decreasing pay gap between men and women is a positive development. While there is a significant gender pay gap at middle management levels (ages 31–50), the pay gap between professionals aged 18–30 are relatively narrow. We expect the gap to continue closing in the future.

"Moreover, we see that remuneration levels between Hong Kong and mainland China are similar, but with Chinese salary increases being the highest in the region. Due to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area initiative, there is growing demand for qualified professionals that can assist with infrastructure and building developments in mainland China. We believe that Hong Kong’s young professionals may find better long-term career development options in the Greater Bay Area compared to other regions."

About the Asia Salary & Benefits Survey 2018

Now in its twelfth year, the Annual RICS and Macdonald & Company Asia Salary & Benefits Survey is the most comprehensive survey on remuneration and benefits undertaken for the property sector. 2,003 real estate industry professionals from across Asia region participated online between November 2017 and March 2018.

Besides statistics on current salaries, recent salary increases, bonuses and employment package benefits, the results give insight into wider issues that are important to real estate professionals in their role and their attitudes toward employment.