Residential buildings in Beijing. The average price last year for second-hand housing in China's capital was 60,925 yuan per square meter, down 3.3% from a year earlier. Photo: iStock

As the housing industry continues to face downward pressure, real estate giant Centaline Property Agency’s Shanghai branch says it has had to slash salaries and employee benefits, The Paper reported.

The full attendance award for all positions in the company was temporarily cancelled. While the communication allowance, seniority pay and commuting subsidy were halved.

In addition, the commission rate for some departments, including the research institute and communication centre, were decreased by 20%.

Lu Cheng, general manager of Shanghai Centaline and president of the East China region, said that the company has been in a state of structural loss for the past two years, due to the tightening of regulatory policies and the credit environment.

He also blamed the company’s strategic mistakes, poor internal management and bloated structure. The blind expansion of housing agents in recent years has also led to an overcapacity.

Insiders pointed out that market expectations have changed, as housing prices have started to fall. Thus, many companies are digging in for the so-called “winter of the industry.”