PropertyGuru Malaysia found that while more Malaysians are experiencing less difficulty in obtaining home loans, many still remain dissatisfied. Many people found interest rates too high, given the present economic challenges faced by Malaysians.
According to PropertyGuru’s Consumer Sentiment Survey, 46% of people say that interest rates are too high. Home loans remain a vital component for the property eco-system. PropertyGuru data shows 91% of respondents stated they’ll need a bank loan to secure a home. The latest results coincide with findings that the Malaysian property market has reached a more stable position with gradual but sustainable price appreciation compared to the steep rise in the past 2-3 years.
Conducted half-yearly since 2009, the survey measures property sentiments and expectations around the property market. The results help consumers, property agents and developers gain a better perspective of the local property market. The H1 2017 survey saw 949 respondents in Malaysia and more than 3,100 respondents across Southeast Asia.
Malaysian purchasers continue to face challenges, especially for first time home buyers who are left with insufficient funds after paying their monthly instalments or meeting upfront costs such as stamp duties, legal fees, moving costs and so on.
“While more loans are being approved, especially due to more joint loan applications, many consumers are declining these loans due to the margin of loan approved and the monthly instalments to be paid. Banks are now approving more applications but, at times, the package offered is not attractive to consumers,” said PropertyGuru Malaysia Country Manager, Sheldon Fernandez.
Fernandez added that perhaps one solution is to offer first-time home owners a special interest rate if they bought affordable properties within a specific price range in transit oriented developments (“TOD”).
43% of Malaysians noted they have used their Employee Provident Fund (“EPF”) savings to purchase property, either as part of the initial down-payment or to offset their principal home loan amount. This is a 5% increase in the sentiment this year compared to 38% in H2 2016.
Fernandez added that the use of EPF funds means that consumers are prioritising home ownership over their retirement years.