Subdued Asking Prices And Government Incentives Fills Property Market With Affordable Options

PropertyGuru’s Malaysia Property Market Index Q1 2021 (MPMI) report has registered steady asking prices at 88.60 index points in Q3 and Q4 of 2020. 

Although the index has remained unchanged, asking prices for properties in Malaysia have seen a drop quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) with Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Penang registering a drop of 1.80 percent, 0.83 percent and 0.78 percent respectively. Selangor is the only market with a slight increase of 0.84 percent. 

With subdued asking prices coupled with favourable government incentives, this has resulted in more affordable options for purchasing property, the property website says.

The National Property Information Centre (NAPIC) also revealed that 50.5 percent of the new residential launches are properties priced below RM300,000, while those priced between RM300,001 to RM500,000 account for 24.7 percent.

Landed properties dominated the new residential launches with 3,127 units launched in the quarter in review. This would be an addition to the existing overhang units in Johor at 20.4 percent, Selangor at 15.2 percent and KL at 10.1 percent.

“Despite the pandemic, the intent to purchase property is still there with 1 in 3 Malaysians likely to purchase property in 2021, according to our latest Consumer Sentiment Study H1 2021. These potential homebuyers are likely to be younger Malaysians who are keen to take advantage of the current market climate.

“Younger buyers are now keen to capitalise on the current low prices, conducive interest rates and current incentives – especially before the clock runs out on Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) enticements in May this year.

“Those looking to make a buy will be happy to note that the government has extended the stamp duty exemption on instruments of transfer and loan agreement for first-time home buyers, for properties up to RM500,000 per unit until Dec 31, 2025,” Sheldon Fernandez, Country Manager of PropertyGuru Malaysia said.

With the added opportunity of low interest rates, where Bank Negara Malaysia has decided to maintain the Overnight Policy Rate at 1.75 percent, the current market may see an early spike in transactional activity in 2021.

Recovering Regions and Bright Spots

Selected bright spots within key regions are bucking the downward trend by registering positive gains due to increased demand. In Kuala Lumpur, prices in the Ampang Hilir district are moving against the grain with a 10.96 percent gain, bringing the median asking price to RM975.82psf. 

Neighbouring Selangor saw upward trends in Damansara Uptown at 4.35 percent increase with a median price of RM958.85 psf, Sungai Buloh (Sierra Mas) with a 5.56% increase to RM633.33 psf and Petaling Jaya (Tropicana Indah) with a 14.28 percent increase at RM636.36 psf.

Up north in Penang, within Georgetown, prices rose in Jalan Scotland at 12.23 percent chalking a median of RM728.27 psf whilst Gurney Drive registered a 4.4 percent increase to RM785.71 psf. 

Despite being the state with the biggest decline in asking prices, bright spots in Johor were recorded for Johor Bahru (Bandar Dato Onn) with a 3.31% increase at RM389.61 psf and Kulai (Senai) with a 7.93 percent increase at RM306.67 psf.

“These bright spots are registering positive gains with younger professionals previously priced out of the market and upgraders who have found good bargains in this climate to make lifestyle enhancements and upgrades. 

“Overall, it is likely the property market will recover at a slower rate than the overall economy, as improved financial confidence must first occur to spur consumer demand,” Sheldon added.

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