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Rate hike unlikely to impact on property market [10-05-2011]  
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The property market will not be impacted by the recent increase in the overnight policy rate (OPR), said property consultants.

Last Thursday, Bank Negara raised the overnight policy rate (OPR) by 25 basis points to 3% and increased the statutory reserve requirement (SRR) by one percentage point to 3%.

Henry Butcher Marketing Sdn Bhd chief operating officer Tang Chee Meng said the slight increase meant that borrowing cost was still reasonable.

“With banks offering base lending rate (BLR) minus 2%, this means effective interest rates are still below 5%. However, property investors will look at the slight rate hike with caution,” Tang told StarBiz.

He pointed out that demand in the property market might be curbed slightly if the central bank raises the OPR by another 25-basis points before year-end.

“Property investors look closely at micro situations and factors such as location, possible further interest rate hikes in the short-term, rental yields and capital appreciation,” he said.

Zerin Properties chief executive officer Previndran Singhe said the recent rate hike was not significant.

KGV-Lambert Smith Hampton Sdn Bhd director Anthony Chua said the rate hike would not “put brakes” on the property market.

“It will not have a significant impact, although there may be some minor adjustment in buying sentiment,” said Chua.

CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) Malaysia managing director Allan Soo said the impact on property buying sentiment would be negligible.

“At this level, the property market is not interest sensitive,” Soo pointed out.

CBRE Malaysia executive director Paul Khong pointed out that property prices, especially in the Klang Valley, still soared despite a rate hike last July.

“Property buyers will continue to make decisions based on their repayment capability, and also factor in their expected rental yields in view of the rate hike,” said Khong.

Source:THE STAR
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