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Landed properties still favourites [06-02-2013]  
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Property sees more transactions in the RM350,000 to RM500,000 price range this year

THE residential property market in Malaysia is expected to remain stable this year, with more transactions expected for landed properties priced between RM350,000 and RM500,000.

iProperty Group chief executive officer Shaun Di Gregorio said developers have shifted their focus to build houses in that price range.

Based on the Asia Property Market Sentiment Survey 2013, 79 per cent of the 8,048 respondents indicated their intention to buy a property worth RM350,000 to RM500,000 over the next six months to 24 months.

Speaking at the launch of the survey findings yesterday, Di Gregorio said landed properties remain the most popular choice compared to condominiums and apartments.

"Apartments are good investment options but they want to buy land, hence, the rising demand for landed properties. However, for that price range, buyers will have to go out of town.

"The light rail transit (LRT) extension and the MyRapid Transit (MRT) projects will offer good potential for out-of-town developments," Di Gregorio said.

Based on the data released by the National Property Information Centre (Napic), the residential segment accounted for RM61.83 billion of the total RM137.83 billion worth of properties sold in 2011. Napic has not released the data for 2012.

"We expect the first half of this year to remain soft but with the general election out of the way soon, the market represents a good buying opportunity for first time or second property buyers.

"A soft market by definition means a stable one, where you won't see rapid increase in price. No one is overly optimistic or pessimistic. They expect a stable market this year, slightly better than 2012," said Di Gregorio.

The survey showed that price and location were the two key factors that the respondents viewed as important ahead of political/economic climate when deciding to purchase a property.

According to Di Gregorio, the current global uncertainty is having an effect on the local property market but demand for new housing will improve if Malaysia's economy and employment rate remain strong.

The survey showed that the most important issue of concern in the local property market currently was affordability and rising house prices.

A significant number of respondents also expressed high concern about home financing policies and interest rates, as well as errant developers and building quality.

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