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Property sector outlook positive, demand firm [16-07-2013]  
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WE attended’s property expo at the KL Convention Centre recently and were pleasantly surprised by the huge crowd and the significantly higher number of young visitors compared with previous property fairs.

Our survey and discussions with industry players reaffirm our belief that demand remains firm for landed property priced below RM1mil, particularly for units ranging from 1,000 to 1,500 sq ft in size.

Our top pick in the sector is Glomac.

Apart from discussions with industry players, we also conducted our own survey on 27 randomly selected visitors to the expo. The key findings of our survey are buying interest remains strong, demand has picked up post-election and is being driven by young people.

About 56% of the respondents intended to buy at least one property over the next 12 months and 40% were below 30 years old.

Many felt that properties were a good store of wealth in the current inflationary environment and were concerned they might not afford to buy properties with home prices skyrocketing.

Our discussions with property agents, sales staff and bankers revealed that there was a significant pickup in property sales post-general election.

Meanwhile, developers continue to offer attractive marketing incentives like DIBS and decent rebates to attract buyers.

We also saw increasing buying interest from young people below 30 years of age.

In our view, this group will provide more resilient demand for properties going forward.

The Government continues to strongly support home ownership for young buyers, for example through initiatives likes My First Home scheme.

This, coupled with Malaysia’s favourable demographic profile whereby 56% of the population is below 30 years old, bodes well for the sector.

Our survey reconfirmed our belief that landed properties priced less than RM1mil will continue to see strong demand.

Due to land scarcity and high prices in the city centre, we expect to see new property hotspots in suburban areas such as Rawang and the southern Klang Valley such as Semenyih, Puchong South, Putrajaya, Canal City amongst others.

The popularity of some of these areas would be enhanced by upcoming mass rapid transit lines.

Beneficiaries include IOI Properties, Glomac, IJM Land, LBS Bina, Gamuda and WCT.

About 63% of our respondents already had at least one property in hand and just as many were looking at properties for investment and for owner occupation.

As such, there could be a risk that Bank Negara may look to further curb speculative demand.

Unlike Singapore and Hong Kong, public transportation infrastructure has yet to feature prominently on Malaysian homebuyers’ priority list as most have not been exposed to the benefits of a complete transit system.

However, we expect a gradual shift in mindset with the upcoming mass rapid transit lines.

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