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Property prices in main cities to rise by 10pc [25-07-2013]  
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Real estate agents expect slow but steady market with ‘no bubble to burst’

RESIDENTIAL property prices in the main cities are expected to climb by a steady 10 per cent this year, said PPC International Sdn Bhd chief executive Siva Shanker.

He said with the new property financing guidelines imposed by Bank Negara, he is doubtful the local property market will ever echo the phenomenal 30 to 40 per cent growth like in 2010 and 2011 and less than 20 per cent in 2012.

He said property agents welcomed Bank Negara's efforts to curb a drastic rise in property prices and growing household debt and any growth in the property sector would be slow but steady.

"There is definitely no bubble to burst in our property market," he said at a press conference by a group of real estate agents here yesterday.

Siva said the Malaysian young demographic profile is a good indicator of the healthy growth forecast in the property sector in the coming years.

"More than half of our population are aged 25 years and below, so there will be more house purchases in the years to come," he said.

On the appetite for living in non-landed properties, Siva said more Malaysians are choosing to stay in multifunctional buildings, which include office units and retail stores where they can live, work and play.

"As for landed properties, gated and guarded residential units are in great demand now. But developers would skip these properties as they are not expected to sell well in future," he said.

Asked on the overhang of the office space in the Klang Valley, he said the situation is not a major concern and the "market will correct itself".

On the outlook of the property market in Penang, another real estate agent Mark Saw said there is renewed interest and firm commitments from investors.

"With the continuing positive outlook in the economy, the Penang market will continue to attract a healthy flow of local and foreign investments," he said.

Loo Kung Hoe from Rahim & Co, who commented on the property market in Iskandar Malaysia, said contrary to market expectations, prices in Iskandar remained stable.

"The residential market will continue to grow with more launches in the second half of 2013, especially high-rise condominiums or serviced apartments since the demand is stable," he said.

He said industrial properties will be stable too due to the relocation of Singapore manufacturers to Iskandar following its limited supply of purpose-built office market.

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