An online cross-market property survey by iProperty Group, owner and operator of Asia's No.1 network of property websites, revealed that consumers in Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Singapore continue to view affordability as the major concern, despite the various cooling off measures introduced by the governments in the region. Across the four countries surveyed, the respondents had somewhat more in common than they had differences.
The key similarities included affordability and rising house prices which continued to remain the biggest concerns amongst respondents in all four countries.
The iProperty Group leveraged on their market leading websites in Malaysia (iproperty.com.my), Indonesia (Rumah123.com and rumahdanproperti.com), Hong Kong (GoHome.com.hk), and Singapore (iproperty.com.sg) as the bellwether to gauge the opinions of thousands of consumers in the region.
The survey attracted close to 30,000 respondents, majority aged between 26 and 50 years old.
The respondents comprised largely of executive/managerial and professional occupations and based on their annual household income; most respondents belong to the low- and middle-income group just like in the previous survey.
iProperty Group chief executive officer Shaun Di Gregorio said: "The survey findings revealed a high percentage of first-time home buyers especially in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.
"Their factors of consideration when deciding to purchase property has also changed, with location trumping price, which was not the case six months ago.
"In Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong the respondents' main motivation to purchase property is to own their own home, while the Singaporeans surveyed are motivated by long-term investment," he said when unveiling the survey results here today.
However, in Hong Kong, while price and location were the key factors of consideration, it was interesting to note that the living environment was also a major consideration.
When it came to what type of property these survey respondents preferred, the findings showed that landed property was the most popular property type in Malaysia and Indonesia.
In Hong Kong and Singapore, the survey revealed that private condominiums were the most popular type of property.
"Landed property has long been properties favoured by various investors and property buyers over the course of time and the market for landed property continues to be the favourite.
"The main reason as development and resident population rapidly grows, land tends to grow scarce, hence the more expensive prime land becomes," said Di Gregorio.
This phenomenon can be seen in Singapore and Hong Kong, where the cost of owning landed property is overwhelmingly high, therefore making private condominiums the favourite option.
Due to this, it was not surprising that the survey findings revealed nearly 40% of Singaporeans surveyed were keen in investing in properties in Malaysia and Australia.
The Singaporeans also showed reduced interest (from 42% to 39%) in Malaysia as an investment option, while interest in Australia has picked up (from 15% to 19%).
In Hong Kong, a mere 10% considered buying property overseas. Of those interested in the overseas property market, Southeast Asia was the preferred choice.
Respondents who chose Southeast Asian region (including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia) climbed to 39%, an increase from the 35% in the last survey.
Level of support for opportunities in the United Kingdom (25%) and Australia (24%) remained high while interest in China still remained strong, with Shenzhen being the most popular among the Chinese cities named.