THE property market in 2013 is expected to remain strong with prices not likely to drop, said Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) president Nixon Paul.
He said this year, despite the many misconceptions surrounding the property market, the second half of the year showed that investors were returning, especially in the last two months and the transactions were still strong.
One of the misconceptions which surfaced this year was the oversupply of office space as manufacturing based companies were moving to China.
"And then there was Bank Negara Malaysia's responsible lending guidelines which affected the market initially but the market bounced back eventually," he said.
The biggest frustration facing the property market, said Paul, could be the valuation part where banks do not agree with the price already agreed upon by the buyer and seller.
"But other than that, it has been a good year for the property market and will remain that way next year. Prices will generally be stagnant and not likely to drop. In areas where there is land scarcity, prices will go up a bit," he said.
Paul said this in a MIEA press conference here yesterday.
Echoing his views were Reapfield Properties chief executive officer Gerald Kho who said the last six months have seen an optimistic market sentiment when the property is offered at the right price.
"In the last quarter of 2012, we noticed that investors were starting to come back. My view is that the market will remain strong next year where prices will continue to increase if the stock availability remains tight," he said.
Kho added that since the responsible lending guidelines were imposed, the quality of buyers remained strong with the last month being a very active month for real estate agents.
"If this continues into the first half of 2013, there is no reason the second half can't be stronger," he said.
He pointed out that in 2012, properties were transacting higher by 10 per cent or more than 2011 and this is expected to continue into 2013, especially in the Klang Valley residential property market for both landed and condominium units.
As for the supposedly lack of availability for houses between RM250,000 and RM500,000, Paul said developers maybe shying away from this market but in the secondary market, houses of these prices are still aplenty.
On the Johor market, MIEA state chairman Loo Kung Hoe said the prices for high-end houses have gone up between 20 and 40 per cent this year and he expects an increase of about 10 to 20 per cent next year.
Stephen Tew from Hectares & Stratas said demand for industrial land and buildings have been improving and land values have begun moving-up, albeit slower as Johor is a huge state with plenty of land.
Commenting on the the industrial space and rentals in Penang, he said there is a shortage as the biggest demand comes from the electrical and electronics industry.