PETALING JAYA: An increasing number of people retrenched from the tourism industry are switching to the real estate sector, according to Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents president Lim Boon Ping.
Lim said the trend was noticed after the easing of the movement control order (MCO) in May.
“Many of them signed up to attend classes to become real estate agents. They say they don’t mind making a career change to earn an income,” he told FMT.
The tourism industry is among the hardest hit economic sectors, causing thousands to lose their jobs. It is expected to be among the last industries to recover.
Lim said the demand for properties had been picking up since June and the recruitment of real estate agents had begun again.
When the MCO was enforced, many property gurus predicted that the industry would crash due to the lockdown and the slowing down of the economy.
“But the market is moving,” he said. “Sale and rental enquiries are being received and sale and purchase agreements are being negotiated. I won’t say it is booming, but it is slowly picking up.”
He attributed the survival of the sector to measures taken by the government and banks.
One was the six-month moratorium on monthly bank loan repayments and another was the initiative taken by banks to help property owners restructure and refinance their loans, he said.
Banks are allowing commercial property owners to extend their instalment periods to lower their monthly payments. They are also allowing private and commercial property owners to pay just the interest on their loans for a year.
Lim said the additional targeted moratorium from September for those without jobs and those whose salaries have been cut would further reduce instances of mortgages not being paid.
“We don’t foresee an increase in property auctions because of the measures taken,” he added.