Property market expected to recover in second half of the year


KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) expects the property market to register a recovery in the second half of the year.

MIEA president Eric Lim said buyers had been sidelined following the May 9 polls, and were waiting for greater clarity from the government on housing policies.

“As the dust settles, we expect the property market to stage a recovery in the second half of 2019,” he said at a media briefing after officiating the Malaysian Annual Real Estate Convention 2019 here today.

He added that the government had been putting too much emphasis on the primary market given data from the National Property Information Centre showing that the secondary or sub-sale segment contributes 80% of property sales.

He suggested, among others, the creation of a fund to finance young buyers who have trouble raising a deposit to participate in the secondary market.

Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents president Eric Lim speaks at a media briefing on the property market in Kuala Lumpur.

When asked about the direction of property prices in Malaysia, Lim said they were among the lowest in the region.

However, he added that the new regulations introduced by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall on plot ratio in the capital would cause developers to delay new launches, which would encourage an increase in prices.

Property prices in the country have appreciated at an average of 6.5% in the last 15 years, with the Klang Valley registering an increase of 12% and Selangor, 9%.

Lim also said MIEA members had complained of clients’ difficulty in obtaining financing as banks had tightened their lending requirements after Bank Negara Malaysia’s introduction of stricter lending guidelines in 2014.

“The government is worried about the household debt which currently stands at 86% to GDP, but mortgages should be considered ‘good debt’ as it is utilised to acquire an appreciating asset.

“Maybe the government can look into separating mortgages from household debt,” he said.