Urban Living: A post-pandemic outlook on Malaysia’s property landscape

Amid a pandemic-stricken economy, Malaysia’s property market has continued to show signs of resilience with the number of transaction declines coming in less-than-anticipated, partly driven by various measures and initiatives from the government.

According to the PropertyGuru Malaysia Consumer Sentiment Study, 57% of its respondents expressed their intention to own a home by the end of 2021, while one in six respondents plan to postpone their purchasing plans indefinitely. “With many Malaysians aspiring to own their own home next year, there are 5 identified key trends that would help facilitate the uptake. They range from incentives to enhancement of the macroeconomic environment, measures by the government and property developers, as well as uptake of digitalisation within the property industry,” PropertyGuru Malaysia country manager Sheldon Fernandez pointed out.

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of BNM kept the overnight policy rate (OPR) at 1.75% in its most recent review in November citing significant improvement in economic activity during 3Q 2020. These interest rates would appear conducive to encourage homeownership among Malaysians at large.

In the past years, we have seen a number of mega projects being cancelled due to adverse effects on the economy and also COVID-19. However, the recent Budget 2021 which was tabled at parliament in November 2020 has seen the Government allocating RM15 billion to revive and ensure the continuity of several mega projects such as the Mass Rapid Transit Line 3 (MRT3) in Klang Valley, the Rapid Transit System from Johor Bahru to Woodlands as well as Pan Borneo Highway across Sabah and Sarawak. This initiative would create multiplier effects in that area of interest which will then create a demand and supply for both developers and homebuyers.

The re-introduction of the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) by the government has proved to be an effective measure to boost the property market by offering a number of incentives to homebuyers. The campaign is expected to remain in play for much of the first half of 2021. With this ongoing campaign that lowers the barrier for homebuyers, market interest would be on a continual rise.

Technology plays a key role in this pandemic-challenge economy and one positive outcome towards the property industry is an accelerated innovation and greater focus on digital solutions. Key property players are investing funds to leverage newer digital marketing solutions by engaging with buyers through online initiatives. This bodes well with millennials who are well-versed with e-commerce habits and making up a large segment of the house buying market.


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