Will the slowdown in property prices continue?


In all likelihood, there will just be slower growth across the board for the mere fact that the last three years have seen exceptional growth since 2008, when the global crisis hit. The following year saw a recovery and 2010 was a year of exceptional growth. Property professionals had never seen such price increases in their 30 years in the profession, where prices went up by double digits in a short period of time.

This year witnessed continued exuberance among developers, agents and property buyers. The final two quarters usher us into 2012, which will be the year of the “great slowdown”.

It will be perceived as such because of the remarkable growth experienced in 2010, but in reality, it is not really a slowdown. It is not possible for prices to go up, up and away until kingdom come.

There has to be a reality check. So we will see slower growth in the coming year. In some locations, prices may hold their ground, but unless something major happens, whether at home or abroad, prices are unlikely to recede in the Klang Valley and other major cities.

Hence, it is not that there will be no growth; price increases next year will be slower, and more subdued and stable. In some locations, prices may plateau.

If there is still growth, however small, why call 2012 the year of the great slowdown?

On the global front, we have the eurozone crisis, which is still unravelling. If the eurozone breaks up, it will affect sentiments. The stock market will be the first to be impacted by the dim outlook and this will spill over into the property sector.

Of greater concern are individuals who have over-invested. They may find it challenging to meet their commitments. These include those who have multiple property purchases, and young people who over-committed themselves with properties costing RM500,000 and more. - By Thean Lee Cheng (The Star)

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