Demand for properties to rise

The secondary property market in the country is set to soar due to high demand, according to the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA).

MIEA president Erick Y.T. Kho said the secondary property market in the country recorded 381,000 transactions worth RM152bil last year and the figure was set to increase this year.

“Penang had more than 6,000 transactions worth RM3bil last year and is similarly expected to record a higher number this year,” Kho told a press conference at the opening of the three-day Malaysian Secondary Property Exhibition (Maspex) at Queensbay Mall in Penang, last Thursday.

He said 60% of property sales in Penang last year were secondary properties as people were more keen to buy used properties which could save them on renovation and other initial costs.

“We have to take into account the scarcity of land in Penang which has driven up the cost of new housing units while the prices of secondary properties were still competitive,” he added.

Kho cautioned buyers to ensure they obtained properties through registered agents as there were at least 50,000 unregistered real estate agents in the country compared with only 20,000 registered ones.

“There has been a major increase in the number of people getting cheated by unscrupulous agents and the association has received numerous complaints on this issue,” he said.

International Real Estate Federation (Fiabci) Malaysian Chapter vice-president Michael Geh said that with the roll-out of major transportation projects under the RM27bil Penang Transport Master Plan, the outlook of the secondary property market in Penang was bright.

“Accessibility is an important factor for purchasers and the market is seeing a lot of optimism in view of these projects,” he explained.

State executive councillor Chow Kon Yeow, who opened the exhibition, said the ‘tug-of-war’ between the state and federal governments in the issuance of advertising permit and developer’s licence (APDL) for developers in Penang had put a damper on new projects but was confident the matter would be resolved.

He said more than 70 new housing projects had been delayed due to the issue.

“Without the APDL, developers can’t advertise or sign hire-purchase agreements and this issue has been unresolved since last year,” he added. - BY The Star

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