Malaysia’s property market may see recovery at year-end

The Malaysian property market is expected to see some signs of recovery by this year-end, supported by an improving local economy and market sentiment.

“It (the property market) will improve along with the economic performance. I believe that the oil price, market sentiment and overall economy will be better this year, as will the property market,” said Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd chief economist Nor Zahidi Alias at a property forum entitled “Property Market 2016: What to Expect?” held by the Real Estate and housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda) today.

Another panellist, Maybank Malaysia’s head of community financial services Datuk Hamirullah Boorhan concurred that overall consumer confidence will improve.

“From a banker’s perspective, I expect loan growth to be moderate this year. It will not be as high as before. There should be some positive news too. In a nutshell, I think the market will be slow in the first half, but we will see the confidence level coming back in the second half,” Hamirullah said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents president Erick Kho said the secondary market is reaching its bottom, and he expects the market to move up by year-end.

However, fellow forum speakers, Savills (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd executive chairman Christopher Boyd and Khazanah Research Institute managing director Datuk Charon Wardini do not expect any significant improvement on the property market owing to the large amount of unsold units available on the market, as well as concerns over the global economy in the future.

According to the Property Industry Survey 2H2016 released by Rehda earlier today, 62% of respondents (property developers) reported that units were unsold mainly due to lack of end financing and loan rejections.

There were also fewer new launches in 2H2015 compared with 1H2015.

However, the moderator of the forum, Rehda deputy president Datuk Soam Heng Choon noted that the slowdown in new launches could augur well for the future as it means that the property players are trying to balance up market supply and demand.

“The performance of the second half of this year is more or less dependent on the performance and sentiment level of the first half. We are hoping things will be better and cautiously optimistic about the industry’s performance this year,” Soam remarked. - The Edge Property

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