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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Survey: Property outlook sentiment deteriorates further

MALAYSIA'S property outlook sentiment has deteriorated further, according to a survey carried out by a local property website.

The Property Outlook Index remains firmly in the negative, currently at -51 per cent, the lowest it has been since the survey began in May 2008.

"This is not positive news, but we believe Malaysia is weathering the storm better than neighbouring countries," said Asim Qureshi, chief executive officer of Think Media Sdn Bhd, which owns, in a statement yesterday.

"But with unemployment rising and Malaysia's trading partners suffering from an economic slowdown, we believe the index will possibly fall further before it rises again," he added.
The survey also found that with interest rates declining, people have become less keen on fixed deposit investments.

"Most investors would look for alternative investment opportunities to fixed deposits, given that fixed deposits yield around 2 per cent to 2.5 per cent," said Qureshi.

Thus the perception of property as the most favoured investment type has remained steady over the course of February, despite the overall fall in confidence.

Within the property sector, the survey showed that there has been a continued shift in preference to landed property. Thirty per cent of respondents favoured link houses in February.

Qureshi said landed properties are generally considered a safe-haven during economic downturns.

The retail and office sub-sectors, meanwhile, are less favoured than they were a few months ago, with 8 per cent of survey respondents favouring both sectors compared with 21 per cent in June 2008.

The survey, an on-going one since May 2008, polled nearly 1,500 people through the website.

The survey asked respondents their opinion on the outlook for the Malaysian property market over the next 12 months. The index takes the number of respondents that believe prices would rise, subtracts the number of participants that believe prices would fall, and then divides this figure by the total number of participants, and calculates this on a rolling 30-day basis.

By Business Times

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