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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Property prices, rentals take dip

KUALA LUMPUR: The Valuation and Property Services Department is already seeing signs of a decline in selling prices and rental yields within the Malaysian property market in the first quarter of 2009.

Director-general Datuk Abdullah Thalith Md Thani attributed the reasons for the price and rental dip to the global economic downturn and the poor market sentiment locally.

Deputy finance minister Datuk Wira Chor Chee Heung (left) officiating the launch of the 2008 Market Report with Valuation and Property Services Department director general Datuk Abdullah Thalith Md Thani (right). Looking on in the background is Valuation and Property Services Department deputy director for valuation Abdul Hamid Abu Bakar.

“Given the choice, I want conditions to improve tomorrow. But I don’t want to speculate when it (the economy) will recover,” he said at the launch of the 2008 Property Market Report yesterday.

He said he expected both the (RM7bil and RM60bil) stimulus packages and the on-going projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan to help cushion the effects of the global financial crisis.

He also said he was optimistic about the number of property transactions during the first three months of 2009. The local property market recorded 340,240 transactions valued at RM88.34bil in 2008. The transaction volume recorded a 9.9% increase (2007: 309,455 transactions), while value grew by 14.5% against 2007’s RM77.14bil.

The residential property sub-sector remained the most dominant sub-sector in 2008, comprising 63.7% of total volume and 46.8% of total value of transactions.

In total, 216,702 transactions worth RM41.30bil were recorded in 2008 against 199,482 transactions worth RM36.5bil in 2007. By price range, houses costing below RM200,000 continued to be the most sought after, comprising 75.1% (162,689 transactions).

The agricultural property sub-sector was the next most transacted, forming 20.3% of total transactions, followed by commercial property at 9.3%, development land (4.3%) and industrial property (2.4%).

Abdullah said the industrial property sub-sector would be the most vulnerable in 2009.

“It (the industrial sub-sector) has been affected for quite some time already and its contribution to economy is not big. But I am not so concerned about this sector because an industrial development can always be redeveloped for different sector usage,” he said.

He also said the high-end segment of the residential property sub-sector was most likely to be affected, given the current economic situation.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Wira Chor Chee Heung, who graced the event, expressed optimism about the local property market.

“Malaysians have a high savings rate. The stimulus package should also help to spur the local property market. In terms of demand, property in large populated cities like Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru will also continue to sell,” he said.

By The Star (by Eugene Mahalingam)

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