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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Malaysia property market on uptrend

The property market in Malaysia is on an upward trend with middle class suburban property prices rising driven by the steady stock market movement.

Ho Chin Soon, director of Ho Chin Soon Research, a property company that specialises in land use and ownership maps, said the KLCI which has been moving upwards from 2009 to 2010, will be a catalyst for the property market.

"However, the high-end and high-rise property market is still in a cautious mode with property developed by branded developers expected to do well," he said during a talk on "2010 Asian Equity and Property Outlook" on Saturday.

"Sentiment will be much better this year onwards, provided the economy holds up," he said.
Ho said demand for high rise properties in Kuala Lumpur was expected to continue due to limited land space.

"High rise residential units in KL generally grew some 12 to 18 per cent per annum for the past 15-20 years. Whatever small growth that KL has is channeled into high rise projects," he said.

Another prime property location was also in Mont Kiara in Kuala Lumpur where development has become more commercial, he said.

Elsewhere in the region, Ho said the property markets in Singapore and Hong Kong were doing exceptionally well with property prices shooting up.

Ho said Malaysia was relatively sheltered from the global financial crisis (compared to the Asian financial crisis) and there was still an upside potential in property investment in Malaysia.

Another speaker, Joanne Goh, senior equity strategist and vice president of group research in DBS Bank, said sustainable growth was expected this year with Asian economies projecting a six per cent growth while the G3 countries were forecast to grow at two per cent this year.

The "continuation of the governments' stimulus programme in Asia this year will benefit economic growth in the various countries concerned," she said during the seminar.

"Stock markets in Asia, excluding Japan, are fairly valued with a minimum 15 per cent upside on earnings growth," she said.

However, Goh warned that there will be economic risk concerns this year.

"There is still economic growth concerns this year such as the effect of the expected rising interest rates and developments in the United States such as the unemployment rate," Goh said.

She said while there were concerns that interest rates could go up due to pressures from cost push inflation such as rising oil prices, materials and business costs, the numbers will not be scary.

"The low interest rate enviromment will likely continue," she said.

Another effect that could have an impact on stock markets was the impending World Cup this year whereby bourses were expected to be quiet before and after the event, she said.

By Bernama

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