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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

iProperty expects slight drop in residential deals

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's residential property transactions will fall marginally this year as buyers move away from the high-end segment to focus on houses priced RM500,000 and below.

"Although transactions are dipping in the high-end segment, there is a bit of supply there which is why we think the fall will be marginal," Shaun Di Gregorio, chief executive officer of iProperty Group, said.

Based on the data released by the National Property Information Centre, the residential segment accounted for RM61.83 billion of the total RM137.83 billion worth of properties sold last year.

The top-end market comprising bungalows, semi-detached homes and serviced apartments in hot spots had a bull run for a long period. But there is concern now on rising house prices across the board and their affordability.

In the past 12 months, developers had been shifting their focus to build houses priced between RM300,000 and RM500,000 because of demand in this price range, Di Gregorio said.

"We understand they are going to be building more landed properties priced between RM150,000 and RM500,000 on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur for the next two to three years.

It is a business decision driven by analysis, data and demand," he said.

Di Gregorio said companies which have ongoing mixed development projects like SP Setia Bhd and Mah Sing Group Bhd will be spreading their launches according to market demand and sentiment.

"They will not flood the market at one go, but focus on building properties based on demand," he added.

According to iProperty Group's recent online property survey, 73 per cent of the 11,966 respondents preferred landed properties as there is better price appreciation.

The survey showed that price and location were the two key factors that the respondents viewed as important ahead of political/economic climate, when deciding to purchase a property.

Some 31 per cent of the respondents were looking to buy properties in the next six to 12 months and around 19 per cent said they would buy in the UK, Australia and Singapore.

Around 52 per cent of those surveyed considered the current economic and political climate to be conducive for property investment.

"The figure reflects a slight reduction from the previous survey as the market is anticipating the upcoming general election," Di Gregorio said.

By Business Times

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