THE majority of youths in Penang have no choice but to rent due to high property prices.
Most (73.2%) are staying in a property owned by a family member or a relative and many (93.7%) are hoping to own a house within the next five years.
These are some of the findings of an opinion poll carried out by the state government on a sample group of 606 youths, aged 18 to 29.
Penang Institute senior analyst Yeong Pey Jung (pic) said an overwhelming 90.2% of respondents found it difficult to purchase property in Penang while 43.4% revealed that it was not difficult to rent a property here.
“In looking at the responses on perception towards property prices, 91.8% found prices in Penang to be considerably expensive while 69.3% are of the opinion that affordable housing in Penang is not affordable.
“If we look into the 24 to 29 age group, who have a higher purchasing power, 81.7% conclude that affordable housing is unaffordable. This is a phenomenon observed throughout Malaysia especially in urban areas,” she told a press conference on the outcome of the Penang youth survey in Komtar on Tuesday.
Yeong added that more than 90% of respondents hoped to own property but only half of them believe that it is possible.
“The telephone survey, which was conducted in February this year, was to find out how Penang youths feel towards social, economic and political concerns.”
The survey also showed that over 70% of youths involved in community projects were not interested in taking up leadership roles.
They also expressed a general disinterest in politics.
In terms of health, more than half of youths engaged in regular exercise.
About 56.4% found difficulty in gaining employment, a sentiment shared by their peers and immediate social circle.
Penang Youth and Sports, Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman Chong Eng said the survey was an initiative towards the Penang Youth Development Blueprint.
“The blueprint will be inclusive and function as a guide to encourage social upward mobility and enhance the youths’ development socially, economically and politically.”
The next phase is to conduct a focus group discussion and in-depth interviews with all sectors of the youth community.