Demand for homes to remain robust

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 06 Jul 2005

DEMAND for houses will remain robust in Malaysia despite the lower forecast of 5% to 6% growth in gross domestic product (GDP) this year, FIABCI-Malaysia president Datuk Teo Chiang Kok said yesterday. 

He said house buyers were “flush” with funds with ready financing facilities and attractive mortgages from banks amid the prevailing low interest rates regime.  

“We still need a lot of houses for the people and property developers have to be prudent in doing research before starting a new project to avoid a mismatch in demand and supply,” he told StarBiz in Kuala Lumpur on the sideline of the 16th National Real Estate Convention with the theme Developing Real Estate Into the Future yesterday.  

The two-day event was organised by FIABCI-Malaysia, the Institution of Surveyors, Malaysia and the Association of Valuers & Property Consultants in Private Practice Malaysia. About 400 participants attended the convention, whose main sponsor was Gamuda Land Sdn Bhd. 

Teo, who is also director of the See Hoy Chan group, said property developers should not only build the right products in the right locations but also take into consideration the “timing” when launching their products. 

Although there were concerns over the impact of higher oil prices, Teo said the effects had yet to infiltrate the property development sector. 

Datuk Teo Chiang Kok

“The prices of building materials have not gone up and the impact of the higher fuel prices is yet to be felt. Nevertheless, property development projects normally have a long gestation period,” he added. 

On the GDP forecast growth figure, he said it was a positive figure and the people should not compare it to when Malaysia was enjoying 8% GDP growth. “What is more important is there is still growth,” he said. 

Meanwhile, FIABCI World president Datuk Alan Tong Kok Mau said the real estate sector was “vulnerable” because of the forces of demand and supply in the property market. 

“While there could be oversupply in one place, there could be undersupply in another,” he said in his keynote address at the convention earlier. 

He said survey and research were necessary to gauge the potential success of a project. 

“The property industry is normally influenced by natural market forces which could be managed proactively.” 

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