Demand in secondary property market slow in H1

  • Business
  • Saturday, 13 Apr 2013

THE demand in the secondary property market is expected to remain slow during the first half of this year, a reflection of last year's trend due to Bank Negara's responsible lending guidelines, says Property Hub Sdn Bhd resident manager Wan Choy Heng.

He says that the situation is expected to remain slow as house buyers prefer project launches that come with a developer's interest bearing scheme (DIBS) There is also the general sentiment that the property market is due for a price correction.

“Many have committed to a property with a DIBS package to hedge against the market in three years, as most condominiums or service apartments take three years to complete,” Wan says.

Property Hub is among 30 real estate agencies participating in the Malaysian Secondary Property Exhibition (Maspex) 2013 held from April 12-14 in Petaling Jaya. It is organised by the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents.

Despite the general preference among house buyers for new projects, Wan says the secondary property market will remain healthy as there is a sizeable group of buyers looking for homes to occupy or to upgrade from their current properties.

The secondary residential market in the RM500,000 to RM1mil range will remain active, subject to the availability of financing, he says. This group of buyers are unaffected by the 70% loan-to-value ruling, the stringent bank loan approving process because they are mostly first-time home buyers, or upgraders.

The traditional hot spots where demand exceeds supply include landed terrace houses in Bangsar, Hartamas, Cheras, Puchong, Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya/USJ. Both landed and strata developments, near MRT and LRT stations are expected to enjoy high demand.

Transactions are buoyant in Kota Damansara, Cheras Perdana and Kajang since the construction of an MRT station began a year ago, says Wan.

“As our society is getting more affluent, and our city more globalised, we will need more housing projects which emphasise on lifestyle and security. Undoubtedly, guarded and gated developments will be the common trend in the years to come.”

Dynamic Penang

As one of the most dynamic real estate markets in the country, Penang's outlook remains stable and positive (in the medium to long term), despite the global uncertainties, Henry Butcher Malaysia (Penang) director Jason Teoh says.

“This will be sustained by a healthy core demand, manageable mortgage rates and positive economic growth.

“An active residential sub-sector will continue to spearhead the market, although it may experience less buzz compared to the previous year. On the island, the hot spot or corridor of opportunities are Batu Maung, Bayan Lepas, George Town, Tanjung Bungah and Teluk Bahang.

“On the mainland, the investors would be able to get residential properties that are relatively cheap with low density in strategic locations.

“A new enabler the second Penang Bridge will appear in the third quarter of this year. Opportunities may arise not only on the island but on the mainland as well. Investors could consider land around the intersection of the North-South Highway and the second Penang Bridge,” Teoh says.

Areas around the five new proposed highways under the Recommended Penang Transport Master Plan Strategy, 2013, could be potential hot locations for the property market, he says. Some of the areas included the George Town Outer Bypass, North Coast Pair Road, Air Itam Relau Pair Road, North-South Expressway Link Road and Third Sea Crossing.

Teoh says the volume and value of property transactions grew at a cumulative average growth rate of 8.4% and 13.2% respectively, from 1999-2011. These were even higher from 2009-2011, reaching 20.1% and 26.0% respectively.

Of all property types, prices of terraced houses have increased the most over the last few years. The price index from 1999 to the third quarter of 2012 have increased more than other type of properties.

Another property that is in demand, with potential capital appreciation, is the pre-war heritage shophouse. The price index of pre-war properties in George Town started to soar after 1999.

Teoh believes the demand for properties in both the new and secondary market will continue to grow and appeal to a wider segment of local and international buyers.

“Furthermore, more than one-third of the Penang's 1.61 million population are aged between 25 and 44. This means we will need a fairly large number of houses or residential properties each year. Nevertheless, the developers have to be more versatile and build according to the changing trends and needs of the market.”

Increasing land prices Shah Alam

In Shah Alam, Selangor, Reapfield principal Norashikin Kamarudin recommends new developments such as Bukit Bayu, Kayangan Heights, Sunway Alam Suria, Bandar Nusa Rhu, Greenfield, Saujana Utama and Taman Seri Pristana.

Central Shah Alam's section seven, nine and 13 are also in demand with a limited supply of houses for sale, says the head of this agency which focuses on sale and rental of residential properties.

“Ninety per cent of our deals are in bungalows, semi-detached, bungalow land, linked houses, apartments and condominiums. However, we also deal in commercial shop houses, office space, factories and land,” she says. The price of bungalow land has increased from RM60 per sq ft in 2011 to RM110 per sq ft now.

Freehold townships such as Alam Impian, Bukit Jelutong and Denai Alam, have seen good capital appreciation and will continue to be in demand.

“The residential market segment of below RM1mil is resilient and unaffected by market sentiments. Clients in this segment are made up of first-time buyers, small investors and young couples upgrading from apartments to double-storey linked or semi-detached houses. Most of the purchases in this segment are based on need rather than a desire to make money through speculative investments,” she adds.

More information on Maspex can be obtained from

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