Prime property still the focus of the wealthy


Knight Frank Malaysia international residential project marketing associate director Dominic Heaton-Watson said Australasia was the most-sought-after location for Malaysian ultra-high-net worth individuals (UHNWI) to purchase a home in 2021.

PETALING JAYA: Demand for prime residential properties remains resilient for Malaysian investors despite the implementation of various movement restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Knight Frank Malaysia.

It said family wellness was one of the main criteria for many home buyers in Malaysia when looking to upgrade their main residence or purchase a holiday home.

“As a result of the bullish stock market, luxury buyers are taking this opportunity to upgrade their main residence or invest in a secondary residence, ” it noted.

Separately, Knight Frank Malaysia international residential project marketing associate director Dominic Heaton-Watson said Australasia was the most-sought-after location for Malaysian ultra-high-net worth individuals (UHNWI) to purchase a home in 2021.

The US was the second most-sought-after location, followed by their own country (Malaysia), Singapore and the UK.

“The global uncertainty from the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a change in strategy for the ultra-wealthy. Many are planning to invest in additional homes domestically, followed by second homes in cities and countries that fit their requirement and lifestyle in the new normal, ” said Heaton-Watson.

In terms of home attributes, he said respondents across Asia prefered a home with their offices within the premises or close by.

“This is followed by a home with access to transport links (for Asian buyers who prefer urban areas) and homes with an outdoor space within or nearby (for Australasia buyers who prefer rural or coastal areas).”

Its managing director Sarkunan Subramaniam said Malaysia’s high net-worth individuals (HNWI) are expected to record steady wealth growth of 36% from 2020 to 2025, as the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to gradually ease over that period.

Additionally, he said the wealth growth of Malaysian HNWI showed a healthy increase of 8% from 2015 to 2020.

“Despite the decrease of 8.3% from 2019 to 2020, which was possibly caused by the uncertainties during the pandemic period, we foresee there will be a significant recovery of 36% in the growth of wealth for Malaysians, specifically the HNWI, in the upcoming five years, ” he said in a statement.

Separately, Sarkunan said there was a surge of 36% in the wealth of UHNWI in Malaysia in 2020, while 28% reported a decline during the period.

He said Asia had seen a significant increase in UHNWI, compared with the global average.

“This can be attributed to the quick flattening of the infection (of the pandemic) curve in Asia-Pacific, which contributed to the recovery story and supported growth across the region.”

A HNWI is a person with around US$1mil (RM4.12mil) in liquid financial assets, while someone who is defined as a UHNWI is a person with investable assets of at least US$30mil.

Meanwhile, Knight Frank’s Attitude Survey 2020 revealed that air quality and access to outdoor, nearby space remained a key attraction for Malaysian home buyers and investors.

“During the period of movement restriction, the desire to live in green open space that enables a better work-life balance has never been greater, ” it said.

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