The research house, which has a "neutral" recommendation, remains optimistic that the sector is poised for recovery in 2021 due to low interest rates and pent-up demand that will lead to higher sales once the full lockdown is lifted.
"Stock prices could potentially overshoot our target prices on rotation into recovery or value-themed stocks but such gains are unlikely to be sustainable," it said in a note.
For 2Q21, Maybank IB expects a quarter-on-quarter decline in sales as the signing of sales and purchase agreements have been postponed until the FMCO is lifted.
It added that the industry is also facing stricter SOPs and a shortage of raw materials that lead to higher prices, which result in slower construction works.
In 1Q21, NAPIC statistics continued to show positive signals with property sales recovering 26% year-on-year but 6% lower quarter-on-quarter due to MCO2.0 imposed in January 2021.
The unsold inventory continued to improve, falling 10% q-o-q and 17% y-o-y in 1Q due to attractive rebates and discounts given by developers amid the low interest rate environment.
Maybank IB added that sales achieved under the Home Ownership campaign from June 1, 2020, to May 31, 2021 were better than in 2019.