“While there are still good factors around, such as the relatively low interest rates in Malaysia, investors are watchful of developments in political and economical fronts in Malaysia, regional and worldwide,” she told the newspaper in an exclusive interview. This means that although there is still market liquidity, its overall performance will depend largely on government policies, which have the ability to affect the perceptions of buyers.
Currently, the market is enjoying a period of relative prosperity. Rental yields are proving attractive to investors, standing at 6.21 per cent. However, property price increases began to slow as early as Q1 2012. The Global Property Guide reported that as GDP growth lost pace to 5.1 per cent in 2011, the property market felt the repercussions. Data from the Valuation and Property Services Department revealed that in the first quarter of last year, the house price index increased 6.1 per cent, down from 8.9 per cent noted the year previous.
This has affected the way investors buy property and Ms Wong explained to the newspaper that they are now aware they have choices in Malaysia. Cash rich investors are becoming particularly active in the country, ensuring their money never has the chance to burn a hole in their pocket by keeping a close watch on the market. This enables them to choose prime property with the best returns.
Ms Wong added that the internet is making property purchase even easier, with many buying property unseen and basing their decision on website information and Google map tools. This highlights how emotion is being removed from real estate, with people focusing on "numbers and the bottom line".