Is the Malaysian property market going into stagnation?
By Danny Bance

Is the Malaysian property market going into stagnation?

The Malaysian property market is going into a period of stagnation, according to Allstones Group Asia. Issues of affordability and supply are creating a challenging environment, which, while stable, is not creating growth. Alstones Group Asia chairman K.H Sim does not expect house prices in the country to increase over 2013, nor will new launches decrease.

However, for those considering investing in Malaysian real estate, conditions are still favourable. "Landed property would still command premium and faster sales rates, while reasonably priced condominiums and services apartments would continue to draw interest in key cities, especially those priced below RM500 (£102.95) per sq ft," Mr Sim explained.

House prices will remain largely the same as in 2012, with home products that have added values, such as interest-bearing schemes, free furnishings and rental guarantees, offsetting steep prices. Mr Sim maintains that in this climate it is important to consider "affordability, location and proximity to transport, given the increasing traffic congestions".

For speculators, the outlook for the Malaysian property market is slightly bleaker, with pending project deliveries threatening to flood an already saturated market. This will make it difficult for people to find tenants or sub-sale buyers.

Market stagnation has been attributed to slowing GDP growth in the country over the last two years. In 2011, GDP stood at 5.1 per cent from 7.2 per cent in 2010, the Global Property Guide reported. This impacted on the national house price index in the first quarter of 2012, rising 3.7 per cent in real terms year-on-year, down from 5.9 per cent real term growth in 2011. This moderate growth continued throughout the year, with house price rises slowing considerably.

However, not all experts believe 2013 will be a slow year for real estate in Malaysia and TA Securities told The Malay Mail that the market with grow, driven by domestic activity and the projects created under the Economic Transformation Programme.  A solid banking system, which has excess liquidity, will also make it easier for investors to buy.
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