KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 — Amidst adversities, the property market is poised for a rebound in 2021 with the overall sector expected to record growth, albeit at a cautious pace, said PropertyGuru Malaysia, the country’s largest property website.
Country manager Sheldon Fernandez said the year 2020 had been a turbulent year for the country and the prolonged sluggish market sentiment due to economic uncertainties had led Malaysians to rethink their future plans, including property buying strategy.
He said although overall property prices were likely to move downward further in the coming months, the attractive prices could unlock pent-up demand for more affordably-priced houses which in turn could generate enough demand to slow the rate of declining prices.
“Despite cautious consumer behaviour dictated by pandemic fears, effective policies by the government and innovative approaches by market players have also helped to cushion the blow,” he told Bernama.
According to the National Property Information Centre (NAPIC), the property market’s performance recorded a sharp decline in the first half (H1) of 2020, in consonance with the Malaysian economic performance, which contracted by 17.1 per cent in the second quarter (Q2) of 2020 (Q1 2020: +0.7 per cent).
In H1 2020, the property sector recorded 115,476 transactions worth RM46.94 billion, a decrease by 27.9 per cent in volume and 31.5 per cent in value compared with H1 2019, which recorded 160,165 transactions worth RM68.53 billion.
It said Q3 2020, the volume of transactions and yearly change recorded an improvement with 89,245 units from 83,085 units in Q3 2019, with 7.4 per cent from 5.5 per cent in the same quarter last year, respectively.
Among the key measures put in place by the government are the reintroduction of the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) which includes the Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) exemption, stamp duty exemption, and the removal of the 70 per cent margin of financing limit.
Additionally, a six-month loan repayment moratorium beginning April had helped to keep the lid on default rates.
These were expanded via the short-term National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) worth RM35 billion, which include stimulus measures aimed at addressing the overbuilt property sector.
Besides that, Fernandez said the property market was also aided by a series of Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) cuts by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).
BNM slashed the OPR by an unprecedented four times this year to its current record low of 1.75 per cent.
In a climate of low-interest rate regime, he said low property prices as well as appropriate incentives by the government had buoyed demand for property especially those with good financial reserves.
“We have also tracked online activities at PropertyGuru.com.my and have confirmed that there is sustained interest in certain segments of the market, especially for first-time home seekers.
“The outlook for the property market in 2021 remains neutral, given prevailing cautious sentiment following the rise in COVID-19 cases across the country. It is likely that market recovery would take place in the second half of 2021.
“This is especially so with promising developments on the vaccine front happening quite quickly which will have a lasting impact on consumer sentiment,” added Fernandez.