PropertyGuru: Malaysian property prices on a decline in 4Q17

Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS

Property prices in Malaysia continued to decline in the fourth quarter of 2017 (4Q17) as the market corrected itself amid a complex scenario of growing oversupply in certain segments and a prevailing lack of consumer affordability, said the PropertyGuru Group.

The PropertyGuru Market Index, which tracks the asking prices of residential properties in Malaysia, showed a decrease of 1.6% for 4Q17 compared to the previous quarter (3Q: 0.2% decrease).

In a year-on-year (YoY) comparison, prices fell by 3.7%.

Save for June, February and October, all other months in 2017 showed a decline in asking prices across all classes of residential properties, it said in a statement yesterday.

PropertyGuru Malaysia country manager Sheldon Fernandez (picture) said the declining trend was consistent with prevailing market sentiment, and the ongoing price correction was healthy for the residential sector in the medium and long terms.

“The declining trend was evident throughout 2016 and 2017, so it’s no surprise. Importantly, it has been gradual, so there are no significant shocks to the market, and both buyers and sellers can adjust themselves accordingly.

“Declining prices usually co-relate to improved consumer satisfaction. In fact, our last consumer sentiment survey showed consumer positivity towards the real estate sector had improved,” he said.

According to PropertyGuru’s latest consumer sentiment survey released in January, consumer satisfaction had improved to 38%, with 57% of Malaysians intending to buy in the next six months against 52% previously.

Fernandez said with the lack of affordability continuing to be a major issue, there was greater downward pressure on asking prices.

“While the desire to transact remains strong, most property buyers — about 67% — can only afford houses priced between RM300,000 and RM500,000.

“In addition, PropertyGuru data shows that three out of four Malaysians believe the market to be oversupplied. Hence, many buyers are opting to adopt a wait-and-see approach, especially with talks of general elections throughout 2017,” added Fernandez.

PropertyGuru said in tandem with the national price trend, all key property markets, including Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor and Penang, also saw asking prices declining in 4Q17.

In Kuala Lumpur, prices dropped by 1.2% compared to the previous quarter (3Q: 1.4%) and similarly, Selangor, Johor and Penang saw quarterly price decreases of 2.1%, 0.5% and 0.2% respectively, it said.

However, the property portal said certain key locations across all four property epicentres had experienced price stability, or sellers were still able to relatively maintain their price offerings.

In the Klang Valley, these were Sentul and Bangsar, while up north, Balik Pulau and Tanjung Bungah in Penang remained comparatively stable, it noted.

“Bangsar is a mature location with an established name. Hence, the ability of owners, especially those who bought their properties many years ago to hold on to their prices,” explained Fernandez.

Meanwhile, down south in Johor, prices were largely on an uptrend for 4Q, but popular locations such as Nusajaya saw prices declining slightly, while emerging hotspots like Gelang Patah showed an upward price movement.

“This is probably due to consumers searching for homes in alternative areas compared to the established areas of Nusajaya, Johor Baru city and so on.

However, given that Johor prices have been on a high for a while, on a YoY basis, prices are still holding,” said Fernandez.