More residential launches in KL abound in 2019


More residential property launches could be expected in Kuala Lumpur (KL) next year as market sentiments are projected to improve as a result of the stamp-duty waiver on the instrument of transfer for first-time homebuyers that was announced in Budget 2019.

According to Knight Frank Asia Pacific Forecast 2019 that was released yesterday, the slight upward revision in stamp duty and real property gains tax rates that were announced in Budget 2019 are not likely to impact the market significantly.

However, the growing mismatch in supply and demand, along with rising financing costs, will continue to impinge on price growth as the market finds its equilibrium.

Knight Frank Malaysia Sdn Bhd stated that in contrast, the exemptions and initiatives — in particular the waiver of stamp duty on the instrument of transfer and loan agreement for residential homes valued up to RM300,000 for a two-year period and the six-month waiver of stamp-duty charges for properties priced from RM300,001 to RM1 million — are expected to kick-start the housing market moving into 2019 and beyond.

Knight Frank also projected that the office sector in Kuala Lumpur would remain firmly tenant-led moving into 2019, as there is no immediate catalyst to boost demand.

Although the rise of the shared office, or co-working segment, has provided a breather to a market with oversupply, further headwinds are expected ahead with additional stock in the offerings.

The property consultant said both rental and occupancy levels will remain under pressure as landlords continue to offer attractive leasing options to attract new occupiers and retain existing tenants.

Knight Frank head of research for Asia Pacific Nicholas Holt (picture) said, while the region’s economy has faced some headwinds in 2018, most real estate markets remain dynamic with investors and occupiers both continuing to be active.

“Heading into 2019, cooling measures, rising interest rates and slowing sentiment is likely to weigh on residential markets, while trade tensions could influence decision-making for corporates looking at office space.

“Structural changes are also likely to continue as co-working and co-living become more commonplace across the Asia-Pacific markets,” he added.

Knight Frank also stated that universities, start-up industries and technology parks will be key drivers of future growth in commercial and residential markets in the Asia-Pacific region next year.

The sharing economy will continue to bring structural changes to real estate markets, as co-working and co-living continue to grow in major metro markets.

In addition, Knight Frank said non-traditional real estate investment sectors such as student accommodation, retirement living and build-to-rent in established mature markets will outperform the wider market.

More cities will also enter the ultra-prime residential market — with Beijing and Shanghai expected to join the select club of cities where three or more sales above US$25 million (RM104.86 million) take place annually.