Real estate sector recorded RM119b transactions in 2020

by BERNAMA / pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

THE country’s real estate sector recorded 295,968 transactions worth RM119.08 billion in 2020, a contraction of 9.9% in number and 15.8% in value compared to 2019.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the significant decline in performance was a result of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The decline was attributed to the number of transactions affected in various subsectors, which recorded a contraction of between 2.6% and 24%.

“This is also attributed to the declining number and value of transactions in major cities in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor and Penang, (where) these four states account for almost half of the total number of residential transactions,” he said at the launch of the Property Market Report 2020 in Kajang, Selangor, yesterday.

Tengku Zafrul said the new residential launch segment was affected due to, among others, postponements of launches by developers as they focused more on the sale of existing inventories.

Throughout 2020, only around 47,000 units of residential properties were launched compared to 60,000 units in 2019.

Sales performance was also lower with only 28.7% of units sold compared to 40.7% in the previous year, he said.

However, despite this decline, the results and effectiveness of the government’s immediate measures through the Prihatin Economic Stimulus Package and the shortterm National Economic Recovery Plan can be seen through the increase in housing market activity, which has begun to recover since the end of the second quarter of 2020.

“The number of transactions increased at a rate comparable to the average quarterly growth seen before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

Tengku Zafrul said the low interest-rate environment also encouraged the purchase of one’s own home and investment.

Meanwhile, there were 29,565 unsold completed units worth RM18.92 billion, down 3.6% in number from 2019, but 0.5% up in value.

Going forward, Tengku Zafrul said the real estate sector is expected to recover in line with the projected economic growth of between 6% and 7.5% this year.

This will be driven by the government’s economic focus and strategy where the implementation of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme will enable more economic sectors to operate and revive the labour market, he added.