Property players see market rebound next year


THE country’s property market is expected to see a robust recovery starting next year, driven by the feel-good factor on vaccine rollout that fuels a positive outlook.

Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants in the Private Sector Malaysia president Michael Kong said the property market could start seeing some serious growth in 2023.

He said pent-up demand, once the Movement Control Order is lifted, would also spur the market after Covid-19 curve in the country is flattened.

“We can see this in the last two financial crises. The Asian financial crisis struck us in 1997 and the market did tremendously in 1998, but recovered almost immediately in 1999.

“Same goes for the subprime mortgage crisis in 2008, which plunged the market in 2009 and subsequently, rebounded ferociously to a new peak in the value of transaction in 2014,” Kong said in a panel discussion during the virtual 2021 Malaysian Housing and Property Summit yesterday.

He said the pandemic is expected to be under control by year-end, supported by the vaccination programme that is going full force, before a robust recovery begins next year.

Regardless, Kong said the current climate is quite conducive for property investment, and the low-interest rate regime would attract higher investment consumption and growth in the market.

He believes the government’s allocation of RM15 billion in the Budget 2021 to revive and ensure the continuity of mega infrastructure projects would be much-needed boosters to the real estate industry.

“There is also the Home Ownership Campaign that runs until year-end. This will also be the added impetus to house buyers to purchase in a down market now and wait for the recovery starting next year,” he said.

Additionally, Kong hopes that the government would reactivate the Malaysia My Second Home initiative to attract foreign funds and talents to help boost the country’s economy.

He said these policies could be more forward-looking, investor-friendly, and hassle free, pending a review by the government.

“The government announced the review of the programme has been completed and ready to be presented to the Cabinet for approval. But as of now, we still have not heard any news,” he said.

He said it is important for the government to simplify the rules and guidelines and be consistent with policies, so that foreign investors would have a safe, friendly and welcoming environment for work and play.

International Real Estate Federation Malaysia president Datuk Koe Peng Kang urged the property industry players to remain upbeat, given the possibility of the country reaching herd immunity by October and reopen the economy.

“We are at the end of the tunnel now, and the economy will reopen when we hit herd immunity, so the property market must not give up,” Koe said.

He said industry players should innovate to suit market demand.

KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific president Tan Sri Michael Yeoh said public-private collaboration is essential to propel the property and housing industry to become the lead in building the economy.