BUSINESS

Property sector improves in 2022, spiralling building material prices a concern

05/12/2022 10:33 AM

By Rosemarie Khoo

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 (Bernama) -- The real estate sector saw improvement both in terms of transactions and value this year compared with 2021, supported mainly by the resumption of economic activities across the board and the reopening of the country's international borders. 

The National Property Information Centre (NAPIC), which comes under the Valuation and Property Services Department revealed that over 188,000 transactions worth RM84.40 billion were recorded in the first half of (H1) 2022, an increase of more than 30 per cent in volume and value compared to the same period previously.

The residential property sector recorded 116,178 transactions worth RM45.62 billion in the review period, an increase of 26.3 per cent in volume and 32.2 per cent in value year-on-year (y-o-y).

Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Selangor remained as the four major states, accounting for 47 per cent of the total national residential volume.

The commercial property segment recorded 15,169 transactions valued at RM14.02 billion, up by 45.4 per cent in volume and 28.3 per cent in value compared with the same period in 2021.

Selangor contributed the highest volume and value to the national market share with 26.5 per cent in volume (4,025 transactions), and 33.5 per cent in value (RM4.70 billion). 

The first half of 2022 saw more than 10,000 newly launched units, down by 66.7 per cent against 31,687 units in H1 2021.

NAPIC said 20.3 per cent of newly launched units were sold, slightly lower than the 20.6 per cent recorded in H1 2021, and 8.1 per cent in H2 2021. 

 

Challenges 

This does not mean that the sector is without challenges on the business operation side.

The industry is still plagued by price hikes of building materials and labour shortage, severely affecting productivity in both the property and construction sectors, Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (REHDA) said.

Its Property Industry Survey for H1 2022 and Market Outlook for H2 2022 and H1 2023 revealed that fewer residential units were launched in H1 2022, recording a 26 per cent decline compared with H2 2021. 

Sales performance was down by five percentage points from 50 per cent in H2 2021 to 45 per cent in the period under review, according to its study which surveyed 150 developers. 

"REHDA has called upon the government to address these issues swiftly, as the current situation will be detrimental on various levels, including to purchasers.”

"Should these issues be addressed, we believe that H2 2023 will paint a better picture for the industry and the nation as a whole," REHDA told Bernama. 

As the global and local economies recover and open up faster post-pandemic, the real estate market particularly housing should be positive next year.

The association further said it would continue to engage with the state and the federal government to discuss housing issues that would benefit the people as it is committed to nation-building.

 

Digitalisation, external factors

Real estate technology group Juwai IQI said technology and digitalisation have enabled it to reach out to more customers, co-founder and group chief executive officer Kashif Ansari said.

He said the group saw sales improve by between 60 and 70 per cent compared to 2021 with buyers seeking bigger properties, which is a new trend.

 A house today is not viewed only as a shelter, it is also a gym and an office. Hence, there is a preference for more space so that they can be ready for any future possibilities.

Most Gen Y and Z nowadays also want their own property rather than share a unit because they want privacy, Kashif said.

On the external factors that could affect the sector, he said: "Although the United States (US) interest rate hikes have slowed down, globally, we are not seeing much of a slowdown at the moment. Even in the US, with the pace of interest rates rising (although at a slower pace), the real estate sector is seeing only a 5 to 10 per cent price correction, which is manageable.

"Reason being financial institutions and individuals have learnt their lesson from the subprime mortgage crisis and they are more careful and cautious about lending and borrowing," Kashif explained.

The 2007-2010 subprime mortgage crisis stemmed from an earlier expansion of mortgage credit, including to borrowers who previously would have had difficulties getting a mortgage. The easy credit both contributed to and facilitated rapidly rising home prices in the US. 

Another reason supporting the real estate sector is the shift in digital currencies and equity markets, where after a cycle of between four and five years, investors are returning to the real estate market because they see it as a safer investment option.

Real estate is a real asset and provides more security, he said.

-- BERNAMA


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