KUALA LUMPUR — Sept. 21 2017: The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) is optimistic of Malaysia’s property sector outlook in the first half of 2018, in tandem with expected improvements in economic conditions.
The optimism is also based on forecasts of a stronger gross domestic product growth by Bank Negara and economists.
“Besides, more people are seen having more stable jobs and they are more confident of retaining them as compared to a couple of years ago,” Rehda president Datuk Seri FD Iskandar told a media briefing on the property industry survey for H1 2017 and the market outlook for H2 2017 and H1 2018 yesterday.
The survey showed that for consumer’s purchasing power segment, 17 per cent of respondents expressed optimism on its outlook in H1 2018 compared with nine per cent for H2 2017.
On the property market performance, 26 per cent were optimistic on the outlook for H1 2018 against eight per cent for H2 2017.
The survey covered 153 Rehda members in Peninsular Malaysia.
FD Iskandar said 48 per cent of respondents planned to launch 17,535 units in H2 2017 and H1 2018, with most states either maintaining or lowering prices at RM500,000 and below, except for Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.
However, 76 per cent of respondents anticipated that sales of their new launches would stay at 50 per cent or below.
This is because 73 per cent of respondents are facing end-financing problems, with about half of the loans rejected for properties priced at RM500,000 or below.
To boost sales, developers had taken various measures such as assisting buyers with the 10 per cent down payment, reviewing prices, as well as enhancing innovation and creativity of their products.
Also, 40 per cent of respondents revealed that their organisations were highly affected by the current economic scenario.
“The top three cost complements are land, material and labour, as well as compliance cost, with 51 per cent of respondents saying that the cost of doing business has increased up to 10 per cent,” he said.
To overcome the challenges, several cost-cutting measures have been proposed, including freezing recruitments and waiving or reducing the foreign workers’ levy.
But overall, a majority of the respondents were neutral on the industry’s outlook. — Bernama