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Malaysians Share their Views on the GE13 and the Property Market

With the 13th General Elections barely two weeks away, a survey conducted by iProperty.com Malaysia, the country’s No.1 propertyiproplogoMY website, revealed that 74% of respondents want better home financing policies and interest rates.

Shedding light on the survey which gathered over 2,000 respondents, iProperty Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Shaun Di Gregorio said that the survey provided valuable insights into how they perceived the current property market.

“It is clear that affordability continues to remain a major concern. Property buyers and investors are hoping that the government will look at curbing the escalating growth in property prices. At the same time, the survey findings revealed how consumers perceived the property market and also what measures and regulations they would like implemented,” added Di Gregorio.

The key findings:

  • More than 70% of respondents want the government to do more to curb the rising of property prices in the country
  • More than 51% of respondents stated that the upcoming general elections has affected their decision to purchase property, with the top reasons being:
    • Adopting a wait and see stance to see if there are new measures introduced to cool property prices (38%)
    • There could be more affordable housing schemes available (31%)
    • Property prices could go down, making it more affordable (30%)
  • In relation to the property industry, the top three policies respondents would like to see implemented include:
    • Better home financing policies and interest rates (74%)
    • Better protection for property buyers and investors (68%)
    • Stricter penalties imposed on errant developers (61%)
  • When it came to choosing between having a subsidy to purchase property and having property that is more affordable, 53% of respondent opted for the latter.
  • The top three policies that respondents wanted the winning party to deliver on were:
    • More affordable and secure housing (22%)
    • Equality for all races (22%)
    • Fight against corruption (21%)

“Despite the efforts undertaken by the government to cool the property market and make housing more affordable, property prices have continued to increase, making it unaffordable for many. As such it was not surprising that 70% of respondents wanted the government to do more and are adopting and wait-and-see stance, all with the hope that the elections will see new housing policies and regulations delivered,” added Di Gregorio.

Adding on, he added that many improvised guidelines such as loan-to-value ratio at 70% for third and subsequent property purchased and loan processing based on net income instead of gross income previously were imposed by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to rein property speculation.

During the Budget 2013, the real property gains tax (RPGT) for residential property disposed within the first two years from the date of purchase were increased by 5% to 15% and from 5% to 10% for disposal between the third and fifth year.

Findings from the recent iProperty.com Asia Property Market Sentiment survey, in which there were more than 8,000 respondents, also revealed that 45% of respondents did not think that the increase in RPGT will curb speculation.

“It was interesting to note that more than 50% of respondents were keen in seeing the government provide more affordable housing rather than giving subsidies to purchase property. Ultimately, young Malaysians want to own a property and the escalating housing prices is making that dream unattainable,” elaborated Di Gregorio.

In addition to that, respondents also wanted better home financing policies and interest rates, more laws and regulations enforced to protect property buyers and investors and stricter penalties imposed on errant developers.

Records from the Ministry of Housing and Local Government have showed that 178 privately developed projects, involving 53,058 units of houses, were abandoned in the peninsula from 2009 to Dec 31, 2012. The buyers numbered 35,395. Since last year, the government has injected RM65 million to revive abandoned projects nationwide.

“With more than 35,000 buyers affected by the abandoned projects, it is understandable why property buyers and investors want more stringent regulations and penalties imposed. The government has taken affirmative steps in ensuring that there are penalties imposed on errant developers.”

“Developers who abandoned their projects will be taken to court and besides being charged, they would also be blacklisted for life. If you are interested in investing in a particular property, it is important to do all the necessary research on the developer to be able to gauge their track records and to make an informed decision,” added Di Gregorio.

Di Gregorio concluded saying, it will be a while before any of the new policies can be introduced and predicts that that the love affair for Malaysian property will continue its upward trajectory. Compared to neighbouring countries, investors are still opting to invest in Malaysia as property prices in the country is relatively cheap.

Source: iProperty.com Malaysia Sdn Bhd, debbie.pereira@iproperty.com