indepth

Limited impact from lockdown

While the ongoing Full Movement Control Order (MCO) which started on June 1, 2021 is expected to negatively impact Kuala Lumpur’s prime residential property market, Knight Frank Malaysia’s executive director of Research & Consultancy Judy Ong believes the impact will not be significant.

“One reason is the earlier six-month blanket loan moratorium during MCO 1.0 was extended to targeted groups which were still impacted by the pandemic. The current low-interest rate environment also provides some financial relief. Thus, fire sales may be limited to date, although the prolonged period of lockdown has heightened downside risks,” she says.

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While the economy is getting more difficult with more businesses closing down and unemployment rate rising, Ong believes that the newly implemented six-month loan moratorium (available to all borrowers who apply) and the latest PEMULIH stimulus package involving a fiscal injection of RM10 billion and is worth RM150 billion will provide a breather to people impacted by the pandemic.

Another market-supporting factor is the ongoing national immunisation programme which started in February this year. Ong believes it will be the key to the reopening of the economy moving forward.

“The short-term outlook for KL’s prime residential property market remains subdued with windows of opportunities in the medium to longer term backed by the right product positioning and various property-related incentives or initiatives.

“The ongoing mega developments with mixed-use complementary components such as Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) and Merdeka 118 will boost economic activities when completed in phases. These developments will alter the skyline of KL and bring the capital city into the radar of investors,” Ong points out.  

This story first appeared in the EdgeProp.my E-weekly on July 30, 2021. You can access back issues here.

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