• Co-founder and group chief executive officer Kashif Ansari said people are less concerned about real estate because prices have been stable this year, and there is a sufficient pipeline of new properties.

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 15): Real estate technology group Juwai IQI sees inflation as the biggest issue among voters although housing affordability remains the hot topic for many.

Co-founder and group chief executive officer (CEO) Kashif Ansari said people are less concerned about real estate because prices have been stable this year, and there is a sufficient pipeline of new properties.

“The biggest economic issue for voters is inflation and the costs of everyday items like food and consumer goods,” he said in a statement.

Kashif noted that overall, Malaysia’s inflation was lower than regional peers.

“Inflation in Malaysia eased to 4.5% in September and will be 3.3% this year overall.

“Even our neighbours in Southeast Asia face higher inflation. The most recent rate in the Philippines is 7.7%. Inflation has reached 5.98% in Thailand and 5.71% in Indonesia,” he said.

Kashif opined that Bank Negara Malaysia and the government have done a good job managing the economy during the global disruption.

“We think this stable economic leadership will continue regardless of who wins the election.

“Malaysia is lucky for several reasons. Our inflation is lower than in much of the world, our economy is soaring, job growth is strong, and trends in the global commodity markets promise increasing demand for our exports,” he said.

Kashif said Juwai, which operates in 20 countries, sees that people in other parts of the world are more worried about inflation compared with Malaysians.

“Forty per cent of respondents in a major poll across 29 countries recently rated inflation as their biggest concern. Poverty, the next highest-rated concern, is a top issue for only 31% of respondents,” he said.

Kashif said the real estate industry hopes Malaysia would continue to work towards a real estate market that is affordable and accessible to all segments of society.

As the country progresses towards becoming a higher-income country, home ownership is the most powerful tool for obtaining financial security and building wealth, he said.

The group CEO said he hoped the government would enact more policies such as proposed stamp duty exemptions, housing guarantees for vulnerable workers, and subsidised homes for rural residents in 2023 and beyond.

“Besides affordability and accessibility, we look forward to working with the government in transforming the housing industry to a more sustainable basis.

“Malaysia will build hundreds of thousands of new homes in the future. Implementing sustainable practices could put us at the forefront of the global housing industry,” he added.

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