City & Country: Bright spots in select subsectors

The rise in interest rates in Malaysia is not likely to have an adverse impact on the property sector as the percentage of increase is not high, managing director of property consultancy CB Richard Ellis Malaysia (CBRE Malaysia) Allan Soo tells City & Country. 

Although the domestic property market is easily influenced by factors such as interest rates and the performance of the global economy, the current environment in Malaysia is still positive, he says.

“Sentiments are still in positive territory despite China’s potential bubble and uncertainties in Europe and the US. Buying is largely local, supported by a better economy and liquid financial market,” he adds.Soo sees prices of landed residences continuing to rise

Soo finds the residential and retail sectors the most attractive and sees prices of landed residences continuing to rise, depending on location.

Prices for luxury condominiums, however, may stay stable. In the office sector, prices and rents are on a downtrend due to higher supply coming in. 

Consequently, says Soo, office space prices, rents and occupancy may dip but not drastically. “It will not be a major disaster because we [Malaysia] did not build ourselves into a bust situation. We were a bit slow compared to Singapore and Hong Kong,” he reasons.

In the retail subsector, rents and prices have room to rise before peaking. Soo says: “Our index for the 42 shopping centres we surveyed shows that rents have stabilised in the last seven to eight quarters.”

CBRE Malaysia conducts a survey of rents and prices at major shopping centres in the Klang Valley every quarter, providing an indicator of price and rental movements in the market.

Soo will give a more comprehensive picture of the local property market in the upcoming The Edge Investment Forum on Real Estate 2010, entitled “To buy or not to buy — Where to put your money?”, on April 10 at the Sime Darby Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 797, Mar 15-21, 2010.

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