PETALING JAYA (April 25): A potential drop in interest rates before end-2015 in Malaysia could reverse dampened sentiment in the near-term for the property market as interest rates fall worldwide, coupled with an ongoing currency war, said The Edge Media Group executive chairman Datuk Tong Kooi Ong (pictured). He said this during his presentation at The Edge Investment Forum on Real Estate 2015 on the topic entitled “Democratising Property Investments”.

He said most countries are devaluing their currencies to boost economic growth through exports, which will allow Malaysia to reduce domestic interest rates to boost exports without a negative effect on the ringgit.

“If this happens, a lower mortgage rate, higher export earnings, more employment and higher wages will all be very positive for the property sector. To further promote economic growth, curbs on domestic borrowings and foreign purchasers will have to be relaxed,” he added.

However, what is more important is whether there are investment opportunities despite the negative outlook of the property market and industry, he said.

Tong, citing an analysis of data from the National Property Information Centre, pointed out that the original owners of some 7,500 properties are estimated to have lost out on additional profits of RM216 million – or RM29,000 per property – in 2013 by cashing out at a price that was too low.

“So, do not be shortchanged. Similarly, what is the right price to offer for a property you are interested in? What was the price this seller bought for previously? This information will help you negotiate better, right?” he asked.

Besides offering his outlook of the market, he also unveiled, a new site offering property news, property listings and analytics for the public that cover transactions, rents and other relevant information – for free.

The site is now accessible online via web. aims to give you the tools, to teach you and to help you find opportunities, make the right decisions, know the risks and help you discover the gems,” Tong told the audience.

The forum’s other speakers were Zerin Properties Sdn Bhd CEO Previndran Singhe whose presentation was entitled “Market Outlook – What To Expect In 2015”, and Ho Chin Soon Research Sdn Bhd chairman Ho Chin Soon and CEO Ishmael Ho whose presentation was entitled “Property Hot Spots – Heating Up or Cooling Down?”.

Meanwhile, panelists for the discussion entitled “Post-GST – The Real Impact On Buyers” were Sunway Bhd's group managing director of property division for Malaysia and Singapore Sarena Cheah, Real Estate And Housing Developers’ Association (REHDA) deputy president Datuk Soam Heng Choon, and Reapfield Academy group CEO and president Dr Gerard Kho.

The discussion was moderated by The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd managing director Au Foong Yee. Also present was The Edge Media Group group CEO and publisher Ho Kay Tat.

For the full details of The Edge Investment Forum on Real Estate 2015, read the May 4 issue of City&Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia.

Also, do check out the videos here and here.

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