iProperty: M'sian property sector still vibrant despite Europe woes

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 11): The Malaysian property sector remains vibrant and attractive to domestic and foreign buyers despite the economic uncertainties in Europe, says iProperty Group chief executive officer Shaun Di Gregorio.

Citing the Asia Property Market Sentiment Report 2012 for the second half of this year, he said Malaysians continue to remain upbeat about the local property market.

He added that about 52% of 11,966 Malaysian online survey respondents said the current and political climate is conducive enough to property investment.

"The strong growth of the Malaysian economy is also one of the strongest contributing factors for the enormous confidence that Malaysians have in the property market here.

"Usually, the property market in a country grows in tandem with the economic growth of the specific country," he said at a media briefing here today.

The online survey was held in July through, with 34% of respondents considering themselves as property buyers while 26% identified themselves as property owners.

Di Gregorio said due to the loan-to-value ratio of 70%, consumers are likely to maintain a cautious approach in purchasing high-end properties, with over 70% stating that their budget for property investment was under RM500,000.

"Most of them prefer properties with a price tag of between RM150,000 to RM500,000.

"This is also becoming the appetite of many housing developers in Malaysia lately because they realise the untapped potential in the specific price segment," he added.

However, Di Gregorio said over-speculation activities in the property segment cause a hike in property prices, and housing affordability remains the biggest concern of Malaysians.

He said under Budget 2013, the respondents want the government to introduce tax deductions on housing loans to enable more young professionals to own a property, lower interest rates as well as better housing schemes.

"Other policies that the respondents want the government to address in the upcoming Budget are stricter guidelines on errant developers, better public transportation in housing areas and enforcement of guidelines on curbing property price increases.

"More than half of the survey respondents (51%) believed that more should be done to protect property buyers in the country due to many cases where errant developers had abandoned their projects," he added. — Bernama

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