#Preview* Cash-rich home buyers scouting for good buys

JOHOR BARU: Cash-rich homebuyers are now in a "strategic" position to cherry-pick properties in Johor, says KGV-Lambert Smith Hampton Johor’s director Samuel Tan.

“This is the time to scout around for good buys, especially for those who intend to buy for occupation as they can now find houses in good location being sold at below the market price, which may not be available under normal circumstances,” says Tan.

On the other hand, purchasers who are not cash-rich will adopt a cautious approach as affordability will become the main issue.

Tan was presenting The Edge/KGV-Lambert Smith Hampton Johor Baru housing property monitor for 4Q2008.

He cites buyers who are looking for long-term investments to hedge against inflation will prefer houses in popular locations where the rents are higher whilst current declining prices will provide higher returns on investment in the future.

In addition, Tan notes secondary market in certain areas within the city and the suburban areas is experiencing a downward trend in pricing between 3% and 10% in the asking and transacted prices for the quarter under review.

"This is expected as some vendors decided to cash out to avoid future uncertainties," he adds.

Whether property prices will drop further in the next three to four quarters will depend on both the global and domestic economic conditions, he adds.

"However, it will not be a drastic decline in prices,” Tan tells City & Country.

Tan says the government plays an important role to stimulate the market and suggests that grants should be given for first-time house buyers in various forms.

"Incentives such as tax relief for house purchases would also be positive measures to encourage those in the high income group to invest in the property market, he says.

Read the full report on the Housing Monitor in the March 23, 2009 issue of City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia.


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