Property sector expected to remain buoyant next year

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's property industry is expected to remain buoyant next year in tandem with the likely strong growth in the palm oil and oil and gas sectors.

Chief executive officer of Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) Datuk Michael Yeoh said the underlying forces driving the Malaysian economy like the palm oil and oil and gas sectors were quite robust and strong.    

"If these sectors continue to grow, the property sector is expected to remain buoyant next year," he told a media briefing at the two-day 14th National Housing and Property Summit organised by Asli here on Wednesday, Sept 14.

Yeoh said the property market faced a number of challenges and the global economic crisis has led to uncertainties.

He said although Malaysia was quite robust and was being shielded against the bad effects, nevertheless, there were concerns there could be a slowdown in the second half of the year.

"If there is a slowdown, it may lead to a cooling-off period in the property sector although there is still very strong demand from some subsectors," he said.

Yeoh said moderate growth was expected in the second half of the year although some developers expected strong sales.

On Bank Negara Malaysia's plan to change the way housing loans were approved, Yeoh said the market players were worried.

He expected the coming Budget to create conditions for businesses to grow strongly and hoped the government would offer more incentives for private sector to boost investments.

Meanwhile, chairman of Real Estate and Housing Developers Association of Malaysia Institute (Rehda) Datuk Eddy Chen said the demand for houses was higher than the supply.

"Every year, the developers build between 120,000 and 150,000 units. However, the market can absorb 170,000-180,000 units," he said. — Bernama

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