Malaysia’s property industry has been an important economic engine over the last 20 years, creating huge areas of investment and opportunity. It’s also allowed tens of millions of Malaysians to find their dream homes.
Luckily, we’ve got a well-regulated industry with clever people keeping track! That’s why thanks to the hardworking folks at the National Property Information Centre (NAPIC), we can reflect on what that transformation looks like.
It might surprise you to realise that the total number of transactions in Malaysia’s property industry more than doubled between 1990 and 2019, from 148,000 to over 328,000! That’s a significant increase in the transaction activity in our market.
What’s even more remarkable is the value increase over that time, with the total value of transactions growing from RM15.16 billion to… wait for it…. RM141.40 billion! So double the transaction volume, but almost ten-fold the value.
With the latest data released on the property industry from 2000 to 2019, we thought we should dive into the numbers and go for a swim in the sea of industry insight! Yes, number swimming is totally a thing.
Get out the calculators (don’t worry, not really) and prepare for Malaysia’s property market history. Here’s an overview of Malaysian real estate transactions in the last two decades.
Overall Malaysian Property Market Activity
Let’s take a look at the deep end! Overall property transaction volume and value gives you a real sense of how Malaysia’s market has grown over the last two decades.
We’ve already seen the hugeee growth over the last 30 plus years, but what about the most recent 20?
It’s clear that the property industry has enjoyed steady growth in both the volume and total value of transactions over the last two decades.
That reflects a number of important factors, such as national economic development, a growing population, and the increasing drive by citizens to own their own homes.
What you can also see here is a significant housing bubble that emerged in 2010, with 2010-2013 being major years of growth.
In fact, year-on-year (Y-o-Y) property transactions grew a whopping 14.3% between 2010-2011, and the total transaction value for 2009-2010 grew by 32.6%!
Those were the boom years for the property market generally, and while those eye-catching growth values haven’t been matched over the last decade, the overall trajectory is still a positive one.
If you wonder where that leaves us in terms of property numbers, look no further than our helpful article! In a nutshell, there are actually around seven million properties in Malaysia today.
Market Activity By Segment: 1999-2019
Let’s be honest: Not all properties are made equal. You just have to look at some of the amazing developments due for completion in 2021 to recognise that some stand out above others!
But more importantly, not every part of the property market is the same. It’s good to break it down and understand all property types to recognise how this growth has impacted different areas of the market.
We’ve taken the latest figures in order to highlight the change in three key segments – residential, commercial, and industrial.
Value (RM Million)
Now you can see why we said swimming! What this basically shows, is that Malaysia’s residential property sector remains the largest area by volume and value.
The total value of the residential sector more than tripled from 2001 to 2019, growing from around RM22 billion to RM72 billion. That just goes to show the impressive efforts that go into making sure Malaysians have homes.
The commercial segment has also been a major area of growth. Total value more than quadrupled from RM6.4 billion to almost RM29 billion by 2019.
The industrial segment too saw similar rates of growth, from RM4.3 billion in 2019 to almost RM15 billion by 2019.
Malaysia’s property sector continues to grow, unlocking huge economic opportunities, and providing the foundation to our homes and households.
Does This Mean That Prices Are Now Out Of This World?
This huge growth has clearly reflected a period of economic expansion in Malaysia. That means property transaction volume and values have both increased.
But are property prices now completely out of reach? Historical house prices offer a chance to look at that. You see, they certainly haven’t gone unchanged, and indeed they’ve increased over this period.
The Malaysian Housing Price Index (MHPI) reveals that average house prices across Malaysia have increased notably over the last decade. You can see a snapshot of the change in house prices below:
Change in Average House Prices 2010-2020
Average price 2010 (RM)
Average price Q2 2020 (RM)
Remember too, that while these offer absolute Ringgit values, our wages have increased (even if it isn’t as rapid) over this period too. Median household income in Malaysia increased from RM2,841 in 2009 to RM5,873 in 2019.
Malaysia’s property market, while growing, still offers accessible opportunities for home rental and ownership (sometimes even both at the same time!).
In our article on Exploring Urbanisation And Affordable Homes In Malaysia we look at how growing urban populations are putting a pressure on affordable home access, but highlight how a range of initiatives are in place to assist those most in need of support.
Of course it’s also good to reflect on how Malaysia compared globally! In a recent article, we even explored the most expensive cities in the world to compare our own leading property market – Kuala Lumpur – against the luxury leaders around the globe.
It showed we’re (thankfully) still leagues behind the most expensive global markets. As we’re committed to keeping you updated with the latest statistics, you can find the PropertyGuru Malaysia Property Market Index Q3 2021 to round out the latest figures.