Buying a home is a major commitment with many important factors vying for one’s attention, including monetary, affordability, accessibility, connectivity, facilities and size.
Individual preferences vary greatly as observed in PropertyGuru’s Affordability Sentiment Index conducted at the end of last year in Malaysia.
The report, also conducted in countries where PropertyGuru has a foothold, namely Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia revealed many contributing influences, all of a varied nature, due to the region’s differences in economic growth, political beliefs and demographics.
Closer to home, the findings revealed that despite the Malaysian property market predicting another lacklustre year, 58% of Malaysian respondents were aiming to buy a house within the first six months of this year. That translates to 6 out of 10 Malaysians wanting to own a property in 2017.
So what exactly are the top influencing factors in determining a purchase amongst the four countries?
The mantra “Location, Location, Location” still holds true in the real estate scene as the most crucial factor when buying a property.
Malaysians, Indonesians and Thai property seekers all attributed this as their top influence, leaving only the Singaporeans to not share in the same sentiment.
In a local context this meant, after considering differences in a buyer’s profile and preferences, Klang Valley scored as the most preferred area, followed by the outskirts of Selangor, Penang and Johor.
Supporting this further, PropertyGuru identified Petaling Jaya, Puchong, Shah Alam, Kajang, George Town and Iskandar Puteri as the most searched areas.
Looking at these preferences, these locales boast established neighbourhoods with a diverse demographic, served by a good transport infrastructure, as well as being equipped with ample amenities.
Security & Safety of Location/Area
Having peace of mind in one’s home is also always a priority and the survey illustrated this keenly. Safety emerged as the most important factor for those looking for a new home in Singapore, followed by Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
The rise of crime and theft across the territories have been disturbing, thus security features prominently as a necessity when looking to purchase a domicile.
Both Malaysian real estate lawyer Chris Tan and senior real estate negotiator at Property Hub, Roy Teo was quoted in The Malay Mail as saying “that gated communities are in growing in demand lately because communities today just want to keep the ‘riff raft’ out”.
Size of Property/Unit & Pricing
Given the plethora of sizes available in the real estate landscape, it is no surprise that only Malaysian respondents considered the size of property/unit as their third most important factor when buying a property.
The unspoken understanding that the bigger the space, the more expensive it will be, has provided urban millennials, very few alternatives to park their money into that are decently sized.
To make the best of this situation, a new slew of residential offerings in Malaysia, consisting of shoebox units, are gaining popularity.
Though less significant in other regions, pricing in Thailand and Indonesia was voted a more influential and important factor instead.
Infrastructure, Available Amenities & Proximity
The third factor in importance was a good transportation infrastructure, accessibility and recreational facilities such as F&B, retail and entertainment.
It should be pointed out that Singaporean respondents gave a larger importance to having conveniences in close proximity and additionally, favoured closeness to workplaces as their second and third factor respectively.
With Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand being relatively larger countries, where residents are accustomed to travelling, living slightly further out in matured neighbourhoods with good connectivity was deemed manageable.
A Malaysian real estate negotiator said homeowners were willing to accept if their workplaces were located away from the city centre provided connectivity and infrastructure was easily accessible and available.
Reputation of Developer
Singapore and Malaysia respondents showed more concern with engaging with a reputable developer compared to Thailand and Indonesia.
Homeowners in these countries have more access to information as well as laws protecting them from issues that may arise from an unscrupulous developer.
It is vital one takes the time to choose a reputable and trustworthy developer in order to possess a property that is crafted to the highest quality and standards.
Everyone deserves to find their dream home. Narrowing down critical factors and doing the necessary research will make this dream a reality.