Bruce Lee, VPC Realtors (JB) Sdn Bhd Asia-Pacific property consultant, expects buyers from Hong Kong to purchase up to 10,000 units of properties in Malaysia as anti-government protests and violent protests have placed Hong Kong into a gridlock.
With the protests crippling Asia’s key financial centre and dragging it into a recession, citizens of Hong Kong have been looking to buy properties elsewhere to escape the chaos, which they expect to worsen as China tightens its grip on the area, reported The Malaysian Reserve.
“Hong Kong buyers have been coming in batches to buy the property in Malaysia. They come quietly every weekend and buy around 50 to 100 homes per batch. They have acquired more than 1,000 units in overall Malaysia to date,” said Lee.
In fact, Hong Kong buyers have already bought 500 Malaysian properties from July to August.
Setting the average price at RM1 million per property, the 10,000 units expected to be purchased could be valued at RM10 billion.
Lee noted the influx of Hong Kong buyers will help ease at least 10% of the overhang units in Malaysia.
Aside from Malaysia offering a cheaper alternative than Singapore, the cultural similarities could also help with the Hong Kongers’ assimilation into the country, where around 25% of its population is Chinese.
Lee also believes Hong Kong’s commercial property market might collapse if the protests continue.
“Recently, the transacted prices of commercial property have already dropped 50% (in Hong Kong). The whole market is scared as the property prices will face deficit in value. After the crash of property prices, Hong Kong economy will be impacted and it will face a slow growth,” he said.
But he explained that the residential market will remain strong as the supply of homes in Hong Kong can never meet demand. He noted that residential properties there might not increase, but they will not decrease.
Georg Chmiel, Juwai.com executive chairman, said that for 2019, Malaysia ranks fifth in terms of countries inquired into by Chinese property buyers.
“Chinese made 16.5% more inquiries on Malaysian property in the third quarter (3Q) than in the same quarter of 2018. Buying inquiries have declined from their peak in the 1Q, but remain above the average level of 2018,” he said.
He added that Malaysia is appealing to buyers motivated by education, lifestyle or retirement.