Despite the cautious optimism in the country’s projected economic recovery, Malaysia’s property sector is expected to remain soft for the rest of 2020.
In its report on the Malaysian property market for the first half of 2020, the National Property Information Centre (NAPIC) said the property sector’s recovery will depend on both domestic and external factors such as “political stability, global oil and commodity prices as well as further developments related to the Covid-19 pandemic”.
One property consultant noted that the property market’s performance would be worse if not for the government’s Home Ownership Campaign (HOC), which provided the industry a much needed boost.
“With the HOC, I think the property market will be quite flat compared with last year,” he said.
NAPIC revealed that Malaysia’s residential overhang climbed 3.3% to 31,661 units worth RM20.03 billion during the first half of 2020, from 30,664 units valued at RM18.82 billion over the same period last year.
The number of new launches fell 43.6% to 13,294 units, while sales performance plunged to 3.3% in 1H 2020 from 30.9% in the first half of 2019.
NAPIC attributed the lower number of new launches to the movement control order’s implementation on 18 March.
Newly launched homes priced from RM100,000 and RM500,000 dominated the market during the period under review.
Homes priced between RM200,000 and RM300,000 lead supply with 4,022 units (30.3%), while those priced at RM400,000 and below accounted for 92% of total sales.
In terms of property type, terraced homes dominated new launches, with single-, two- and three-storey terraces accounting for 55.6% or 7,389 units of total units launched. It is followed by condominium/apartment units, which contributed 29.7% or 3,951 units.
NAPIC also noted that noted that the Malaysian House Price Index (MHPI) continued to moderately grow.
The MHPI hovered at 198.3 points in the second quarter of 2020, up by 0.4% from the previous year – the lowest annual growth since 2010.
On a quarterly basis, the index marginally declined by 0.7% from the first quarter of 2020.
The serviced apartment segment – which is categorised as a commercial property even as they are used as residential units – posted 1,433 transactions valued at RM0.97 billion in 1H 2020. It accounted for 17.7% of the total commercial property transaction volume and 11.5% of total value.
In 1H 2020, transaction volume and value for serviced apartments fell 24.2% and 25.3%, respectively from the 1H 2019, when 1,891 transactions were registered worth RM1.3 billion.
The serviced apartments overhang increased by 26.5% in volume to 21,683 units and 23.9% in value at RM18.64 billion.
The number of unsold not constructed and unsold under construction properties also increased 42% and 5.6% to 10,874 units and 35,720 units, respectively.
Meanwhile, the overall property sector registered 115,476 transactions valued at RM46.94 billion in 1H 2020, down 27.9% in volume and 31.5% in value from 1H 2019, when 160,165 transactions worth RM68.53 billion was posted.
In a recent report, Maybank Investment Bank Research noted that a much weaker economy due to rising business closures and job cuts as well as more auctioned properties could stifle the effects of the government’s stimulus measures.
“The end of the six-month loan moratorium at the end of this month could lead to more business closures and a number of auctioned properties. Higher non-performing loans could prompt banks to be more selective and careful in approving loans, hence, affecting the demand for properties,” it said.
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