The property market would continue to be active this year, supported by various government initiatives under the 10th Malaysia Plan and Budget 2012, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Donald Lim.
“Last year, in terms of construction activities, the higher number of new unit starts and building plan approvals signified the confidence of developers and investors,” said Lim at the launch of Malaysia’s Property Market Report 2011.
According to the report, the performance of the residential sub-sector would be sustained, while vacant space in the office and retail sub-sectors is expected to be absorbed as more space is taken up during the progress of the country’s Economic Transformation Programme.
However, Lim also pointed out that the Government was worried about the emergence of a real estate bubble.
“We do not want a United States subprime mortgage crisis in Malaysia. We noted that a lot of foreigners from the Middle East and China are keen on buying properties here,” he said.
Lim said the Government would intervene when property prices were seen to have “shot up too high.”
“As such, measures such as the implementation of the maximum loan-to-value ratio of 70% for the third home and Bank Negara’s responsible lending guidelines were taken.”
According to data on Bank Negara’s website, the amount of loans applied for purchases of residential property increased by 17% year-on-year in the first two months of 2012 to RM26.7bil.
The amount of residential property loans approved during the period was RM12.25bil, which was 2.7% higher compared to a year earlier.
Last year, the property market performed strongly with the value of transactions rising 28.3% to RM137.8bil. Volume rose 14.3% to 430,403 transactions.
The report stated that market activity was led by the residential sub-sector, which had a double-digit expansion of 18.9%.
This was followed by the development land (14.7%), commercial (9.7%), industrial (6.5%) and agricultural (4.6%) sub-sectors.
In terms of value, all sub-sectors registered double-digit growth with two sub-sectors surpassing 50%, namely agricultural (65.4%) and development land (54.8%).
Despite more units launched, the performance of the residential market improved last year. In 2011, there were 49,290 units of new launches which achieved sales of 46.3%, compared with 47,698 units with 45.7% sales in 2010.
Selangor, Johor and Perak offered the most number (51.2% or 25,216 units combined) of new launches in the country.
In terms of market share, the residential sub-sector dominated with 62.7%, followed by the agricultural (19.7%), commercial (10.1%), development land (5.0%) and industrial (2.4%) sub-sectors.
The residential sub-sector also took up a 44.9% share of the transaction value in the market. Last year, there were 269,789 residential property transactions worth RM61.83bil, which was the highest recorded in the last five years.
Selangor retained the lion’s share by capturing 27.9% (75,344 transactions) of the country’s total transactions.
The demand for high-end units priced above RM500,000 had increased, with 21,905 transactions last year (compared with 16,782 transactions in 2010).
“This could be attributed to the increase in affordability level and supported by the ease in borrowing as well as attractive loan packages offered by financial institutions.”
By property type, terraced houses captured 36.6% (98,597 units) of residential transactions, of which about one-third were transacted in Selangor.
As at the end of 2011, there were 4.51 million existing residential units with 584,546 units in the incoming supply.
According to the report, the Malaysian All House Price Index had surged to 156.9 points in the fourth quarter of last year, compared with 147.2 points a year earlier. - By THOMAS HUONG (The Star)