The Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association Malaysia (Rehda) is optimistic of the prospects of the property market in Malaysia, based on its recent survey findings.
The survey, which covered 150 property developers nationwide, showed that the respondents are launching 18,181 homes, comprising mainly high-rise developments in the second half of this year compared with 10,985 units in the first half of the year.
The majority of the respondents are pricing their products between RM250,000 and RM500,000, followed by the RM1 million bracket.
"This shows that the property market is healthy, driven mainly by local buyers. The top five hot spots include Puchong, Cheras, Kota Damansara, Shah Alam and the KLCC area. We expect to see more superlink houses, serviced apartments and condominiums," Rehda national treasurer Datuk N.K. Tong told a media briefing yesterday.
Tong said for commercial properties, there will be more shop offices, small-office-home-office (soho), small-office-flexi-office (sofo) and small-office-virtual-office (sovo) entering the market.
Half of the respondents indicated that they will be pricing their properties between RM350,000 and RM1.5 million each, while seven per cent said they are selling their units at RM1.5 million and above, he said.
Meanwhile, Rehda president Datuk Seri Michael Yam said although there is bullishness in the local property market, the worst is not over.
"While there has been improved economic stability in Europe and better data in the United States, the dark clouds seem to be heading this way. There is softening of economic growth, particularly in China and in the Asean region.
"Additionally, we expect various possible cooling measures to curb speculation and it would have a bearing on buying decision. We expect a wait-and-see attitude as buyers assess the global situation and the outcome of 2014 Budget," Yam said.
He also said that imposing higher real property gains tax (RPGT) and stamp duty are not the answer to address the increasing property price situation.
This is because speculation only happens in certain hot spots such as Bangsar and Mont Kiara, not in the affordable segment of the market.
Yam believes that there is a need to study closely the various categories of buyers, so a more focus action can be targeted at speculators.
"There are better mechanisms to curb speculation than just applying RPGT universally throughout the country," Yam said, added that the problem with the property market in the country is inadequate supply.
"The best thing is almost a free market. Make sure there is enough supply in the market and the prices will come down," he said. - By Sharen Kaur (Business Times)