Mixed outlook for property market

Property analysts and experts are mixed in their property market outlook for next year due to the uncertainty that is looming ahead of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation next year.

While many are expecting the property sector to dip, MIDF Research property analyst Ahmad Annuar Rahman said property prices are expected to hold and grow marginally for all residential types.

“We don’t expect the prices to fall but to remain flat for the low and middle range with a softening in the luxury property range instead.

“While the House Price Index is showing a slower growth at 6.6 per cent, the sector should remain sustainable as most of the potential buyers are in it for the long haul.

“We foresee that the property demand will remain, if not slightly increase next year,” he added.

The Housing Price Index decreased to 6.60 per cent in the second quarter of this year from 9.60 per cent in the first quarter, averaging at about 3.77 per cent from 1997 until 2014, according to the report by Bank Negara Malaysia.

Property experts, however, are anticipating tough times ahead and are urging potential buyers to leverage on the lower prices now.

Property guru and best-selling author Milan Doshi said the best time to buy a property is usually when others fear to do so.

“That is the time when you can get good deals, which normally don’t come by during better times. As long as you know the locations that are good to invest in, you can secure good financing and can negotiate good deals. There would be many opportunities to benefit from.

“A smart investor should possess the know-how and the know; the two main ingredients to be a good property buyer,” said Milan at the 2015 Property Outlook Conference yesterday.

The two-day conference, to be held on January 10 and 11, is expected to attract about 1,000 participants, congregating real estate investors, home buyers, financiers, developers, master planners and property agents.

Meanwhile, on the implementation of GST in April next year, Ahmad Annuar said there should not be any increase in property prices post-GST as the taxes have already been factored in this year.

“Properties usually have two to three years to be developed, so the GST should not be a reason for property price hikes next year.

“While pricing might continue to grow and the sticker price might be slightly higher, units on sale might be reduced. However, it is always wise to meet the buyers halfway as obvious price increases would deter them from buying, and it also depends on the marketing strategies developers are adopting to attract buyers,” said Ahmad Annuar.

Syarikat Ong managing partner Agnes Wong said certain clarifications are still needed over the GST calculations in the property market.

“The Act is out, the guide and formula are also out, but developers need to seek further clarification on how to use it in the industry. The government will be announcing the Anti-Profiteering Act to the merchants that they are not allowed to introduce excessive price hikes.

The Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 will be enforced by the government in order to curb excessive price hikes upon the implementation of GST next year. - By NST

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