Despite a sluggish market, the property sector will continue to see home buyers interested in purchasing, particularly residential property, a recent survey showed.
The Consumer Sentiment Survey 2H 2015 conducted by leading real estate portal PropertyGuru.com.my found that 56 per cent of Malaysians are still interested to buy a residential property within the next six months.
However, the report pointed out that while the intention to purchase a home has grown, respondents continue to be frustrated with the unaffordability of prices and unavailability of adequate financing.
Although findings from the survey show that just 28 per cent of Malaysians expressed satisfaction with the local property market; this is an increase of 3 per cent compared to the first half of 2015. Respondents who felt properties were too expensive across all residential property types decreased slightly to 48 per cent from 55 per cent in Q1 2015.
According to the survey report, the slight improvement in buyer sentiment could have resulted from the oversupply of various properties, especially stratified residences, where they benefited from improved buying conditions. The various measures introduced by the government might have also had an effect on the market.
PropertyGuru Malaysia country manager, Sheldon Fernandez, said that although the issue of affordability remains, prices have somewhat moderated and people have started to look at the property market again.
He said property developers have also improved their sale offers, and therefore buyers are reacting positively as they realise that the current scenario of moderating prices and exciting offers is comparatively attractive and may not last long.
Overall, Fernandez said consumer sentiment remains low and it may take another six months to see a major recovery.
He added that consumers are accepting the new reality of home ownership in Malaysia, especially those in the middle income mass market segment.
“I think more people are accepting the notion of living further from the city obtain lower house prices, or even accepting the concept of smaller homes within the city. As consumers change their perceptions, they are bound to start to looking for properties again, but with more realistic expectations,” Fernandez said.
The report also pointed out that high-rises continue to be the most popular type of home among buyers, followed by terraces. The top considerations when purchasing property are location, followed by price per square foot, size of the property, the developer’s reputation and rental yield.
Interestingly, the survey also revealed that Malaysians are highly interested in buying properties abroad, with 51 per cent citing affordability as a key reason while 30 per cent said it was capital appreciation.
The top countries of choice include Australia (52 per cent), followed by Singapore (23 per cent), Indonesia (15 per cent) and the United Kingdom (14 per cent).
The sentiment survey was piloted by PropertyGuru in collaboration with Added Value-Saffron Hill, a Singapore-based independent professional research agency. The survey aims to offer on-going insights into the current market pulse and track the fluctuating sentiments of consumers with regard to the domestic property market.