Malaysia is among the ex-British colonies including Hong Kong and Singapore to have good house price statistics, according to residential property investment research firm Global Property Guide (GPG).
It said Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore all have “excellent” house price time series, the best being Hong Kong where the data is arguably richer than in the United Kingdom as there are official rent statistics.
Such statistical information is vital because residential property data is important in microeconomic and financial stability analysis while time series techniques have been mostly used in the forecast of house prices.
GPG said that in the Indian subcontinent, only India has house price statistics, but this is only in a new series and not yet available on the web.
Indonesia has house price statistics and so does China but “both of questionable quality”.
In Thailand, the Bank of Thailand publishes a time series and in the Philippines, commercial real estate company Colliers produces residential property data.
Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos do not produce house price time series.
GPG added that Asia as a whole has good house price statistics though the quality varies greatly.
Meanwhile, it also noted Malaysia’s 55th ranking out of 135 countries in terms of the Property Rights Index.
Of the other countries in Asia, Hong Kong and Singapore ranked 90th; Japan 80th; South Korea and Taiwan 70th; Macau and Bhutan 60th; India 50th; Thailand 45th; the Philippines, Indonesia and Cambodia 30th; and Vietnam 15th.
Elsewhere, Australia, Canada and the UK are ranked 90th; the United States 80th; and the United Arab Emirates 55th.
GPG said the Property Rights Index is a subcomponent of the 2016 Index of Economic Freedom published by United States-based think tank Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal.
The property rights index measures the degree to which a country’s laws protect private property rights, and the degree to which its government enforces these laws.
Higher scores are more desirable, that is property rights are better protected. Scores are from zero to 100.
The property rights index also assesses the likelihood that private properties will be expropriated and analyses the independence of the judiciary, existence of corruption within the judiciary, and ability of individuals and businesses to enforce contracts.
GPG said it considers protection of property rights as a significant factor affecting the desirability of a residential real estate investment.
The other subcomponents of the 2016 Index of Economic Freedom are GDP per capita growth (five years), economic freedom rating and competitiveness rating.
The GDP per capita growth is the average annual percentage change in GDP per capita during the latest five years.
The economic freedom rating measures countries by 50 criteria, divided into ten broad groups (free, mostly free, moderately free, mostly unfree and repressed).
The competitive rating is based on the World Economic Forum’s Growth Competitive Index which considers the quality of the macroeconomic environment, the state of a country’s public institutions and the level of technological readiness.
This index’s goal is to analyse a country’s potential to achieve sustained economic growth over the medium and longer term.
Among the countries in the region, Malaysia’s GDP per capita growth (five years) is 13.49 per cent, economic freedom rating is 69.60 and competitiveness rating is 5.16.
Neighbours Singapore’s are 15.91 per cent, 89.40 and 5.65 respectively; Myanmar 30.92 per cent, 46.50 and 3.24; Vietnam 25.48 per cent, 50.80 and 4.23; Indonesia 23.94 per cent, 58.50 and 4.57; Cambodia 21.13 per cent, 57.40 and 3.89; the Philippines 19.93 per cent, 60.10 and 4.40; and Thailand 12.23 per cent, 63.30 and 4.66.
Elsewhere, countries with relatively high economic freedom rating include Hong Kong (90.10), Australia (82), New Zealand (81.20), Canada (80.20), US (75.50), UK (74.90) and UAE (71.40).