With the first quarter of the year coming to a close, the general consensus is that the market remains subdued following a harsh 2016. However, the Pearl of the Orient could prove that there is still some shine to it, as it is expecting to see some positive numbers in terms of property transactions in 1Q, 2017.
In particular, all eyes are on the residential sector, where there is a slight buzz about improved numbers compared with the previous quarter.
For example, Raine & Horne International Zaki + Partners Sdn Bhd (R&HIZP) recently stated that it expects to see 2,527 transactions in 1Q,2017, which is an improvement on the 2,297 transactions registered in 4Q, 2016.
While this is not a huge jump, it is an indication that market sentiment is improving among property seekers in Penang and that there is now an upward momentum underway.
The real estate firm also said that total value of transactions is expected to rise to RM1.13 billion in 1Q2017 compared with RM1.03 billion in 4Q2016.
In a presentation during “The Edge Investment Forum” held last weekend, R&HIZP senior partner Michael Geh said the main reason for the slowdown in the property market in 2016 was that some developers put a halt to development plans in order to survey the market.
“Also, there was a long delay in the release of advertising permits and developers licences. All in all, the fourth quarter last year saw a new bottom since 2012, where there were only 2,297 worth RM1.03 billion,” he said during his presentation at the event.
Geh pointed out that the slowdown could also be blamed on the current difficulties buyers are facing with securing loans.
Despite the notion that Penang properties are expensive – often priced above RM1 million – Geh said many properties in state are now being priced around the RM600,000 range and buyers are taking note.
Among the hotspots receiving attention now are including Bertam, Batu Kawan, George Town and Batu Maung.
“I believe that when Bank Negara relaxes the lending guidelines and with the upcoming Penang Transport Masterplan, there will be optimism in the market again,” Geh said.