BY Kent tan
Some rays of hope are beginning to shine through the gloom permeating the current economic climate. The optimism was revealed in the Property Industry Survey 2H 2015 and Market Outlook for 2016 by the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda).
Held at the Sunway Hotel Resort & Spa this week, the event offered insights on market sentiments in the industry this year, based on the findings of the recent survey.
It highlighted a break in the long-running negative market outlook, offering prospects for the market to pick up pace from its sluggish movement in the preceding few years.
The rate of pessimism among developers is expected to drop from 60 per cent in 1H16 to 40 per cent by 2H16. The dominant sentiment is now shifting from pessimistic to neutral, rated at 44 per cent, compared to 28 per cent last year. The group that represented an optimistic outlook, though still low, improved from 3 per cent last year to 7 per cent.
In terms of sales performance, low-cost houses and flats picked up pace with a significant increase from 120 in 2H14 to 601 in 2H15. Bungalows and garden villas scored the most remarkable increment with 22 in 2H14 and 9 in 1H15 to 158 in 2H15. The total sales of all properties went up to 5,195 in 2H15 from 2,951 in 2H14.
There is no change in the launching trend observed by the report whereby, throughout 2015, apartments and condominiums topped the list, followed by two-and-three storeys and single-storey terraces.
Commercial units have seen a sharp decline since 2H13 with 742 launches. It went up to 827 in 1H14 but dropped to 675 in 2H14. Then it dived to 279 in 1H15 before picking up slightly in 2H15 to 331.
Despite the slight improvement, the decline between 2H13 and 2H15 is still more than half. Commenting on this, chief executive officer and managing director of IJM Corporation Bhd, Datuk Soam Heng Choon, said it was due to the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
“Buyers have to pay an extra 6 per cent to buy a commercial property. Commercial units of RM1 million will cost buyers an additional six per cent for GST. Due to this, developers are being cautious with their launches of commercial units,” said Soam.
Past president of Rehda, Datuk Ng Seing Liong, said that apart from GST, the 3 per cent stamp duty totals up to an additional cost of 9 per cent, causing a knee-jerk reaction in the commercial sector.
Another highlight of the report was the residential selling price. In 2015, Selangor, Penang, Johor and Kuala Lumpur have maintained their most-launched-prices within the range of RM500,001 to RM 1 million while other states were between RM200,001 and RM500,000.
Significant changes were observed in Negeri Sembilan, where the most-launched-price range went up from RM200,001 to RM500,000 in 1H15 to RM500,001 to RM 1 million in 2H15. Most of these transactions took place in Sendayan for its two- and three-storey terraces and Nilai for the same type as well as semi-detached units.