BY Roznah Abdul Jabbar
The bumpy situation for the Malaysian property market may be over as various indications appear to show interest has returned amongst local and foreign institutional investors, according to prominent developer Mah Sing Group Bhd.
Its group managing director Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum said that the various macro prudential measures introduced in recent years have worked to decrease the rate of household debts and moderated house price increase.
“The quality of housing loans in Malaysia is healthy and at only 1.6 per cent gross impaired loans, the Malaysian banking sector still compares favourably against regional peers like Thailand (2.9 per cent), Indonesia (2.5 per cent) and the Philippines (2.2 per cent),” he highlighted.
Leong said that various indicators are showing that the Malaysian property market is reaching its turning point soon.
“Contraction of residential property transactions has bottomed, with a slower contraction in Q415 compared to Q3 and Q215. Consumer sentiments may have reached the bottom, with the MIER (Malaysian Institute of Economic Research) consumer sentiment index at an all-time low of 63.8 points in Q415, even though the business conditions index showed a slight improvement in the same quarter,” he said.
He said that house prices are unlikely to contract, and is likely to grow at low-mid single digit levels, noting that during the Global Financial Crisis, house prices continued to grow at low single digit levels.
“We expect the property market to pick up in the second half of 2016 as market sentiments have bottomed,” Leong said.
He said that Mah Sing is targeting the right segment, and several of its projects can tap into the MyDeposit scheme.
The group achieved a commendable sales target of RM2.3 billion in 2015 and is looking to match that figure in 2016. It achieved approximately RM408 million in sales as of Mar 31, 2016 despite the shorter working Q1 due to the festive season, and are in a good position to hit its 2016 sales target of RM2.3 billion with its wide attractively priced product range located at key hotspots.