Demand for property in Malaysia remains healthy despite the COVID-19 outbreak and resulting Movement Control Orders (MCOs) according to the PropertyGuru Malaysia Consumer Sentiment Study H2 2020, with 81% of young or first-time buyers eager to purchase a home by end-2021.
This includes a surge of interest among younger home seekers and renters, 47% and 51% of whom respectively shared that COVID-19 had not caused them to delay their property transactions, as these demographics prioritise home ownership following months of restricted movement under the MCO.
Coupled with higher uptake of digital platforms such as social media (70%), virtual tours (50%) and online webinars (29%) among Malaysian home seekers aged 22 to 29 years old, along with operational restrictions on sales galleries and show units during the MCO, these trends are driving PropTech uptake and evolution in the domestic property market.
These include PropTech solutions such as PropertyGuru Loan Pre-Approval and all-year-round property deals, which address frequent stumbling blocks in the home purchasing process, as well as curated and targeted content hubs guiding home seekers through every aspect of home ownership.
In line with these efforts, the company will continue developing PropTech tools and data-driven insights to help property stakeholders across the board in achieving their goals. These include virtual tours to accommodate younger home seekers and other demographics, as many turn to online platforms for property information post-MCO.
“As Malaysia moves towards the new normal, we are also leveraging our reach as the nation’s largest property site to bring stakeholders together and address industry issues,” said PropertyGuru Malaysia’s country manager Sheldon Fernandez.
“Our recent PropertyGuru Malaysia Consumer Sentiment Study H2 2020, for example, focused on the impacts of COVID-19 on domestic property, and how the market here is evolving as a result,” he said.
The study also found that 84% of younger home seekers would consider purchasing properties in developments with fewer integrated facilities such as swimming pools and badminton courts, in exchange for lower property prices.
This is particularly relevant as employment and income loss in the wake of the MCO raises hard questions about the state of affordable home ownership in Malaysia.
Fernandez said developers able to break old habits in adapting to and catering for changing market demand may find themselves better positioned to weather the economic headwinds brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Insights such as these, driven by data derived from real consumer sentiment on the ground, are crucial in helping property stakeholders from home seekers and investors to developers and even financial institutions make sense of the evolving property landscape and better plan for the future,” he added.