The Hartabumi.com team regularly makes a summation on the state of the property market on an annual basis. Here are our six expectations and forecasts for the property market in 2019:
1. Get Down And Boogie!
Credit: Macau Daily Times
We expect that house prices will go down – yes, you read that right! Looking back at the property data from 2018, we find that generally, the number of unsold homes is increasing – up by 48.35% from 20,304 units (2017) to 30,115 units (2018).
Why are these house failing to sell? According to various analysts and professionals that we spoke to, it is because there is a mismatch between demand and supply.
“They said that the average Malaysian cannot afford to buy a home because the price is too expensive. But will developers actually reduce prices? Possibly.”
Most property developers in Malaysia are now experiencing reduced profits compared to the previous year. For example, IOI Property Group posted a 33.3% drop in revenue from RM4.2 million to RM2.8 million. Adoi!
With the growing number of unsold houses, it is likely that developers will give more discounts for their current projects. For new projects, they are likely to focus more on affordable homes rather than luxury homes. HEBAT!
2. Banking On Innovation
According to various sources, banks will issue new products to help increase home ownership in Malaysia. However, it is not known exactly how – or when – these products will be released.
A common problem faced by home buyers when applying for a loan is a long waiting time for loan approvals, followed closely by difficulty due to terms that are too restrictive.
Currently, CIMB has a product for home financing which only takes one (1) minute to get approval: the CIMB 1-Minute Home Financing InstaApproval. It remains to be seen if other banks will follow in CIMB’s footsteps.
3. The Wisdom Of The Crowd
More and more industry players will introduce a model based on Peer-To-Peer Lending (P2P), which is the practice of lending money to individuals or businesses through online services that match lenders with borrowers. Think of it as another form of crowdfunding.
Credit: The Star Daily
The P2P concept was introduced for the first time in the Malaysian Government Budget 2019, as a financial aid for first-time home buyers. It is expected that that more new products with similar concepts will be introduced in the current year.
For example, HomeFundMe in the United States provides a platform to help home buyers get a downpayment via crowdfunding. HomeFundMe does not, however, promise any returns to money providers (for example, like how FundMyHome does).
4. Stamp It Up
It is expected that the government will increase the stamp duty rate by 1%. This rate is levied on assets worth RM1 million-RM2.5 million with effect from 1 July 2019.
5. Life On The Go
More and more people will rent instead of buying property. For most Malaysians, renting is far cheaper than buying cheap properties. The combination of high costs of living and low wages means that buying a home is not an option for them.
Credit: Malaysia Hotels
Additionally, it is becoming trendy for young people to move around or live a nomadic lifestyle, which makes renting more sensible than buying. They become more concerned with mobility, moving from one place to another.
It’s also a trend that is happening all over the world. For example, although Germany is a high-income country, the home ownership rate is among the lowest in the world: house ownership there is only 51.4%, compared to Malaysia at 72.5%.
6. Together Forever?
Another trend that seems to be picking up is that of Co-Living, where tenants live together as a community that shares communal spaces – such as living rooms and kitchens – and only have a small room as a private space of their own.
“It has been likened to being a modern take of living in a Rumah Panjang (longhouse) in Sarawak.”
If we were to examine the co-working trend in Malaysia, it is getting more and more attention, especially in urban areas. So far, there are 70 operators and 100 co-working branches in Kuala Lumpur – among the well-known operators are Common Ground and Regus Malaysia.
Credit: Kin Things
Most of these co-living habitats are built in shop houses. According to a real estate industry player, making a co-living space a reality requires it to be built close to co-working spaces: for example, the ground floor will become a co-working space, whereas the top floor as a co-living area.
All these trends indicate that this year is going to be an eventful one, whether you are a seasoned player, or are just considering entering the property market for the first time. As with all such opportunities, it would be best to make the most of it sooner rather than later.