KUALA LUMPUR – Affordability remains a key issue for home-ownership in Malaysia, according to PropertyGuru study.
In a recently released biannual Consumer Sentiment Study for H2 2022 (CSS H2 2022), PropertyGuru Malaysia found that 51% of the study’s respondents know they are not eligible for government affordable housing schemes and are unable to purchase property without financial aid.
As a result of the overnight policy rate (OPR) hike of 25 basis points in July and the consumer price index (CPI) reaching an all-time high of 4.4% year-over-year, potential home-buyers may continue to have affordability challenges amidst continued global recession and inflation rate concerns.
Additionally, 73% of the respondents show a thorough understanding of the terms to be eligible for affordable housing, which indicates that these potential home-buyers will continue to seek additional government housing initiatives to assist them in their pursuit of home ownership.
According to Sheldon Fernandez, Country Manager, Malaysia (PropertyGuru.com.my and iProperty.com.my), the ongoing global recession, inflation, and OPR hikes would likely cause potential home-buyers to adopt the ‘wait-and-see’ approach until the situation has stabilised.
“With the Budget 2023 announcement soon, we are optimistic that there will be allocations to stimulate the real estate market and assist people who are preparing to embark on their home-ownership journey. More than 69% of individuals questioned plan to purchase a home if the Home Ownership Campaign is relaunched, according to the CSS H2 2022,” he said.
Consumer spending behaviour will change with new technology
Based on the previous CSS H1 2022, data shows that 2 out of 3 Malaysians felt comfortable with shortlisting and viewing properties online. Additionally, 1 out of 4 felt comfortable with completing their agreements online. These data indicate that the consumers have adapted to be tech-savvy as a result of the reliance on digital transactions due to the pandemic.
The trend could also be seen in CSS H2 2022, where more than 50% of the respondents believe that the emerging technologies such as property aggregation platforms, AI, and digital housing societies would be beneficial to their journey as homeowners.
This also suggests that technology will continue to play a vital role in the real estate market and that the demand for digital access for consumers to make property-related decisions will likely persist in the coming years.
The study also revealed that potential home-buyers have also begun contemplating purchasing property in the metaverse realm.
“Consumers in Malaysia have adapted to digital solutions and platforms better than ever in the past two years, therefore this trend is expected to continue.
We are curious to watch how developing technology will change and develop in the future years,” Fernandez said.
Location factor sees shift due to environmental impact
As various regions of Malaysia have been affected by flash floods and landslides over the past year, the study revealed that home-buyers are concerned about the long-term effects of this on the property market
About 92% of the respondents cited flooding as their primary concern, with 83% citing landslides as their main worry.
As environmental awareness increases, sustainable homes and features are becoming increasingly important to consumers when acquiring a home. Additionally, the study respondents also said that solar panels, rainwater harvesting, and food waste composting will be essential in the near future.
1 out of 3 respondents within the higher income group also felt that they are willing to pay more for property that has charging ports for electric vehicles.
“The increased awareness towards eco-friendly facilities and features are possibly linked to the ongoing climate change challenges. Consumers are increasingly aware of the current challenges and are adopting eco-friendly choices in an effort to make a change.
“There were many who lost their homes or experienced damages in the past year and it is evident that these natural disasters have had a lasting impact. 66% of the respondents in CSS H2 2022 said that they are willing to pay a higher insurance premium on their property as a result of the climate changes since no one anticipates their homes being struck by flood or natural disasters,” Fernandez added.
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