He said although it was a buyers’ market now, purchasers were still holding back on new acquisitions due to their inability to raise adequate loans, weaker ringgit and reluctance over the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
“A continued slowdown is expected and higher loan rejection rates point to a challenging year for the property sector,” he told reporters when disclosing the findings of a market sentiment survey for the first half of 2016.
Chmiel said although Malaysians were concerned of rising house prices and affordability, properties were still viewed as the most attractive investment choice.
The survey also revealed that property purchases was not only the most preferred investment option for the respondents, due to capital growth appreciation, but also more stable compared with other assets.
“Based on the survey done by iProperty Group, 79 per cent of Malaysians were still interested to purchase properties within the next six months,” he said.
Chmiel said despite government efforts to provide more affordable housing, 66 per cent of the respondents, especially Kuala Lumpur-based home buyers, felt that there was inadequate affordable houses.
He said the weakening ringgit had also attracted more Singaporeans to invest in Malaysia especially in Iskandar Malaysia.
The survey polled almost 13,000 respondents from Malaysia, Indonesia Singapore and Hong Kong with 40 per cent of them coming from Malaysia.
Seventy one per cent of the Malaysian respondents were aged between 20 and 40 years old and 58 per cent were married.
News Source: Malaysian Digest Business, 29 March 2016