According to PropertyGuru Malaysia, interest in buying real estate is still high in Malaysia despite the country’s higher cost of living, financial limitations, and affordability.
According to country manager Sheldon Fernandez in its Consumer Sentiment Study (CSS) Second Half 2023 (2H2023), approximately 50 percent of those surveyed, particularly the younger and lower-income populations, rely on government assistance to purchase a property.
Furthermore, 46 percent of the respondents reported persistent difficulties obtaining financing for affordable housing initiatives, Fernandez added.
According to Fernandez, it is crucial to strategically plan and carry out cheap housing programs to accommodate today’s lifestyle, particularly in metropolitan regions where there are also rising concerns about conditions for a sustainable living environment.
He added that respondents were prepared to give up some luxuries in return for more inexpensive housing to fulfill their desire to become homeowners.
He claimed that while respondents, who were primarily older people and renters, were willing to give up amenities like gyms (49 percent) playgrounds (46 percent) jogging tracks/recreational spaces (45 percent) and balconies (43 percent), they were not willing to give up parking spaces, functional kitchens, or second bathrooms.
This change reflects shifting consumer preferences where cost effectiveness and practicality are given top priority.
“There is room for regulators and developers to play a role in this, knowing that people are willing to forego some amenities but not on sustainable living,” Fernandez said.
The number of applications for house loans has decreased, he continued, and he anticipates less transaction activity for the remainder of the year. Rent would go up as a result of the decline in sales (transactions).
“If people are not buying, they are renting,” he said.