KUALA LUMPUR: Despite the rising perception that more Malaysians would choose to rent than to buy a home, statistics from the recent PropertyGuru Consumer Sentiment Survey show that 92% of those polled would rather own the roof over their heads than to lease. Among those polled, about 33% were presently renting with 67% residing in their “own homes”. Own homes are regarded as homes that are owned by their dwellers or it could be a family home, staying with a sibling or relative and other non-rental residences. A total of 817 respondents participated in the PropertyGuru’s Consumer Sentiment Survey for the second half of 2017. The survey shows that the traditional aspiration of owning a home remains largely unchanged despite evolving property market trends and demographics. For those who would prefer to rent, the majority cited a location that is close to their office or workplace as the most important criterion (71%), followed by family considerations (55%) and public transportation accessibility (52%) respectively. High-rise homes are the preferred option for renters with condominiums and serviced apartments being the top choice. “It appears that despite rising living costs, higher loan rejection rates and price unaffordability, Malaysians including the younger generation still would make home ownership a key lifestyle aspiration. The desire is very strong perhaps due to family or peer pressure or due to the prevalence of traditional perceptions of owning a home as being a sound foundation for one’s future,” said PropertyGuru Malaysia country manager Sheldon Fernandez. “Beyond providing a place to stay, a home to Malaysians still represents stability, security and continues to be a key asset class for wealth accumulation via capital appreciation and rental yields.” Fernandez added that the PropertyGuru survey also showed that even many of those who are presently renting also aspire to buy a home if they can afford it. Renters believe that RM501-RM800 monthly to rent a room was a realistic budget while those looking to rent a home would ideally wish to pay RM801-RM1100 per month, depending on location, property type, unit size and other factors.