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Call to investigate errant ‘property gurus’ and their investment schemes

29 Sep 2019 / 21:05 H.

PETALING JAYA: Some “property gurus” have been convincing people to buy houses of certain projects for their own interests and profit, according to property expert Siva Shanker.

Some of them even made promises of the properties fetching higher rents than the monthly mortgage payment, he said.

Siva urged the authorities to investigate the “property gurus” and their investment schemes which could lead to another crisis in the next few years if left unchecked.

At the same time, developers have to juggle between profit and economics, and build properties that are in demand, such as single- or double-storey landed homes in decent locations.

“This will create activity in the market and, with transactions moving, it will buoy the property market. It will take a few years to reduce the overhang to a more manageable level but if we keep building, it will never end,” he said.

“In 2020 and 2021, the market will slowly improve, provided that the political situation is stable. If Pakatan Harapan continues what they are doing and get the economy up and stabilised, we will see a better property market.”

Commenting on calls to lower the minimum price for foreign buyers, Siva said it would not have meaningful impact on addressing the overhang issue, due to the significant number of unsold homes unless projects are sold entirely to buyers from a specific country, such as what happened in Johor.

“This would create an enclave of foreign buyers. We don’t want that. What we want is higher-end foreign buyers taking up our high-end properties in cities. We want a cosmopolitan and international flavour.

“Opening up a bit to more foreign buyers might be a good idea, if this is the goal. But the overhang is so much that this would not help much and it would not address the real issue, the real cause of the problem,” he added.

Siva said the overhang situation is worse than what is reported because overhang figures reported by the National Property Information Centre (Napic) only captures the unsold units from the primary market.

“Napic overhang figures are only the tip of the iceberg. What about those overhang in the subsale market? Those that were bought but could not be sold or rented out?” he questioned.

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