Survey shows Malaysians expect home prices to climb

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians believe property prices will climb higher by December 2022 and that buyer preferences have changed dramatically during the pandemic, according to Juwai IQI’s survey of Malaysian consumers.

The survey conducted from Sept 28 to Oct 21 asked consumers if they believe real estate prices will be higher by the end of 2022, which 87% of respondents said yes.

Juwai IQI co-founder and group CEO Kashif Ansari said the ratio was almost identical for both male and female respondents. That is a change from past surveys, when men were almost uniformly more optimistic than women about property prices.

“We also asked the survey takers if they believe this is a good time to buy a house or an apartment. 90% of respondents believe this is a good time to buy. Consumers are very positive about home prices over the next 14 months. Undoubtedly, some consumers feel an urgency to buy before prices climb further.”

Kashif said Covid has changed the way Malaysians want to live. Buyer preferences today are dramatically different than before the pandemic. What Malaysians would like to have in their homes has significantly changed. The need to have more space in a home has become a top priority for many buyers.

A total of 83% of respondents said a home office or study space is more important than before the pandemic. Having a larger home has become more important for 72% of respondents. Private green space is more important for 68% of respondents.

“Perhaps because of the long lockdown, homebuyers today have an intense desire for space. They want to be able to work from home. Buyers today want it all. While most Malaysians want more space, 53% of respondents also say building amenities are more important today than before the pandemic.”

He said developers are responding by re-drawing floor-plans for their new projects. In some cases, they are choosing to build where land is cheaper so they can afford to offer larger homes.

The survey also asked Malaysians how important location is to them. 64% of respondents said being close to the central city is more important today than before the pandemic. 60% said being close to a hospital or a clinic was also more important than before Covid struck.

“The pandemic is bringing massive changes to the real estate industry, the way that Malaysians choose to live is different today. Our lifestyle will undoubtably keep changing in the years to come. This is only the beginning.

“Will the desire for larger homes lead to de-urbanisation as people move to rural locations? I don’t think so. The economic and employment activity of the major urban centers in Malaysia is still too important. The cities are centres off gravity that still pull everyone in. I think we are more likely to say an increase in activity in the urban areas that until now have been second-tier. These are locations where land is cheaper and larger homes can be built. They are also still close enough to central city amenities and employment centres.”