What do the homebuyers think of 2017?

By Jonathan Roberts jonathan@propwall.com

Buyer’s Sentiment Survey 2016


THE beginning of a new year in property market brings little excitement. Market sentiment remains cautious and homebuyers tend to shy away from committing to a house purchase, echoing the general state of the national economy.

Based on a survey done on Nov 2016 at StarProperty.my KLCC Fair, here are some insights on the general take of homebuyers’ sentiment.

The survey showed little improvement on buyers’ sentiment in 2017, and most were unconvinced that Budget 2017 could stimulate economic recovery.

Only 20% were optimistic or very optimistic about the future state of the property market, although the figures fared better than the view on the national economy, in which only 14% are optimistic or very optimistic for the coming year.

In a survey conducted in a property fair, the respondents are inclined to be those interested in buying a property or surveying the market, and yet there are more who are discouraged by their prospects in property purchase some. 33% are in the pessimistic range while only 20% thought they are in a favourable situation.

It showed 69% of respondents were looking for properties within the ranges of RM300,001 to RM700,000 in Greater Kuala Lumpur.

Terraced houses remained the most popular choice at 40%, while apartments or condos followed closely behind at 35%. However, when one added in the preference on semi-detached houses (17%), detached houses or bungalow (6%), there was an inclination towards landed property in general.

In terms of the prospect for property market, one saving grace might be the ongoing mega transport infrastructure projects.

It is perhaps not surprising that respondents placed accessibility far above all other criteria in selecting their dream home.

Past President of the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) Siva Shanker reckoned projects like the recent launch of MRT phase 1 will be a game-changer as it would give the public the option of staying farther away where properties are more affordable.

He said the prices of properties close to the city is simply too high. Not many will be able to afford a landed property in mature suburbs like Bangsar or Petaling Jaya.

“I would not mind staying in Semenyih with the MRT going all the way to Kajang. That is why the take-up rate of properties in regions such as Semenyih, Kundang and Kuang have been excellent.

“The upcoming public transport services and highways will enhance the connectivity of these regions,” he explained.

Other main factors of consideration while choosing a property included security, public transportation, proximity to workplace, lifestyle amenities and educational facilities.

“The property market is currently at rock bottom. If the ringgit stabilises and oil prices recover, the market should not plummet any further,” said Shanker.

“We foresee 2017 to be a stagnant year and expect confidence to return from 2018 and beyond,” he added.

According to a different survey by Propwall.my on the effects of Budget 2017 on property market, most respondents also said the budget offered little goodies to the property market, signalling more could be done by the government to address the issue of housing affordability.

Respondents’ profile
The survey solicited responses from an even mix of first-time homebuyers, home upgraders and investors. The majority of the respondents had a gross household monthly income of RM3,751 to RM7,500.

Stay tuned to find out more about the profile of prospective homebuyers.

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Read more: Property market this year


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