High vacancy rates in property market worrying, says Yamani

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RISM president Datuk Dr Azhari Mohamed, RISM vice-president Aziah Mohd Yusoff and chair of the PS Division, Deputy Finance Minister Yamani Hafez Musa and BOVAEP president Datuk Azmi Abdul Latif (Left to right)

RISM president Datuk Dr Azhari Mohamed, RISM vice-president Aziah Mohd Yusoff and chair of the PS Division, Deputy Finance Minister Yamani Hafez Musa and BOVAEP president Datuk Azmi Abdul Latif (Left to right)

KUALA LUMPUR: The high vacancy rates and low rental returns experienced within the property market continues to plaque property owners.

Deputy Finance Minister Yamani Hafez Musa said this was worrying despite the recent recovery of the property market.

While the GDP growth for the fourth quarter of 2021 was at 3.6%, with all sectors of the economy showing improvement in the last quarter, the new supply of purpose-built office buildings has not helped improve matters.

Findings from the National Property Information Centre (Napic) revealed that vacancy rates of purpose-built office buildings in Malaysia worsened to 70.8% in Q3 2021.

“These rates of vacancy differ from location, age and level of maintenance of the buildings; it is essential to identify the five underlying problems associated with the problems of vacancy be it structural, locational or simply a response to a change in user’s demand,” Yamani said at the 30th National Real Estate Convention (NREC).

Moreover, the overhang issue of unsold property is another factor which will likely continue to plaque the property sector. As at 3Q 2021, 30,358 units worth RM19.8bil remained unsold in Malaysia. The mismatch between demand and supply is hindering the revival of the property market.

Echoing Yamani’s concerns, Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (RISM) president Datuk Dr Azhari Mohamed said change is needed.

“What we are saying is that the profession needs to change, adopt and embrace the new technologies and reset its strategies and course of actions to buffer the impact of the pandemic,” he said.

Yamani said property stakeholders and authorities should work together to mitigate property bubbles and a possible housing affordability crisis.

“It is also hoped that the policymakers, owners, developers are able to learn from successful projects locally and overseas so as to enhance the spatial usage of properties in full understanding of the mechanism of demands and avoid supply-driven economy that would lead to eventual wastage,” he said.

RISM members have contributed to the economic growth of Malaysia, in particular the development and management of our built environment, Yamani said, expressing the hope that the institution would continue to play a key role in supporting efficient land, property markets and the construction industry, as well as effective natural resource and environmental management.

“As we live with the pandemic era, these professionals have strived to create sustainable environment for live, work and play,” he said.


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