High-end property in 'a bit of a glut' — MBSB

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 28): Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) is of the opinion the Malaysian property segment is in “a bit of a glut” — but only in the high-end property segment, echoing sentiment shared by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) recently. 

“I think there is a bit of a glut in the high-end [property segment],” MBSB president Datuk Seri Zaini bin Othman told reporters at the sidelines of a signing ceremony here.

“What BNM is saying, to be more cautious [in that segment], I think is indeed true,” Ahmad Zaini said.

From MBSB’s perspective, Zaini said the institution’s loan portfolio is largely property-related. However, he reiterated that the institution caters more for the medium-priced to affordable houses — a conscious decision taken by MBSB, as reaction to market demand.

For example, MBSB has approved loans under 1Malaysia People’s Housing scheme (PR1MA) worth over RM1 billion in between April 2016 and April 2017.

Ahmad Zaini said MBSB’s property loan approval rates stands at about 55%. 

The property market has been in the limelight recently, amid mixed market sentiment and environmental analysis by analysts, companies and regulators alike, with claims of overpriced properties and low loan approval rates by banks, among others.

The latest hit came with the federal government deciding to freeze development of luxury property that has yet to be approved, after BNM said the supply-demand imbalances in the property market has increased since 2015, with majority of unsold retail units being in the above RM250,000 price category.