Malaysia property market to see 'further stagnation' in 2019 — Rahim & Co

Sulaiman: The residential segment will take another one to two years [to recover]... the growth in residential transactions is going to be more dependent on the effective income growth of the population. Photo by Sam Fong

Rahim & Co executive chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman is also present at the launch of its 2018/2019 property market research publication here today. Photo by Sam Fong

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 19): Property consultant Rahim & Co expects 2019 to be a year of further stagnation for the property market in Malaysia, before any meaningful recovery can be seen in one to two years' time from now.

At the launch of its 2018/2019 property market research publication here today, Rahim & Co said: "As we enter 2019, we foresee the new year to be a period of further stagnation with continued hope and anticipation of improvements, with the introduction of new policies and incentives aimed at the property market such as the National Housing Policy 2.0 and Property Crowdfunding platform.

"Collectively, the continuation of the wait-and-see sentiment and the persisting struggle of buyers securing housing loans contributed to the market's stagnation and the rising of inventory levels."

As at end of the third quarter of 2018, Malaysia's overhang stood at 43,219 units worth RM29.47 billion, including serviced apartments and small-office home-office (SOHO) units.

Across all states, Johor holds the highest count of overhang units at 13,767 units, followed by Selangor (7,233 units) and Kuala Lumpur (5,114 units).

"The residential segment will take another one to two years [to recover]... the growth in residential transactions is going to be more dependent on the effective income growth of the population.

"In terms of the office market, [recovery] will take a little more than one year simply because of the incoming supply as well as the global economic situation, while growth will continue on for the industrial segment riding the e-commerce wave," its director of research Sulaiman Akhmady Mohd Saheh told reporters at today's launch.

Retail malls are also at risk of oversupply with more new malls soon to enter the market, although Malaysia's overall occupancy rates are holding up above 80% despite the increase in space over the past few years, helped by e-commerce taking businesses to brick and mortar, Rahim & Co said.