KAJANG (April 30): The Malaysian property market has gradually improved over 2018 and is expected to stabilise this year, on the back of increases in volume and value of total transactions at the end of 2018, according to the National Property Information Centre (NAPIC) of the Department of Valuation and Property Services.

Market activity in the first quarter of 2019 has also shown an improvement compared with the same period last year based on the volume and value of property transactions recorded. The value of all types of property transactions increased 5.1% in 1Q 2019 from 1Q2018 to about RM36.9 billion while the volume of transactions had risen by 6.9% in 1Q 2019 from a year ago. 

The preliminary 1Q 2019 figures were collated by NAPIC and was revealed by NAPIC director Badrul Hisham Awang at a press conference after the launch of NAPIC’s 2018 Property Market Report here today. 

The property sector in 2018 recorded 313,710 transactions valued at RM140.33 billion, a marginal increase in volume and value by 0.6% and 0.3% respectively from 2017. Major states like Kuala Lumpur and Johor recorded an increase of 6.8% and 7.8% respectively in market activity. 

A total of 197,385 residential property transactions worth RM68.75 billion were recorded in 2018 which is 1.4% more in volume and 0.4% more in value from the year before. The number of new launches in 2018, however, contracted 14.9% to 66,040 units.
On the other hand, the residential overhang situation persisted in 2018 as the number increased to 32,313 units worth some RM19.86 billion reflecting an increase of 30.6% in volume and 27% in value respectively.

“To soften the overhang issue, the government launched the National Home Ownership Campaign (HOC). After the end of the campaign in June, we can see [the results] in the third quarter of this year,” said Badrul. 

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng who officiated the launch said in his speech that the overhang issue needs to be thoroughly handled and holistic measures need to be in place. 

“Overhang does not necessarily mean oversupply. There are other contributing factors such as mismatch, affordability and cost of living. It is about finding the right location, the right price, right type to cater for the right demand,” said Lim.

Meanwhile, house prices continue to rise. The Malaysian House Price Index (MHPI) stood at 193.3 points in 2018, up 3.1 points compared to 2017.

In the commercial sub-sector, there was a significant increase in market activity with 23,936 transactions worth RM29.51 billion recorded in 2018. This represents a rise of 8% and 16% respectively. 

However, the shopping complex retail sub-sector and the purpose-built office sub-sector recorded a decrease in average occupancy rate to 79.3% (2017: 81.3%) and 82.4% (2017: 83.3%) respectively. 

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