Interest in sub-sale residential properties in four states bounced back in the first half of 2021, rising to 19.2% from -2.5% in the first half of last year.
Using unique visitors and listing data, iProperty revealed that visits outweighed the increase in listing supply for terrace houses, condominiums, service residences and apartments in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang and Johor.
iProperty spokesman Premendran Pathmanathan said the increase could be attributed to property seekers who had moved online in conducting their research, as well as virtual tours and virtual follow-ups with property agents.
“Visitors are genuinely interested in purchasing properties,” he said, adding that this had been verified through reference to the total amount of loan applications from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).
“The trend showing similarity between portal user visits and total loans applied indicates a strong intent to purchase after the research phase,” he said at a virtual presentation today.
He said lower interest rates and the Home Ownership Campaign which had been extended to December had also contributed to the growth in property interest.
According to BNM, the value of home loan applications grew from RM96.4 billion in the first half of 2020 to RM179.4 billion in the first half of this year.
Terraces in suburban areas saw a spike in demand due to the shift to remote working and an interest in bigger houses.
Malaysia has seen three lockdowns imposed since last year, forcing millions of employees to work from home.
According to a study by Randstad Malaysia, 69% of respondents in the country prefer to work remotely, at least until the nationwide vaccination programme has ended.
“People are looking for bigger spaces, further away, at lower costs. You see places like Puncak Alam, Dengkil and Semenyih coming into the limelight.
“In the sense of space, these locations have it,” Premendran said, adding that people are going beyond the suburbs with connectivity to the city centre.
In Selangor, Puncak Alam and Dengkil saw high demand for terrace houses priced between RM500,000 and RM750,000 for 1,500 to 2,000 square feet, while people are looking for more spacious terrace houses of up to 3,000 square feet in Semenyih and Sungai Long.
Affluent areas in Kuala Lumpur remained steady with 8.1% growth in sub-sale demand in the first half this year compared to 0.3% in the same period last year.
The asking prices in affluent areas such as Damansara Heights, Mont Kiara and Desa Parkcity are more likely to be higher. However, property sellers in other parts of the capital city are lowering their asking prices due to the decline in holding power.
Locals are also driving the interest in sub-sale residential properties in Johor, as foreign demand remains low with international borders still closed.
Premendran said at the moment, the asking prices of high-rise homes in all four states have reduced due to a high number of unsold units, and as a means for sellers to attract buyers.
“Generally, the transaction prices are lower than asking prices, about 20%,” he said.