PHOTO - Shaun Di Gregorio, CEO of the iProperty Group.
A cross-market survey called the iProperty.com Asia Property Market Sentiment Report 2012 shows that 59.5 percent of Malaysians consider that the local property market is performing well despite the threat of a global recession.
The online property firm iProperty Group's chief executive officer, Shaun Di Gregorio, said, during the launch of the study on 22 February 2012: "The results show that 62.3 percent of survey respondents were keen on purchasing property in the next six to 12 months, with 71.3 percent stating that they had a budget under RM500,000 [US$165,810]."
"Interestingly as well, 28 percent of these respondents wished to purchase property as investment for resale, more than in other survey respondents in the other regions," said Di Gregorio.
He said several factors such as low mortgage rates, financing of up to 100 percent, stamp duty exemptions, long repayment periods, up to 30 years, or until age 75, eased homeownership in Malaysia.
"This first cross-market online property survey conducted by the iProperty Group also revealed consumers motivations, intentions and preferences in acquiring property in Asia," said Di Gregorio. "The findings showed that while landed property was the most popular type of property, only a slim majority (54.4 percent) of respondents occupied landed property while 41.5 percent of those surveyed occupied private condominiums or service apartments."
"The survey showed that participants overwhelmingly considered price and location to be the two most important factors they take into account when purchasing a property, while political/economic climate and recommendations [from friends, family and property agents] were the least important," he said.
A total of 3,459 people responded to the online survey on iproperty.com.my from 5 December 2011 to 19 January 2012. The findings revealed that 35.7 percent considered themselves property buyers, while 26.2 percent identified themselves as property owners.
Low barriers to property ownership
"The low barriers to property ownership and the healthy property price growth in the country makes Malaysia an attractive country for not just locals but also foreigners to invest in," said Di Gregorio. "The most important issue for concern in the Malaysian property market was that of rising house prices. However, a significant number of people surveyed also expressed high concern about home financing policies and interest rates, as well as errant developers and building quality."
He said that with the recent announcement of the Budget 2012, Bank Negara Malaysia imposed a Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio of 70 percent for people buying a third property (or more) starting this year, to which 60.3 percent of people surveyed expected that this measure will moderate speculative activity in the market. "In response to the Real Property Gains Tax, which has been increased to 10 percent for the first two years, five percent in the third through the fifth year of disposal, respondents were divided on its effect: 47.7 percent expected that it will discourage speculation."
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