Di Gregorio said that the 2012 budget also included an improved version of the My First Home Scheme, designed to assist lower-income private-sector workers in obtaining housing loans. "The ceiling price of houses qualifying for this scheme has been increased to RM400,000 [US$132,597]. People answering the survey were far more positive [62.1 percent] than negative [33.3 percent] about whether this measure would help house buyers to acquire their first home."
"In response to how will the Klang Valley's upcoming Mass Rapid Transit project affect its property market, an overwhelming 89.9 percent of survey respondents expected property prices to rise in selected locations as a result of this project," he said.
Singaporeans cashing in on Malaysia
"In light of the economic uncertainties in Europe and the United States, consumers can expect a slowdown in the high-end residential property sub-sector this year as potential buyers are likely to maintain a cautious approach," said Di Gregorio. "Despite this, properties in Malaysia were significantly cheaper in comparison to the other markets in the region and over the next decade, prices will appreciate."
"Malaysians tend to opt for properties that are close to amenities and their work place as it gives them easy accessibility and minimal travel time," he said. "Also, the survey showed that 31.2 percent of these respondents were looking to purchase property that will generate rental income, so location is a key factor as it is a major pull factor in getting tenants."
"Also, 28.2 percent of Malaysian survey respondents highlighted that they were interested in investment for resale, more than participants in Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong," said Di Gregorio, citing that from 1990 to 2005, the Ministry of Housing and Local Government's records showed that 261 projects involving 88,410 houses in Peninsular Malaysia were abandoned. "A total of 58,685 buyers were affected by this problem. Selangor had the most number of abandoned projects, i.e. 63 projects involving 32,987 houses affecting 22,480 buyers."
"In light of this, it wasn't surprising that developer's track record and reputation were one of the other key factors that Malaysians looked into before deciding to purchase a property," he said. "Interestingly, the survey shows that economic and political concerns are not high on the list of concerns for most survey participants, which reflects the general economic health of the Asian region."
"On the interest on the overseas property front, 42.2 percent of Singaporeans showed a higher interest than respondents from Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong, with 40.5 percent choosing Malaysia and 19.4 percent opting for Australia as their most preferred overseas locations," said Di Gregorio. "Singaporeans are cashing in on a market where prices of equivalent properties are significantly cheaper compared to the Singapore market and returns on investment are also high."
Sign up for MIS Asia eNewsletters.