Rising foreign interest in M’sian property

By THE EDGE

A growing internationalisation of the property market is being felt in the country, with interest coming particularly from potential and repeat purchasers in Asia, Australia and Europe, said property consultants.

Regroup Associates Sdn Bhd executive chairman Christopher Boyd said this could be reflected from the recent interest in places such as Langkawi, where beachfront properties may hit the US$2 million (RM6.9 million) mark by year-end. He said purchasers from Hong Kong and Singapore made up the largest number of foreigners taking up residential properties here. Boyd added that keen interest was also seen for the commercial segment.

He said this at a seminar here yesterday on property trends and the market outlook for the Klang Valley.

Boyd said demographics such as the Malaysia’s still-largely youngish population as well as economic growth would sustain the property sector’s growth.

He said Koreans were eclipsing the Arabs as purchasers of residential properties with the Korean business community seeing opportunities here to purchase en bloc for resale in Seoul.

Boyd said the freeze on office buildings in Kuala Lumpur since the Asian financial crisis had led to pent-up demand in the downtown area and growth of more decentralised business precincts in the outer areas of the city as well as the suburbs where good accessibility and public transportation could be found.

“There is minimal supply of office space coming up in the next three years in the downtown area and we see office space being transacted at RM700 and RM800 per square foot by year-end,” Boyd said.

Research Inc (Asia) Sdn Bhd managing director Datin Adila Lim Lay Ying said consumer sentiment was still strong and interest rates were still low and as far as Kuala Lumpur and Selangor were concerned, location with amenities were still the main pull factors.

“As long as the residential segment has sustainable growth, I view it as a positive if it slows down a bit so that no bubble is created,” she said.

Lim said economic growth, demographics and government policies continued to be the main factors fuelling growth in the property sectors of major economic regions such as the Asia-Pacific, Europe and the United States.

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