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Invest in your first property before the market rises

Published: Monday, 04 October 2021

Purchase a home now, because prices are expected to climb next year as the economy grows and construction costs rise.

Kashif Ansari, co-founder and group chief executive officer of Juwai IQI, said that with the country's advancements, this was a good moment to buy real estate.

"With lower interest rates, developer incentives, and the ongoing Home Ownership Campaign (HOC), this is perhaps the best time to purchase in several years. The HOC has already been extended twice and may be discontinued after December," he said.

Kashif also said that when the economy grows next year, purchasers would face greater competition, while construction expenses will rise, implying further price increases.

He said for those looking to buy a property in Penang, now was still a good time to get one because the housing market was projected to recover next year.

The Malaysian market recovered from a difficult 2020 in the first half of 2021, with a 32 per cent increase in transaction value.

The recovery in volume was even stronger in Penang, with a 41.3 percent increase in transaction value year over year.

"The property market in Penang struggled with the Movement Control Order in 2020 more than in 2021. When the lockdown was first implemented, showrooms were not allowed to operate, and activity slowed dramatically. Sales started picking up with the adaptation of online presentations and virtual showrooms," Kashif said.

Except for Johor, Kashif believes that residential real estate in Penang will rebound faster in 2022 than in any other part of Malaysia.

He anticipates the borders to be fully reopened by the second quarter of 2022, with international visitor numbers returning to pre-pandemic levels.

"Economic growth, employment, foreign investment, and tourism will recover. These trends will support further recovery in transaction volumes and prices," he said.

Although Penang is one of Malaysia's smaller states, it is the most developed and has a strong worldwide reputation, according to Kashif.

The current Covid-19 pandemic, he claims, has prompted consumers to postpone their purchases, but Penang is one of the best-positioned states for post-pandemic recovery.

"The pandemic is an external shock, and the subsequent drop in transactions and prices does not reflect any inherent weakness in the market. With the support of government initiatives and positive economic trends, the property market will recover along with the economy," he said.

Luxury condominium rates in Penang, according to Kashif, are lower than in competing cities such as Bangkok and Jakarta

The cost of living in Singapore is considerably higher. Comparable homes there can cost up to five times as much, he said.

In terms of foreign buying, Kashif believes it would take time for the market to regain its full confidence.

"Penang's high-tech manufacturing and distinctive tourism advantages make it attractive for second homes, retirement, and we expect foreign buying to resume at some point," he said.

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