Rahim & Co International Bhd, an international property investment consultant, plans to widen its presence in the overseas market by making forays into the ASEAN and Asia-Pacific markets.
Its Executive Chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman said the firm was currently looking at Vietnam, Cambodia, China and Hong Kong as their next investment destinations due to their huge population and massive demand for properties.
"Of course, going overseas is not cheap. To open an office in Vietnam probably requires us to spend about RM500,000, while to expand into Hong Kong and Singapore, we may need about US$1 million each.
"All these have got to be taken into consideration. If possible, we want to look for partners (in these countries)" he told Bernama recently.
Abdul Rahim said Rahim & Co planned to open at least two or three new branches overseas in the next five years. He expressed optimism that the company would fare well in these countries due to its good track record in the local and overseas markets.
"My logic is if we can be successful here, why can't we achieve similar success in the international market. We have a very well structured company, we are very professional in our work, and we don't see why we cannot be successful with a larger (international) market.
"Vietnam (for example), has 70 million people, (more than) twice the population of our country. So, the demand for real estate business and real estate professionals is there. And if other European firms can go to Vietnam and become successful there, why can't we?â€ he said.
To date, Rahim & Co has a presence in London, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth which are very popular property investment destinations among Malaysians.
On the local property market, Abdul Rahim said generally, it is very soft with the luxury segment of the residential market facing overbuilding, where demand has not been able to keep pace with supply.
"However, for city centres like Kuala Lumpur, properties fetching below RM2 million are still in demand and developers find it not so tough to sell them. Our problem is affordable homes and I'm very happy to see PR1MA is doing its best at the moment" he said.
The government should consider implementing the rent-first scheme, especially for fresh graduates and newlyweds, to help them own houses, he said, adding that over time, they could change the status from tenants to buyers as they get stable salaries or become financially stable.