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clock 19-11-2017
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Property Glut Highest Level in a Decade, Who's at Fault?

PETALING JAYA: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has responded to reports on the country facing a residential property glut, warning that it is at the highest level in a decade, The Straits Times reported.

According to BNM, the pricing of residential properties at above RM250,000 is the main reason for this oversupply as most Malaysians cannot afford them.

"There were 130,690 unsold units at the end of March this year, with 83% priced at above RM250,000. Also, 61% of the unsold units are high-rise apartments.

"Supply-demand imbalances in the property market have increased since 2015. Unsold residential properties are at a decade high, with the majority of unsold units being in the above RM250,000 price category" BNM said in a statement published on its website.

The issue made the headlines in the past week with Deputy Finance Minister Lee Chee Leong saying that the number of completed residential units which have not been sold rose by 40% to 20,807 units in the first half of 2017 (1H17) compared with the same period last year.

"Condominiums and apartments costing over RM500,000 dominate the unsold homes in Malaysia" he said, adding that the units were worth RM12.26 billion.

Another point highlighted by BNM was that the state with the largest oversupply of residential property was Johor.

"This (glut) situation could worsen if the current supply-demand conditions persist. Within the country, Johor is poised to have the largest property market imbalances (highest number of unsold residential properties and potentially the largest excess supply of retail space).

"As such, it is timely for all parties to act now to mitigate any potential risks to macroeconomic and financial stability" BNM said.

Meanwhile, BNM had also suggested a single agency to be set up to handle "affordable housing”.

The government has announced "affordable housing” initiatives with the latest being RM2.2 billion to build affordable homes, as announced by Prime Minister Najib Razak when tabling Budget 2018 last month.

Such homes are usually priced at RM150,000 and below, and are built by several agencies under both the federal government and various states.

According to ST, Bernama chairman Azman Ujang had suggested in a recent commentary that Malaysia could learn from Singapore's example in its HDB (Housing Development Board), on how a single authority could efficiently handle public housing.

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