The proportion of residential properties launched in the price range of RM500,000 and below experienced a jump to 65 per cent of total launches in the first half of this year (H1 2018) compared with 52 per cent in the second half of 2017, according to a Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association Malaysia (REHDA) survey.
President Datuk Soam Heng Choon said REHDA Property Industry Survey H1 2018, which saw the participation of 152 REHDA members from across the peninsula, also found there was a 12 per cent contraction in the overall number of residential units launched during the period under review.
Nonetheless, sales performance grew by 6.0 per cent, with 6,764 units being recorded sold, he said during the media briefing on the survey's results here today.
Two- and three-storey terrace houses took the lead with 2,858 units sold, mostly located in Sepang and Shah Alam, followed by apartments/condominiums (2,047 units) located mostly in Cheras and Segambut.
The survey found that for the majority of the states, the most launched selling prices were in the range of RM100,001-RM500,000 with the exception of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor (RM500,001-RM700,000).
Soam said the percentage of respondents reported to have affordable housing components in their development increased to 47 per cent compared with 41 per cent in the second half of 2017 and 37 per cent in H1 2017.
"Top three suggestions from the respondents to encourage provision of affordable housing were reduction of development charges, lower land conversion premium and exemption of capital contribution," he said.
However, the percentage of respondents with unsold units increased to 75 per cent from 66 per cent in the second half of 2017, the majority of which having up to 30 per cent unsold stock.
Most of the unsold units appeared to be equally distributed within the price ranges of RM250,001-RM500,000 (mostly for Kuantan and Alor Setar areas), RM500,001-RM700,000 (mostly Johor Bahru and Shah Alam) and RM700,001-RM1 million (mostly Johor Bahru and Puchong).
"End-financing and unreleased Bumiputera units remained the two major issues for unsold units. Respondents facing end-financing problems increased to 89 per cent in H1 2018 and 39 per cent of the loan rejections were for properties priced RM500,000 and below.
"Contributing factors to the financing issue include lower margin of financing offered, ineligibility due to buyers' income and adverse credit history," he added.
On the outlook, Soam said nearly half of the respondents planned to launch in the second half of this year, and the 15,852 units to be launched would comprise 8,991 strata units, 6,433 landed units and 428 commercial units.
However, he said, two-thirds of the respondents expected their sales performance to be 50 per cent and below.
"The majority of the respondents were neutral towards the economic and business outlook and the property industry outlook this year. However, respondents are optimistic of the market in 2019," he added. - Bernama