Investor confidence in the Malaysian property market has showed some positive signs as the new government starts to provide more clarity and certainty in its fiscal policies, according to real estate consultancy Knight Frank Malaysia.
Hence, the firm is confident that in 2019, Malaysia's property market is poised to see "some light at the end of the tunnel barring any external shocks such as a global economic slowdown".
In a press statement today following the release of its Real Estate Highlights 2H2018 report, the firm said the property market in Malaysia experienced a pick-up in activities during the second half of 2018 (2H2018).
Several notable commercial investment activities were seen during the period which is a sign of improving macro trend in the property market, it added.
According to Knight Frank Malaysia's associate director of Residential Sales and Leasing Kelvin Yip, Malaysia's residential properties will continue to attract foreign buyers, thanks to the country's liberal policies, reasonable valuations coupled with no extra stamp duties. Yip said that despite the challenging market environment in 2018, market enquiries and activities have increased.
"In 2019, we expect to see more motivated sellers and discerning buyers in the residential market. Various policies announced in Budget 2019 which are designed to aid first-time homebuyers, are also expected to kick-start the housing market moving into 2019 and beyond," he said.
The retail segment remains challenging due to the disruption of technology, according to associate director of Retail Leasing & Consultancy, Rebecca Phan.
"With modern shoppers becoming increasingly tech savvy, malls are now banking on the use of social media to attract more patrons," she said.
Less established and new malls without pre-committed take-up will find it challenging to compete in this diluted market. Therefore, she said rental growth will likely be muted as retailers continue to be spoilt for choice.
The office rental market in 2H2018 experienced no significant change although certain sub-markets experienced a slight decline on occupancy.
The industrial market however, bucked the trend with better performance in 2H2018.
Knight Frank Malaysia executive director of Capital Markets Allan Sim expects to see new large-scale industrial developments taking shape in strategic locations due to robust demand for warehouses.
"We anticipate a higher level of land banking activity among industrial property developers. This is because strong latent demand continues to be present especially for industrial properties with high specifications. Occupiers understand the need to jump onto the Industry 4.0 bandwagon in order to future-proof their businesses. This presents a unique opportunity for developers and investors alike to gain attractive monetary returns by providing end-users with the right products," said Sim.