This article was written by Vigneswar Rajasurian of PropertyAdvisor.my, Malaysia’s most comprehensive source of property data, property analytics and insights.
Despite two iterations of the movement control order (MCO) last year, the volume of residential property transactions in Penang was higher than in 2020 and 2019.
The volume of transactions reduced by 9.2% from 2019 to 2020 but increased by 11% in 2021.
Similarly, median transacted prices in the state steadily declined from RM318,275 in the past five years but rose last year to RM360,0000. This represents a 20% increase from the previous year, despite median transacted prices remaining stagnant at RM300,000 from 2019 to 2020.
Some 47.4% of transactions were by investors – those who own more than one property – with a higher median transacted price of RM415,000. Whether their property purchase was for investment or own-stay is unclear.
Mainland properties continue to be the most transacted in Penang, with each of the state’s popular areas recording positive growth last year in terms of transaction volume and median transacted prices.
Bukit Mertajam remained the most transacted area in the state, and ranks top among first home buyers and investors alike. Median transacted prices have risen in the city by 27% to RM350,000 from RM275,000 in 2020. The volume of transactions also rose by 4.7%.
Butterworth emerged second, followed by Ayer Itam, Jelutong, and Simpang Ampat, respectively. Ayer Itam and Jelutong – the only island locations to appear in the state’s top five transacted areas last year – have regularly appeared in the rankings in the past five years.
Butterworth recorded the most dramatic increase in median transacted prices (35.5%) and volume of transactions (21.2%). Median prices rose from RM310,000 in 2020 to RM420,000 last year.
Of the five areas, Ayer Itam recorded the lowest median transacted price at RM230,000. This represents an increase of 9.5% from the previous year and an 8.3% increase in volume.
Jelutong saw the second-biggest change in the volume of transactions (17.36%) after Butterworth. Median transacted prices rose by 18.6% from RM274,000 to RM325,000.
Simpang Ampat recorded a near-similar increase (22.2%) at RM330,000 from RM270,000 previously. However, the volume of transactions only grew by 6.9%.
As the overall market recovers, it remains to be seen if the volume of transactions in Penang this year will exceed pre-pandemic levels observed in 2019, or whether increasing inflation and rising interest rates will hamper further growth.