Despite a generally rising interest rate scenario forecasted for 2023, Ms Evon Heng, Chief Operating Officer of PropNex Malaysia is still calling for continuous improvement in the property sector here in Sabah. Ms Heng remarked, “whilst the present rising interest rate scenario is a deterrent, there are other factors prevailing here in Sabah that raise optimism. The recently passed 2023 state budget in excess of RM5 billion if well implemented can stir growth. Tourism, a strong pillar of the Sabah economy is showing encouraging signs of real recovery with the possible return of visitors from China. Pre-covid, the tourism sector has contributed some RM9 billion to the Sabah GDP.”
Ms Heng who is here in conjunction with the Awards Night and Annual Dinner 2023 of PropNex Sabah Branch shared that sentiment is important in property purchase decisions and on balance for the end users market in the residential sub-sector for example, they are expected to commit to buying in mixed signals situations such as prevailing now.
There is a real need for a roof over their head and there is confidence coming from sources like the political stability of the unity government both at the federal and state levels and the visible sightings of tourists in the streets of Kota Kinabalu. Also Nusantara, Indonesia’s new capital being built in Kalimantan, Borneo is being discussed as an exciting development with spin-off benefits expected for Sabah.
It is encouraging to note there are efforts to secure investors into the property sector here in Sabah despite some quarters having negative reviews of the property market given the prevailing rising interest rate situation. Ms Heng further shared that, “at PropNex Malaysia, given our strong belief in the Sabah economy, our 1,200-strong team based throughout Malaysia and at the group level with offices in the Asean region, will continue promoting select Sabah properties.
We hold to our call that Sabah has healthy growth prospects given the pillars of the economy including oil & gas and oil palm are robust pillars. Growth is from a relatively low base and this is a plus point too. For example, there is an additional revenue of some RM2.45 billion expected in royalties and State Sales Tax (SST) payments from the oil and gas sector. For the Sabah economy with a GDP slightly in excess of RM100 billion, additional revenues in excess of RM2 billion like this do go a long way. We understand there may be more of such payments to come!”
Regarding the latest data available in the first half of 2022, Sabah recorded a total of 5,013 property transactions valued at RM2.73 billion (1H2021: 3,557 transactions worth RM1.94 billion). Both the volume and value of transactions were up by 40.9% and 40.6% respectively. Ms Heng is hence still expecting improved market activity, especially in the residential landed sub-sectors and returning interest in select high-rise developments.
Meanwhile, during her warm and well-received welcoming address at the glitzy Awards Dinner, held at a leading hotel here, Ms Philomena Chai, co-Agency Leader of PropNex Sabah thanked the team and their families announced that sales in 2022 doubled from 2021. The top REN of the Year 2022 was awarded to a jubilant Mr Kenneth Chai.
PropNex Sabah is part of the listed PropNex Singapore network. PropNex Singapore is the largest property agency in Singapore with a staggering 11,667 agents and a current market capitalisation of SGD636 million.