All-time high of 25,000 residential properties still unsold

The overall Malaysian property sector saw a fall in the number and value of property transactions in 2017.

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 24,738 completed residential units were left unsold last year – the highest ever recorded.

The Valuation and Property Services Department said 2017 saw a 67.2% year-on-year (y-o-y) increase compared with completed and unsold residential properties in 2016.

At the same time, the value of these overhang units jumped 82.8% y-o-y to RM15.64 billion in 2017.

The department defines overhang as unsold completed units that have been in the market for more than nine months after launch.

According to a report in the Edge Financial Daily, the department has launched the Unsold Property Enquiry System Malaysia (UPESM) digital platform to provide information on unsold units’ locations.

“Users can use the search function on UPESM and find out the number of unsold units by state, local council and type of property.

“With the system, property developers and the government will be able to leverage on the information provided to make informed decisions on future projects or policies,” department director-general Nordin Daharom was quoted as telling a press conference after the launch of the 2017 Property Market Report.

Nordin noted that unsold units under construction fell 3.4% to 61,882 units in 2017.

The overall Malaysian property sector saw a fall in the number and value of property transactions in 2017. Y-o-y, the number of transactions fell 2.7% to 311,824, while the total value of transactions declined 3.8% to RM139.84 billion last year.

The Edge Financial Daily report said residential properties remained the driver of the local market, accounting for 62.4% of the market as at end-2017. The residential segment saw a 4.1% decline in the number of transactions while the value of transactions increased 4.4% to RM68.47 billion.

Nordin said demand was largely focused on properties costing RM200,000 and below, accounting for about 45% of residential market volume.

House prices continued to see a steady increase, with the Malaysian House Price Index up 6.5% y-o-y to 187.4 points, led by Selangor and Kuala Lumpur where prices grew 7.6% and 7.3% respectively.

Nordin said the property sector was starting to see a recovery as new launches by developers had increased 47% y-o-y to 77,570 units, with 32.6% of units sold.

Kuala Lumpur saw the most launches with 22,000 units, followed by Selangor (13,522 units) and Johor (7,926 units). Most of these launches comprise two- or three-storey terrace houses priced between RM500,000 and RM1 million, the Edge Financial Daily reported.

Meanwhile, the commercial property segment continued to decline in 2017, with the volume of transactions falling 6.7% y-o-y to 22,162 units, while the value fell 29.2% y-o-y to RM25.44 billion.

“The retail market is still a bit challenging due to changing shopping trends, where consumers are no longer into traditional shopping.

“So retailers have to encompass digital shopping trends into their way of doing business,” the Edge Financial Daily quoted Nordin as saying.