Imbalance in real estate market post-pandemic

11 August, 2021

THE Movement Control Order to curb the spread of Covid-19 has turned homes into schools, offices, restaurants and leisure centres.

Nawawi Tie Leung Property Consultants Sdn Bhd ED and regional head of research and consulting Saleha Yusoff said the acceptance of new norms, such as work-from-home and online classes would have several implications on the real estate market.

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She opined the residential market would be driven by local buyers and products should be designed to meet the local buyers’ requirements and affordability level.

“Developers need to offer units with more rooms (not necessarily larger size to keep the price at an affordable level) to ensure family members have their own private space to attend classes or meetings online.

“The features of investment-grade office buildings should be flexible to cater to the changing needs of office tenants,” she told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

With more companies adopting a hybrid working model, space requirement reduced between 20% and 30%, she added.

Saleha said offering a floor plate of between 15,000 sq ft and 20,000 sq ft would be more palatable to meet the lower space requirement. It should comes with an option to have a knock-off panel floor to install a staircase in case there will be a need to expand and take up two floors and connect them internally.

“Besides office, the Covid-19 pandemic has proven that we need to upgrade our healthcare system to an international standard and requirements.

“We expect an international-standard healthcare and wellness centre as a must-have component in projects like Bandar Malaysia, for example, to gain the confidence of buyers/investors, especially the international market,” she added.

She said the master plan of Bandar Malaysia should be flexible and promote economic and sustainable living that can accommodate the new norm post-Covid-19, such as flexibility in work and live arrangement made possible by the excellent transport connectivity.

“As an integrated transport hub, Bandar Malaysia could also offer a platform for comprehensive transport-related services, not only to its population but also to a broader population in Klang Valley.

“As a transit-oriented development, Bandar Malaysia could set a benchmark of a walkable community designed to enhance pedestrian movement beyond the typical 400m radius, say 1,000m, which will promote a healthier lifestyle,” she reckoned.

Juwai IQI group co-founder and CEO Kashif Ansari said the Malaysian property market still holds a lot of value for sophisticated and smart investors.

“We foresee once the vaccination is done, global investors will arrive and the property market boom will become inevitable as Malaysia’s real estate market provides best value for investment in the Asean region due to a mature market, strict regulations, no speculation, geographical significance, educated and young population and a growing economy,” he told TMR.

Transportation consultant YS Chan expects buyers to look inwards with prices overseas, however cheap, would be useless if they could not stay or rent out or be forced to sell at a fraction of what they have paid.

“Investors globally are no longer searching for bargains and investments like before. Those who have invested are trying to cut losses by disposing of their foreign properties. Those who are holding on could be for sentimental reasons or they could afford to do so. But many had their fingers burnt,” he said, blaming it on the travel restrictions in place.

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