Forget about housing prices falling this year. Top property developers predict that the market in 2013 will remain resilient even though Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) tightening of housing loan rules imposed on Jan 1, 2012 has made it tougher to secure loans, plus the case that the world economy woes are far from over.
Besides residential, the commercial and shophouses segments are also experiencing strong take-up rates. Commercial properties are experiencing steep capital gain. Even the transaction prices for development land reached a record high in 2012, but newly introduced guidelines have hampered the planning and developing process.
At a time when the global economic situation was still uncertain, the Malaysian property market saw a healthy growth with investors coming back towards the end of 2012. The Economic Transformation Programme and projects such as the MRT and LRT, which are part of the plans to become high income nation by 2020, would boost the economy and the property market. It would seem that Penang property market will continue to remain strong with no sign of weakening mainly due to scarcity of land and fast developing pace.
In my opinion, the residential property transactions are likely to increase as many first time house buyers are expected to utilize the 50% stamp duty exemption for residential properties below RM400,000 as announced in Budget 2013. The hike in RPGT rates implemented on Jan 1, 2013 is too small to cause any significant determent among speculators.
However, the outlook for the property market in 2013 will much depend on the upcoming 13th general election. We also need to look at what will happen in the Eurozone and the economy of US and China. I look forward to an exciting year in 2013.