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Big data can help you purchase the right property


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We spoke to Premendran Pathmanathan, GM of Data Services, REA Group Asia to find out more about Big Data and how it can assist you in making the right decision.


(2) In terms of property, what is big data?

To understand this better, let’s take transacted property data as an example. Its volume can be big, but the frequency might not be that high because people are not buying properties every second. However, the variation is not there because it is only one kind of data.

Therefore, transacted data by itself is not big data. In the property industry, combining data sets is considered as big data. For instance, if we combine property data, transacted data, listing data and user behaviour data, then we have big data. Once we have that, we can come up with an analysis.

Let’s take Bangsar as an example; once we have crunched the data, we can tell you

  • The transacted prices
  • The current supply of the secondary market
  • What are people looking at and what property type are they interested in
  • How’s the accessibility in the area
  • How many new projects are coming in, so on and so forth

(3) How about in data?

As for data, in one click we can know:

  • Transaction prices
  • The current supply of listings for sub-sale properties
  • What are people looking at & what’s the incoming supply
  • What sizes are doing well
  • How much are people paying (Median PSF prices)
  • Investment data like capital growth, rental yield & yearly changes in terms of growth

READ: Kuala Lumpur’s 5 best-selling residential projects

(4) So is this for the benefit of the investor or consumer?

I would say this is beneficial for investors, developers and agents. It’s more for the people who are in the business.

(5) Can consumers subscribe to and get all these information?

No, they can’t. Right now it’s only for industry players like developers, agents as well as the banking industry.


(7) Does capital growth and rental yield play in a buyer’s or seller’s mind?

Yes, it does. Homeowners would stay where they want to stay. Theoretically, capital growth will happen because they say property price will always increase. As for rental yield, it doesn’t concern them because they’re staying in the house.

But first home buyers, are very keen on capital growth because their first house is not going to be the house that they stay in for the rest of their life with their family. They would want to eventually upgrade themselves. Therefore, they would want to know the capital growth so they can get some sort of profit when they sell the house.

MORE: Highest Capital Growth: Top 5 Condos & Terraces in 2017

(8) At, what can you give the consumers?

The transacted price which means what is the price you’re buying the property at.

(9) What about the rental yield?

No. it doesn’t have rental yield as only provides data on sold or transacted properties.

(10) So can a consumer find information about capital appreciation?

At the moment there isn’t any growth (capital) and rental information. But, is going to launch the data insights tab into our website. With that information, we are planning to put in parameters like capital growth and market comparison in order to give users market insights which will help them make a decision.

For example, if you’re buying a building for RM700 PSF in Mont Kiara, most people would not know if that’s the market price for that area. But what if we inform you that in Mont Kiara, the median price for a condominium is RM600 PSF. This means you are paying 15% more than the market rate. However, you still need to evaluate the property because it might be at a better area with good facilities like MRT.

So, when we give you the market comparison, you can know which property is a better buy based on the market value. You will also know beforehand if you’re underpaying or overpaying for the property. So we feel this will be extremely helpful for the consumer in making the right purchasing decision.


(12) By looking at, can you predict growth appreciation of a certain area?

I am afraid you are not able to predict growth appreciation. In, you can find big data that will give you the past capital growth but not predictions of the future growth appreciation.

CHECK OUT: Pengerang homes double in value

(13) For first time home buyer, should they have a budget before seeking the help of big data?

Yes. If you have that figure in your mind, it’s going to help you with your whole analysis. Hence, having a price and area in mind will help you fasten the process a lot better.

(14) What advice would you give to an average consumer who’s using

If you want to make a decision on whether to buy or sell, search for the supporting data. Everyone in the industry will know this data and that’s the beauty of it as it is transparent. So if you’re a seller and you feel your property needs to be sold at a higher price, please prepare to pitch it to your buyer as they will also have the same data as you.

If there is nothing special about your property, then you should just sell it for around the median price listed on As for the buyers, please be prepared with all this readily available information before attending a property viewing. This knowledge will provide you with confidence whether you are overpaying or underpaying for a property. This will help speed up your decision-making process as well!

Premendran Pathmanathan

*Written by Rubaa Shunmuganathan and edited by Reena Kaur Bhatt. 

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