Buying a property in 2021: 4 changes to the way we buy houses


The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped almost every aspect of our lives, including property buying. Some of these changes may be temporary, while some are here to stay.

©terovesalainen |123rf

If there’s one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us is that we are more adaptable and resilient than we believe. Starting from the imposed lockdown early last year, we could only watch behind closed doors as our work, our relationships with friends and family, and the way we operate our businesses were impacted. It didn’t take long before this situation challenged us into devising creative ways to continue thriving in the best way we could in all areas of our lives.

This is no different for the property industry. Understanding what is possible during the pandemic, the industry has gone through some major shifts to allow aspiring homeowners to continue their journey to homeownership. This in turn has impacted the process by which a potential house buyer would purchase a home. Below we’ve listed out some of the more major changes.

1. The need for space has become more crucial.

©belchonock |123rf

The pandemic and working-from-home arrangements have raised greater awareness for the need for space at home, especially if you have multiple working adults at home with kids.

Growing young families who need the space and outdoor amenities don’t mind looking for landed properties that may be a little further from the city to have more space for their families. Amenities such as parks and jogging trails that give them and their families the option for a more outdoor lifestyle becomes quite attractive.

Whereas for young families and working professionals who prefer to stay closer to the city centres, high-rise properties are growing in demand for those who need their own space but prefer to stay closer to lifestyle amenities such as better F&B and shopping options (and even online food delivery options!), as well as proximity to public transport. Recognising that more people are working from home in this new normal, some newer developments even have business centres that provide a venue for you to get away and take an important virtual meeting.

2. A greater reliance on online listings.

Sure, online property listings are not a new thing but for people who prefer to trust their own actual eyes when it comes to properties, the lockdown has given them more impetus to seek out online listings for information on properties they are interested in.

iProperty Consumer Survey 2020 has found that 79% of property seekers identified ‘Online Property Portals’ as their preferred source of property information, with ‘Online News Portals’ – the next preferred source – coming at a much lower 47%.

Some developers even offer a one-to-one interactive guided sales experience where their sales executive will lead the customer through their offerings, from enquiries right through to booking without having to physically step into a sales gallery.

3. Preference for virtual, or VR tours instead of physical viewing.

©andreypopov |123rf

While not technically a new thing, in this new normal, VR (virtual reality) has become one of the most important proptech solutions for the industry.  In the same Consumer Survey ran in 2020, 89% of property seekers are receptive to the technology, with 75% of them stating that it helps them decide if they would like to view the property in person.

A full VR tour of a property offers a potential buyer the convenience to view the property without having to be physically present. All that is required is a laptop, desktop or a mobile phone. With the advancement of property technology, aspiring homeowners can experience a 360° immersive virtual tour with almost accurate space perception – it feels as if you’re physically there!

4. The need for an efficient online home financing application process.

Continuing the trend of completing key processes for house buying digitally, online home application processes have become incredibly efficient. Banks are investing into improving their online application system for home financing. Online financial services give potential homebuyers an option that is faster and more convenient.

For example, Maybank Islamic HouzKEY enables buyers to browse and purchase a property completely online, with the whole end-to-end sales process – from enquiries right down to the home financing application and submission of documents – being able to be completed in the comforts of their home. The process is really simple.

HouzKEY Online Application Process

Yes, Maybank Islamic HouzKEY is really that convenient and easy to use. The process of buying the home of your dreams doesn’t have to be complicated at all. Besides the convenience, let’s not forget that Maybank Islamic HouzKEY also offers you these amazing deals below:

On top of this, there is also the ongoing Home Ownership Campaign by the government where you can also enjoy incredible savings. You can take advantage of this by browsing the Maybank Islamic HouzKEY website to find out which properties are covered under HOC. So don’t miss out on this opportunity, potential homeowners – sign up for HouzKEY today!

This article is brought to you by Maybank Islamic Berhad.

Sign up and stay updated
Get the latest property news, home solution tips, interior design ideas and property guides.
By subscribing, you consent to receive direct marketing from Malaysia Sdn Bhd (iProperty), its group of companies and partners. You also accept iProperty’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy including its collection, use, disclosure, processing, storage and handling of your personal information.