SELANGOR, August 25 — Foreign investors should take advantage of the current lower property value in Malaysia to invest in the country, says Deputy Finance Minister, Datuk Lee Chee Leong.
Although the real estate sector was a little slow at present, he said it remained resilient, based on indications in the first half this year of a rebound and uptrend in 2018.
“In line with the strong economic growth, activities in the housing market have shown some signs of improvement, with the total housing transaction value recording a positive annual growth of 0.9 per cent, for the first time since 2015.
“The housing transaction volume has also improved, recording a smaller contraction of 5.4 per cent in the first quarter this year, as compared to -12.7 per cent in the fourth quarter 2016,” he said in his speech at the ASEAN Real Estate Network Alliance (ARENA) Convention & Exhibition (ACE) 2017 here, today.
Meanwhile, Lee said financing by banks for the purchase of affordable houses remained available as reflected by the loan approval rate of about 72 per cent for houses priced below RM500,000.
“Moving forward, the real estate sector is expected to benefit from higher demand due to stronger growth prospects and stable employment outlook,” he added.
Themed, “making friends and connecting business”, the two and a half day conference is aimed at supporting Malaysian real estate practitioners to look beyond borders and cross sell properties in other markets.
This will also help provide access to alternative markets to address the current economic uncertainties in the local property market.
Organising Chairman and Secretary General of ACE 2017, Soma Sundrum said ARENA is expected to become a powerful regional body that provides its members with a strong networking platform to promote cross border real estate transactions.
“ASEAN is growing tremendously and there are huge economic opportunities for ARENA members. Each ASEAN country, however, has its own individual characteristics and legal framework for property transactions.
“Through programs such as ACE 2017, we can share and better understand each market, especially when its come to best practices,” he added.