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Study found that over half Malaysians are unable to afford a property

The property sector has been in limbo since the Covid-19 pandemic hits the country. However, it appears that the worst has yet to come. A recent study by PropertyGuru has found that over half of Malaysian citizens were unable to afford a home without the government’s assistance.

The study, titled “Consumer Sentiment Study for H2 2022 (CSS H2 2022)“, found that affordability remains a huge issue potential homebuyers face when purchasing property in Malaysia.

It was reported that 51% of the respondents say they are not qualified for government affordable housing schemes, and thus, are not able to purchase property without financial assistance.

Source: Malay Mail

The study also highlights the other issues potential homebuyers faced, such as the increase in overnight policy rate (OPR) that increases the interest charged to homeowners since July, and the increasing inflation with the consumer price index (CPI) rising to an ultimate high of 4.4% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the study found that 73% of the respondents understand the eligibility terms for affordable housing and they will be on the lookout for aid to assist them.

According to the Country Manager of PropertyGuru Malaysia, Sheldon Fernandez, he shared that consumers have a sound awareness of governmental initiatives and eligibility for affordable housing, ongoing issues such as recession, inflation, price hikes, and OPR increases, thus, many choose to wait and see until the overall cost of living has stabilised.

“With the Budget 2023 announcement coming up soon, we are hopeful that there will be allocations that can help spur the property market and aid those who are planning to embark on their homeownership journey. The CSS H2 2022 has also indicated that more than 69% of those surveyed plan to buy a house if the Home Ownership Campaign is revived,” Fernandez said.

On a separate note, the study found that homebuyers today are emphasizing more on environmental issues following the news of flash floods and landslides that have affected multiple areas around the nation within the past year.

It was found that 83% of respondents pointed out that landslides were a primary consideration, while a staggering 92% viewed flooding as the main concern when purchasing a property.

Apart from that, 66% of respondents also expressed that they are willing to pay a higher insurance premium on their property for climate change effects.

“The higher awareness of eco-friendly facilities and features is likely linked to ongoing climate change issues as well. Consumers are now more conscious of current issues and are now making eco-friendly decisions in hopes of making a change,” the report reads.

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