The Malaysian real estate market is currently weak, but the “future is still promising”

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Property Report Congress Malaysia 2016 was a huge success, with attendees varying from top industry leaders to property experts. Many vital topics related to properties were discussed and analysed by the top property leaders, giving insights as to what to expect and where the market is heading to.

The event was held at the InterContinental Kuala Lumpur on 11 August, right before the annual gala dinner of the prestigious South East Asia Property Awards (Malaysia) 2016, which focused on giving recognition to the top contenders of the property industry.

There were many topics discussed during the event, including the state of the current property market, as well as the vitality of creating consumer-centric content.

‘The current state of the Malaysian property market’

The first talk was conducted by Prem Kumar, executive director of Jones Lang Wootton and head judge of the South East Asia Property Awards (Malaysia) 2016.

According to his analysis, the property market was facing a downturn prior to 2013, and subsequently went through a consolidation period in the year 2014. Now, the market is weak, but the future is still promising.

The property market in Klang Valley, Kuala Lumpur, Southern Johor and Penang are still preferred by many, while places such as Negeri Sembilan, Malacca, Kota Kinabalu and the rest of Johor are still in the considerable list. Places not mentioned here performed relatively poorly.

In terms of residential properties, high-end and mid-range houses are going through a consolidation period, meanwhile, high-end condominiums are under pressure at the moment.

As for the commercial properties, offices are undergoing a consolidation period; retail is showing a mixed performance; shop offices are quite stable; meanwhile, hotel approvals are frozen in Kuala Lumpur.

More: Who is Prem Kumar?

“The property market appears to be very much cushioned from an overall perspective. Meanwhile, the overall resilience of the market is greatly dependent on financial liquidity, hence, market cooling is certainly an important tool and should not be viewed as a market dampener,” concluded Prem.

‘Understanding Malaysian property consumer demand’

The next talk was conducted by Sheldon Fernandez, country manager of PropertyGuru Malaysia, the official property portal of the event.

According to PropertyGuru’s Malaysia Property Market Sentiment Survey Report 2016, buyers are dissatisfied with the current property market. Yet, there is also a strong sentiment to purchase properties as well.

Meanwhile, among the challenges that consumers are facing include tighter lending rules by banks, property prices rising faster compared to the affordability rate, assessing the suitability of a location, low price transparency and awareness on the future developments of a particular area.

So at this difficult time, what consumers actually need is more knowledge on the property market – what to do and how. Researching and learning about the trends of the market, types of properties that are performing well and such will actually help consumers make good property investments.

More: 4 things to know about the current state of Malaysian real estate

“As a platform which connects consumers to the market, PropertyGuru is well aware of the customers’ needs. Thus, we offer unbiased property reviews and drone videos to help the customers make a sound property decision,” added Sheldon.

Finding the content marketing sweet spot’

The third speaker of the day was Ian Paynton, content marketing strategist and founder of According to him, content marketing is currently one of the most well-received marketing strategies.

“When businesses and brands think like publishers to produce and distribute original content that attracts, grows and nurtures loyal audiences, it helps them to tackle any business objectives,” added Paynton.

The type of contents produced for consumers plays a big role in shaping consumer’s loyalty. It was mentioned that content that only focuses on promoting the brand rather than providing benefits to the readers should be avoided, as such articles typically perform poorly.

According to him, building a long-term relationship with the consumers is vital and this can be done through effective content marketing strategy.

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Other discussion points included:

‘Living smart: How will smart developments like Cyberjaya shape the industry?’

Smart developments such as Cyberjaya are emerging slowly in Malaysia due to the conveniences and advantages it offers. The need for such developments in Malaysia was discussed and analysed by a group of property leaders who stands from the Savills Malaysia executive chairman Christopher Boyd, Sime Darby Berhad group sustainability Dr Renard Siew, REDTone IOT evangelist and thought leader CEO Dr Mazlan Abbas, Kuala Lumpur Centre of Sustainable Innovations managing director Dr Thomas Tang and Cyberview Sdn Bhd head of Technology Hub Development Division Mahadhir Aziz.

‘How to build a successful resort development’

Resort developments are becoming a trend in Malaysia, which also pose high demands from consumers. This topic was further discussed by DTZ Nawawi Tie Leung Sdn Bhd senior manager Low Han Hoe, Acteam International Ltd general manager David Hill and REI Group of Companies CEO Dr Daniele Gambero.

‘Transit-oriented development, transportation, connectivity and your property’

It is said that the properties that are located near transportation hubs which offer good connectivity perform significantly better than properties that are far from public transport. This topic was discussed by Khalil Adis Consultancy founder Khalil Adis, REI Group of Companies CEO Dr Daniele Gambero, Kuala Lumpur City Hall director of planning development Datuk Hj Sahrom and PNB Developments CEO Salem Kailany.

The real estate star power of Iskandar Malaysia’

Iskandar Malaysia is well known for its strategic location close to Singapore, attracting a huge number of foreign investors yearly. The discussion on this topic was conducted by Medini Iskandar Malaysia CMO Dr Gerard Kho, KGV International Property Development Authority senior vice president Cheah Ping Yean and Infotech Division Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation vice president Norhizam Abdul Khadir.

This original story appeared on on 15 August 2016.