Analysts: WFH trend may drive demand for bigger houses | Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents

Analysts: WFH trend may drive demand for bigger houses


KUCHING: Rising work-from-home (WFH) culture may drive higher demand for bigger homes, analysts predict, as it has been viewed to be the new normal going forward.

According to the research arm of MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd (MIDF Research), workplace culture changed as Covid-19 pandemic has led to nationwide employees working from home during the Movement Control Order (MCO).

“The new remote work culture is expected to be the new normal going forward,” MIDF Research said.

“This may play a role in future homebuyers’ decision making as homebuyers may upgrade house for bigger spaces and better lifestyle in accommodating to the new WFH culture.

“For instance, employees whom are renting room may consider buying property for bigger working space while small families might upgrade to bigger houses.

“In a nutshell, we think WFH culture may support demand for owner-occupied property especially properties in affordable to mid-range.”

Meanwhile, MIDF Research also projected new property sales outlook to improve gradually in the second half of current year 2020 (2HCY20) due to incentives in Short Term Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana).

The incentives include the reintroduction of Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) for residential properties from RM300,000 to RM2.5 million from June 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021, uplifting the 70 per cent margin of financing limit for the third housing loan onwards for properties valued at RM600,000 and above during the HOC period, and Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) exemption from June 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021 for three residential properties per individual.”

These incentives are expected to stimulate buying interest and support new property sales. In fact, MIDF Research opined that property inventory will continue declining in 2020 due to the reintroduction of HOC.

“According to data released by National Property Information Centre (NAPIC), unsold completed residential units in Malaysia eased for four consecutive quarters in the first quarter of 2020 (1Q20) since 2Q19.

“Latest data as of 1Q20 saw that unsold completed residential units eased by 3.2 per cent quarter on quarter and 9.8 per cent year on year to 29,698 units.

“We think that the decline in property inventory were largely due to HOC in 2019 and aggressive efforts of property developers to clear their inventory whereby developers offered discount and attractive package to attract property buyers.

“Going forward, we reckon property inventory to continue decline in 2020 due to reintroduction of HOC.”