2019 Q4 RECOVERY FOR SABAH PROPERTY?

Asian Property Review talks to Chew Sang Hai, SHAREDA president (2019-2021) on the Sabah property market.

Q1 2019 has been said to be challenging. How has it turned out so far as we enter 3Q2019

After the 14th general election held on 9th May 2018, Sabah made history in changing to a new government (WARISAN/PAKATAN HARAPAN). It was a challenging year to wait for the new government to announce their new Budget and subsequent new policies for 2019.

In 3Q2019, the international world economy is not foreseen to be favourable. Challenges that affect the real estate market include volatile commodity prices, the Sino-American trade war and stagnant domestic economy. The trade war has caused much anxiety amongst developers as property investors constitute about 70 per cent, while only 30 per cent are actual homebuyers. Whenever investors hit their brakes, real estate transactions would come to an abrupt halt.

Kudos to the new Malaysian government’s initiatives to bring back several stimulus packages in the National Budget 2019. This has boosted the economy in the country by giving stamp duty exemptions in instruments for transfer and loan agreements, discounts by developers, etc. These were applied in the sale of residential properties valued from RM300,001 to RM2.5 million during the National Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) 2019 from 1st January 2019 to 30th June 2019.

HOC 2019 is piloted in collaboration with the housing developers’ associations in Malaysia, such as the Real Estate And Housing Developers’ Association (REHDA), Sabah Housing And Real Estate Developers Association (SHAREDA) and Sarawak Housing And Real Estate Developers’ Association (SHEDA). It aims to revitalise the real estate industry during this subdued period and has been well received by homebuyers.

As at 30 June 2019, HOC 2019 in Sabah has 32 developers registered with them for 42 projects involving 4,062 units totalling RM2.2 billion. Out of this, about RM382 million of 679 units for both landed and strata units were transacted with the sale and purchase agreements signed.

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