The pandemic and the Movement Control Order (MCO) has quite literally put a damper on a lot of things. Across the board, lifestyles, businesses, and industries have been impacted. Despite the uncertain outlook, some segments have nevertheless persevered largely due to incentives as well as digitalisation.
The real estate or property market is one segment, which can deliver optimal returns for buyers and investors. One just needs to take the time to do the research to uncover sufficient market knowledge in order to capitalise on what’s available right now.
The current incentives put into play by the Government such as the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC), My First Home Scheme (SRP) and Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) exemption are helping to fuel the interest in properties. As such many property experts opine that property transactions will surge next year.
At the recent 2021 Malaysian Housing and Property Summit, data presented revealed that during the first full MCO initiated from 18 March to 3 May 2020, the market recorded over 72,000 transactions amounting to RM28.5 billion. However, the second quarter saw a significant drop of just over 40%.
Following the continued MCO this year, this downward trend has continued. The first quarter of this year saw just over 52,000 residentials sold, versus just over 60,0000 units recorded in December 2020. The reason for this is undoubtedly due to continued restrictive measures put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19. Despite of this many are seeing opportunities on the horizon.
Is The Market Set For a Rebound?
Market sentiment at the moment largely predict a bounce back for the property segment. This is owed to a number of factors stemming from the vaccination roll-out as well as the softening of property prices. Adding to that is Bank Negara Malaysia’s Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) cut to a record low of 1.75%, which is a historic low.
All of this coupled with attractive incentives available has made property investment more attainable and enticing for both investors and homeowners. These conducive factors will no doubt help drive the property market’s recovery by as early next year. As such, many now consider 2021 to be an opportune time to capitalise on the market by investing/purchasing real estate.
Although the interest is there and the market right for the picking, the question remains, how do I go about buying a property when I am stuck at home in the middle of the pandemic? For most, a physical viewing of a property is a must, especially within the subsale or secondary market. But as we previously reported, technology has extended an important lifeline for buyers and sellers to overcome this issue.
Through digitalization, many traditional businesses, including the property market, have transformed their operations from a technology standpoint. In a recent webinar ‘Learn How To Close Deal Online During This Lockdown’ on Mudah With Property Agents on Facebook, the panelists presented scenarios of how properties are being sold through the power of the internet.
Mudah.my itself has thousands of listings of properties for sale in both the brand new as well as the secondary marketplace. So finding a property isn’t all that hard, however viewing it itself is the issue. Although it has to be said, for big ticket items such as properties, a viewing in person is often called for.
We agree wholeheartedly because getting a vibe or feel of the place is important. It also pays to see what you’re buying in person. But with many of us stuck at home with numerous restrictions and protocols to follow, its practically impossible.
Fortunately, technology has provided some answers in the form of virtual viewings. By utilising conference Apps such as Zoom and Google Meet, owners, agents, and developers can now show off their property virtually in the digital space. On Mudah, some sellers have also started including YouTube links in their property listing descriptions for a ‘virtual tour’ of sorts.
For buyers who want to secure the property of their dreams, they can also benefit from signing on the proverbial dotted line virtually via an e-form. Property transactions and tenancy agreements can also be signed digitally. Physical signing of the documents can be done soon thereafter courier.
Even the loan application, payment of duties and so forth can be done online without the need of a face-to-face contact. According to a statement released last year by the Association of Bank in Malaysia (ABM), the processing and approving of bank loans are still being carried out during the government-imposed MCO.
Nevertheless despite the ongoing availability, buyers will have to expect delays with their applications and loan processing. This is in light of the service disruptions caused by restricted movement as well as safety protocols.
If your loan is successful, then you may even get the key handed-over by your preferred courier service. All of this proves that despite the lockdown, bagging a home of your dreams is still made possible. The only question remains is when are you going to find it?
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