House price in­dex con­tin­ues to rise de­spite cool­ing mea­sures im­posed by govt to curb spec­u­la­tion

New Straits Times - - Business - FRAN­CIS DASS KUALA LUMPUR bt@me­di­aprima.com.my

MALAYSIA’S do­mes­tic house price in­dex con­tin­ues to grow al­beit at a more mod­er­ate rate, de­spite a slew of cool­ing mea­sures in­tro­duced by the gov­ern­ment to curb spec­u­la­tion in prop­erty prices.

Global prop­erty con­sul­tancy Knight Frank, in launch­ing its Global House Price In­dex for the fourth quar­ter of last year, noted that the over­all pic­ture of the in­dus­try was one of sta­ble or ris­ing prices, de­spite the global land­scape of po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic un­cer­tainty.

Knight Frank Malaysia ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of re­search and con­sul­tancy Judy Ong Mei Chen said the house price in­dex in Malaysia con­tin­ued to grow as the coun­try was an at­trac­tive in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion.

“Malaysia’s house price in­dex con­tin­ues to grow, but the pace has slowed down be­cause of the slew of cool­ing mea­sures in­tro­duced to curb spec­u­la­tion in the prop­erty sec­tor.

“How­ever, Malaysia still re­mains an at­trac­tive in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion in the re­gion with its sta­ble prop­erty mar­ket and rel­a­tive lower en­try prices that con­tinue to of­fer rea­son­able re­turns,” said Ong.

Knight Frank said the in­dex mon­i­tored and com­pared the per­for­mance of main­stream res­i­den­tial mar­kets in 55 coun­tries across the world, 11 of which are from the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion.

The con­sul­tancy said glob­ally, the in­dex grew six per cent last year, up from 5.3 per cent in the pre­vi­ous quar­ter and 4.1 per cent in 2015.

“It is the high­est an­nual rate recorded since the first quar­ter of 2014,” it added.

Knight Frank Asia-Pa­cific head of re­search Ni­cholas Holt said New Zealand was the strong­est per­form­ing mar­ket in the Asi­aPa­cific re­gion, de­spite the coun­try see­ing price growth mod­er­at­ing af­ter a num­ber of quar­ters of up­wards mo­men­tum.

“How­ever, with the mar­ket still suf­fer­ing from sup­ply short­ages, we be­lieve over­all growth will re­main pos­i­tive through­out the year,” he said.

“In Asia, the most no­table mar­ket was Sin­ga­pore, where the sur­prise slight eas­ing of cer­tain cool­ing mea­sures is likely to spur some ad­di­tional in­ter­est in the mar­ket.

“Still sit­ting close to the bot­tom of the chart, many buy­ers in Sin­ga­pore are still con­strained by the Ad­di­tional Buyer’s Stamp Duty and lend­ing re­stric­tions,” Holt added.

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