BNM re­port: Un­sold houses at decade-high in 2017

New Straits Times - - BUSINESS / NEWS -

KUALA LUMPUR: Un­sold res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties in Malaysia rose to the high­est in a decade last year as lofty prices and a lack of af­ford­able hous­ing damp­ened pur­chases, said Bank Ne­gara Malaysia.

The cen­tral bank said in a re­port yes­ter­day that a sup­ply-de­mand mis­match and slower in­come growth had led to a hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity is­sue in Malaysia.

The acute sup­ply-de­mand mis­match brought the level of to­tal un­sold res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties to a decade-high 146,497 units as of the sec­ond quar­ter of last year, an in­crease from 130,690 units in the first quar­ter, said the re­port.

Dur­ing the sec­ond quar­ter of last year, al­most 82 per cent of un­sold units were priced above RM250,000, it added.

House prices have risen more quickly than salaries in Malaysia, es­pe­cially dur­ing 2012-2014 when prices grew 26.5 per cent, more than double the 12.4 per cent in­crease in house­hold in­come lev­els.

Bank Ne­gara said from 2007 to 2016, house prices grew 9.8 per cent while house­hold in­come rose 8.3 per cent.

The re­port noted that new hous­ing sup­ply had been skewed to­wards the higher-end prop­erty seg­ment since 2012.

That, cou­pled with poorer fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy among a ma­jor­ity of Malaysian house­holds, and a cul­tural pref­er­ence to­wards home-own­er­ship in­stead of rent­ing, con­trib­uted to the high de­mand for house pur­chases, said the re­port.

Un­sold res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties in Malaysia rose to 146,497 units as of the sec­ond quar­ter of last year.

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