JLL Malaysia Forecasts Steady Growth in Property Subsectors for 2024, Driven by Demand and Market Sentiment

JLL Malaysia has projected a continued positive growth trajectory for specific property subsectors in 2024, following their strong performance in 2023. This forecast was presented by JLL Malaysia managing director Jamie Tan during the JLL Greater Kuala Lumpur Property Market Monitor 4Q2023 press conference.

Derek Yap, a member of JLL Malaysia’s logistics and industrial team, reported robust warehouse absorption in Greater Kuala Lumpur last year, underscored by a significant pre-commitment level from occupiers. “Projects delivered in 2023 witnessed a minimum of 70% pre-let rate, complemented by a robust annual rental growth rate of 7.4%,” Yap noted. He also mentioned that the evolving supply chain dynamics and the adoption of the China Plus One Strategy are major factors driving demand for high-quality logistics space. However, with an anticipated increase in supply, Yap expects a more moderate rental growth for logistic warehouses in the range of 2% to 3%.

Kent Seet from JLL Malaysia’s data center team highlighted the exponential growth in the data center sector, with the current supply standing at approximately 200+ megawatts (MW) and a projected reach of 750MW by 2025. “Furthermore, the capacity could surge to 2,700+ MW by 2027, driven by the increasing prevalence of artificial intelligence (AI) applications,” Seet added. This demand has a cascading effect on advancements in power supply, cooling infrastructure, and specialized hardware.

Quiny Lee, from JLL Malaysia’s office leasing advisory team, noted a surge in office market demand, especially for modern and environmentally sustainable spaces aligned with ESG principles. The fourth quarter of 2023 saw office rental rates grow by 1.3% compared to the previous quarter, reaching RM6.42 psf per month. Lee pointed out the growing preference for high-quality buildings, particularly Grade A premium buildings. Notably, green-certified office buildings have demonstrated superior performance in vacancy rates compared to their non-certified counterparts.

To address the increasing vacancies in older buildings, many are being repurposed or replaced with new constructions featuring high-quality specifications. Tan emphasized the positive trends across all market segments observed in 2023 are likely to persist, driven by stable overnight policy rates (OPR) and economic factors conducive to investment and development.

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