Malaysia’s property market, following a year of moderate growth in 2023, is poised to continue on a similar trajectory into 2024. This forecast comes from Rahim & Co International Property Consultants Sdn Bhd during the unveiling of their Property Market Review 2023/2024. The firm’s executive chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman, noted that while the market showed positive growth at a moderate pace in 2023, buyer sentiment remains cautious despite overall improvements.
Abdul Rahim underscored the robust transaction activity in the first nine months of 2023, which recorded one of the highest numbers of transactions countrywide for the same period since the peak in 2011/2012. “This sustained market momentum, surpassing pre-2020 performance, aligns with the post-pandemic recovery,” he stated, expressing a cautiously optimistic outlook for 2024, especially considering various infrastructure projects in the pipeline.
Delving into sector-specific insights, Sulaiman Saheh, Rahim & Co’s director of research, highlighted that while the residential and commercial sectors experienced growth, the industrial sector saw a slight dip in volume but a healthy uptick in value. Key figures reveal that the country logged 293,095 property transactions worth RM142.51 billion in the first three quarters of 2023. Notably, the commercial sector stood out with significant year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in both transaction volume and value.
Looking ahead, Sulaiman anticipates continued momentum from 2022, with landed homes retaining their appeal among buyers seeking affordability and high-rise developments gaining traction due to their appeal to younger buyers and transit-oriented locations. The retail segment, although seeing some movement, remains cautious due to selective absorption and pressures on occupancy and rentals, particularly for older establishments.
The office segment is witnessing a demand shift towards multi-compliant, Grade A buildings, driven by a focus on quality, green certification, advanced communication technology, and ESG considerations. The evolving workplace dynamics, including hybrid and work-from-home arrangements, are expected to maintain the relevance and demand for co-working and flexible spaces.
Addressing the industrial segment, Sulaiman acknowledged its recent popularity, fueled by e-commerce and logistics growth. However, he cautioned against potential oversupply, suggesting a focus on niche industrial developments and built-to-suit properties. With the New Industrial Master Plan 2030, the sector is anticipated to contribute significantly to propelling the industry higher in the global value chain.
Rahim & Co’s CEO of estate agency, Siva Shanker, touched upon the future of older office buildings, suggesting repurposing options such as educational institutions, data centers, retirement villages, and healthcare facilities as viable alternatives to the faltering budget hotel conversions seen during the pandemic.
In summary, Rahim & Co’s Property Market Review 2023/2024 paints a picture of a property market navigating cautiously through 2024, balancing cautious buyer sentiment with sector-specific trends and infrastructural developments, setting the stage for sustainable growth and market adaptation.