iProperty.com.my has revealed encouraging property-seeking trends among Malaysians despite pandemic.

iProperty.com.my has recently announced the results of its latest consumer survey. The survey aims to understand Malaysians in their property seeking journey during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period and how it has affected them. 

The survey also analyses the purchasing desire of homebuyers before, during and after MCO. The survey was conducted between 11 May – 1 June 2020.

44% of survey respondents were looking to purchase a property before the announcement of MCO

The property portal reveals that 44% of the survey respondents are looking to purchase a property before the announcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO). 

Out of these property seekers, 28% stopped actively looking after the MCO was announced on 16 March 2020. However, more than one third of the property seekers who stopped actively searching (38%) stated that they are either waiting for prices to drop or are still open to good property deals.

The top two factors which influence a property seeker when evaluating an online listing is validation of a property’s valuation (pricing trends for similar properties) and listing content which gives a very clear understanding of the property’s space and layout.

Property seeking interest unaffected by MCO 

According to the survey results, in spite of the unprecedented situation caused by COVID-19, property seeking trends among Malaysians remained encouraging. 

Interestingly, the survey results reveal that 24% of the respondents who were not looking to buy a property before the MCO are now looking to purchase after the MCO announcement. 

A majority of these new entrants are either looking at current market conditions as an opportunity to purchase their first homes, to upgrade their existing homes or to invest in property, while the minority mentioned that they are downsizing or moving to more convenient locations.

With these new entrants the percentage of respondents who are actively looking for a property increased to 45% post MCO announcement. On top of this, another 10% of respondents, who are not actively looking for a property post MCO, are open to the right property deals. 

Taking into account this group, the percentage of respondents who are interested to purchase a property after the MCO announcement tops 55%.

Nevertheless, 92% of the people who are actively seeking for a property state that they have a lower readiness to transact (49% are waiting for prices to drop while 43% are still looking but more cautious about making any financial commitments).

90% of property seeking respondents named easy entry options as the top factor 

The survey further reveals that 90% respondents answered that the factors which will help ease their transaction decisions are easy entry options such as zero down payment, developer discounts and subsidised legal costs. 

In addition to easy entry points, the survey also reveals that 81% of respondents are looking for trustworthy and reliable developers/ agents. 

Also, 89% of property seekers are receptive to the idea of virtual viewings. 75% state that it will help them decide whether or not to view a property in person while the remaining 14% says it is enough for them to decide whether to buy/rent a property. 

On the same note, 83% of all respondents want to get updates on good property deals (new properties on promotion, or sub sale properties at good prices), while 54% of respondents are interested in market insights and data, to help them better understand the current state of the property market. 

This positive consumer survey highlights the timeliness of the re-introduction of the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) under the government’s recent Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) package. 

The HOC initiative which features significant stamp duty holidays would help alleviate the financial burden of aspiring home buyers. 

Commenting on the consumer survey, iProperty.com.my General Manager of Marketing and Communications Wong Siew Lai said, “The findings from this consumer survey revealed something very encouraging on Malaysian property seekers purchasing desires despite the unprecedented situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, volume of demand did not change significantly and people are still looking for properties. Property seekers are spending more time researching and evaluating their property options online. 

The market may be much more receptive to property deals and solutions that help them discover those deals, as well as online content that helps them better understand the current market conditions. 

If they discover the right deal, many opportunistic property seekers are willing to invest even beyond their original budgets.”