Location was, is still and will forever be the main criteria to consider in the decision-making process of buying a property be it for own stay or investment purposes.

In today’s era, location does not only confine to close proximity to town/city or workplace but varies on other criteria such as presence of public transportation network such as the LRT and MRT, the presence of schools and educational institutions and healthcare facilities, areas with high appreciation in value and rental yield, a safe neighbourhood free from crime, and potential future developments in the area that will benefit and/or affect the area.

In addition to location, here are several other factors to look at when buying a property:

  • Affordability – Price and Cost of Borrowing

Property market and values were on a rising trend since 2010 and prices were going beyond the level of income affordability until affordability became a concern for both policy-makers and purchasers.

The current soft market and the tight financing regime on house purchase imposed by Bank Negara Malaysia has led to the softening of the market and to some extent overhang. Developers are providing discounts and freebies on sale prices to attract purchasers.

This predominantly led to developers building smaller high-rise residential units in order to lower selling prices. So, in brief, affordability and access to end-financing form a main criterion in purchasing homes.  

  • Health of the property market and market sentiments

An effective demand for housing is usually dampened by poor market sentiments. House purchasers would delay or postpone their acquisition of properties waiting for recovery and improved sentiments. Financial institutions generally tend to apply more caution on financing house purchase when the market is flat in order to reduce the possibility of loan going bad. 

  • Development design and concept

There is a growing trend among homeowners to live within a green environment. Many developers are seen to be focusing on incorporating green space element/concept into their development, be it a high-rise or landed scheme. Such landed projects include EcoForest @ Semenyih, Gamuda Gardens @ Sungai Buloh and Desa ParkCity @ Kepong whilst high-rise developments include LakePark Residence @ Selayang.

  • Size and layout

Homeowners usually prefer homes with larger and spacious units to accommodate their family and to live a comfortable life. However, young working adults prefer smaller units for affordability reasons. A proper layout in keeping with the changing trends and preference is a criterion which is very much seen in new developments especially condo living.

In recent times, we have also seen residential units with dual key concept in newer developments. These homes are popular with investors and owner-occupiers in addition to offering flexibility for an extended family living.

  • Convenient Facilities and Amenities

Young working adults prefer facilities and amenities in close proximity such as entertainment, F&B, sports and other supporting amenities. This is evidenced by a number of integrated developments mushrooming providing facilities such as retail malls providing entertainment and food and beverage (F&B) outlets, sports facilities such as courts/stadiums, indoor and outdoor gymnasiums, infinity pools and proper accessibility.

About the Author: Datuk Siders Sittampalam is the Chairman of Current Affairs Sub-Committee, Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants in the Private Sector Malaysia (PEPS).