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PropertyGuru Launches One-Stop Hub for HOC Projects

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Platform addresses youth home ownership aspirations as well as digital trends, while partnership with developers brings industry players together, towards property recovery.

With property in Malaysia on the recovery curve following the recent surge of COVID-19 cases nationwide, PropertyGuru Malaysia has launched a one-stop platform for home seekers to review properties offered by developers under the national Home Ownership Campaign (HOC).

The initiative is in line with growing home ownership aspirations among younger Malaysians, 47% of whom shared they would not delay property purchases following the Movement Control Order (MCO).

It also caters for growing digital preferences among home seekers, as property portals emerge as the property information source of choice for most (76%) of Malaysians.

In bringing developers, home seekers and agents together, PropertyGuru will showcase a collaboration between key industry players, with the goal of addressing real issues faced by home seekers nationwide with the use of property technology (PropTech) solutions, towards a speedier recovery for property in Malaysia.

Taking home ownership to heart

“Our goal is to address a frequent challenge arising out of digitisation trends, which is information disparity. Malaysians are aware of the benefits of buying a home under the HOC. However, information on exactly what properties and projects are available can be hard to find, or incomplete. It’s out there, but it has yet to be centralised, curated and conveniently packaged,” says Sheldon Fernandez, Country Manager, PropertyGuru Malaysia.

Sheldon Fernandez, Country Manager – Malaysia, PropertyGuru Group
Sheldon Fernandez, Country Manager – Malaysia, PropertyGuru Group

“That’s why we’ve put together the largest collection of HOC discounts with the greatest deals in Malaysia, including more than 110 participating projects from 30 developers. This is the first hub of its kind in the market, and it is proactively updated as we work with developers themselves. We know the home ownership journey can be difficult in these uncertain times, and we’re here to help as much as we can.”

The Home Ownership Campaign itself was reintroduced in the government’s Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA), and runs until 31 May 2021. It offers discounts of 10% or more for selected units in participating projects, along with stamp duty and instrument of transfer exemptions.

Towards a speedier recovery for property

“The HOC and related initiatives are particularly relevant as Malaysians struggle with home ownership in the face of employment and income loss amid the COVID-19 outbreak and a projected recession. These woes have been exacerbated by the recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases nationwide,” says Sheldon.

Despite these challenges, 81% of Malaysians shared they were eager to purchase a home by end-2021, underscoring the resilience of the housing market. Home ownership aspirations were particularly strong among younger home seekers and renters (51%) following months of restricted movement under the MCO.

However, price uncertainty (63%), difficulty in viewing properties (52%) and securing home loans (41%), and inability to obtain sufficient information (29%) were cited among the challenges most frequently faced by home seekers post-COVID-19.

Discounts and exemptions under the HOC, along with a deeply favourable lending environment, have gone some way towards addressing these price and financing concerns. However, accessibility of information about these initiatives, as well as physical viewings, remain challenging overall.

“As Malaysia’s largest property site, as recognised by the Malaysia Book of Records, we saw a market gap, and the opportunity to leverage on our PropTech advantage to consolidate HOC information in one place, accessible 24/7. As a platform, PropertyGuru supports PENJANA while driving the national housing agenda forward,” says Sheldon.

“It also brings developers, banks, home seekers and agents together to solve industry issues with the help of digital tools. It is this type of collaboration that the property market, and the nation, needs as it works towards normalising transaction volumes and values, as was seen in the National Property Information Centre’s H1 2020 data prior to the recent COVID-19 wave.”

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