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Malaysia Housing Affordability Worsen

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KUALA LUMPUR – Housing affordability in Malaysia has worsened over the last five years, based on the ratio of average terraced home price to average annual household income, according to Rahim & Co Chartered Surveyors Sdn Bhd.

“The ratio increased from 3.4 in 2009 to 3.6 in 2012 and 2014, showing that an average terraced house would cost an average household or family in Malaysia, 3.6 times its annual gross income,” said Rahim & Co Research Sdn Bhd director Sulaiman Akhmady Mohd Saheh here, recently.

In 2014, the least affordable terraced home in the country was located in Sabah with ratio of 6.2 times, followed by Pulau Pinang (5.6 times), Kuala Lumpur (5.6 times) and Sarawak (4.4 times).

Although housing affordability is debated in every property forum, Rahim & Co executive chairman Tan Sri Datuk Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman could still see encouraging sales from newly launched projects in certain locations, particularly in established corridors.

“Despite the lower crude oil price and currency, economists and researchers are forecasting 2015′s gross domestic product (GDP) growth to be in the region of five percent to 5.5 percent, which in turn would fuel sustained demand, especially for mainstream residential properties,” he said.

Overall, the firm expects the country’s property market, which has rebounded in 2014 following a slowdown during the previous year, to be stable with signs of slow but steady growth throughout 2015.

Property prices are expected to increase, albeit at a slower pace, despite the rising living costs and various cooling measures.

Specifically, property prices are expected to increase between seven and 10 percent compared to the previous years’ double digit growth. – PropertyGuru

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