Bernama English, 17 August 2023

PETALING JAYA, Aug 17 (Bernama) — The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) Malaysia is optimistic that the property industry will be able to absorb the impact from another hike in the overnight policy rate (OPR).

President Datuk NK Tong opined that the OPR impact would be muted because the benchmark rate has been adjusted to the current 3.0 percent from 1.75 percent previously.

"Hence, another 0.25 percent increase will be a lot less severe than when it came from 1.75 percent," he told reporters at a media briefing here today.

Tong admitted that some dampening effect is expected in the short run, but over the long run, people will realise that real estate is a good hedge against rising inflation.

“So we remain optimistic that the market will be able to absorb any changes in the year,” he added.

On the end-financing loan rejection rate, he said the current condition is "quite bad" although the government has helped in several ways. For  instance, it has introduced the Syarikat Jaminan Kredit Perumahan (SJKP) to help those with inconsistent salaries to get government guarantee for their loans.

He said developers are currently cross-subsidising affordable housing.

“Perhaps, financial institutions can be encouraged to take part in the cross-subsidy model, or set up a special fund or quota to finance affordable housing loans at a lower interest rate," he said.

According to its recent property industry survey participated by 148 Rehda members, 62 percent of launches within the period under review were priced RM700,000 and below. Respondents have a mostly-neutral outlook for the next 12 months, particularly for 2H 2023.

The survey also showed that 14,392 housing units were launched in the 1H 2023, a 50 percent rise versus the same period a year ago. More than half of the units launched were apartments and condominiums.



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