Penang properties? From 9,667 units to just 3,909 units per quarter.

According to Michael Geh, the Raine & Horne Malaysia senior partner, the Penang property market in terms of number of transactions has dropped from its peak in Q4 2011 of 9,667 units to just 3,909 units in Q2 of 2015. In actual percentage, this meant that after nearly 4 years, the total transactions has actually dropped nearly 60 percent. I think we can sort of understand that the 9,667 units during its peak was not just due to demand but also due to many investors thinking of quick profits. The fortunate thing is that thus far, the property prices in Penang has not shown a drastic drop. In Q4 2011, the average price was RM234k and by Q22015, this has risen to RM407k. Read about some latest Penang numbers here: Residential Property Market in Penang 2015

Nevertheless, Michael said that when it comes to good prime locations, the high-rise units are selling well. Besides that, the prices of landed residential units are holding their value to the scarcity. Once sold, it’s going to be impossible to buy back in the future. He said that another reason for the drop in transactions numbers would also be due to the stricter loan requirements which affected the approvals. The next catalyst that everyone would be looking for would be the Penang TransportMaster Plan (PTMP). Any area nearby the LRT stations will see its current values staying strong or even increase once people could see that moving around the island is going to be much easier in the future.

Meanwhile, C H Williams Talhar & Wong’s (WTW) Property Market Report 2015 showed that overall there are now more focus on landed residential developments in Seberang Perai due to the availability of lands at a comparatively lower land cost as compared to the island side. The current total supply of landed in Penang, as per the NationalProperty Information Centre is as follows: 141,599 units in total of which 104,804 units (74%) are in Seberang Perai and 36,795 units (26%) in Penang Island. Due to the scarcity, the prices have either stayed the same of increased slightly from last year. It also said the landed properties remain favourite even with more attractive and relatively affordable condominiums which are being launched in the market. In terms of prices, it is not likely to be increasing like the few years before because there are now much more choices coming into the market.

Actually, in terms of new developments, I think the PTMP would be the only major catalyst. This is because the new PTMP includes a plan for a new international airport as well. Without connections and more happenings in mainland, I can safely say that the Penangite islanders would still prefer to stay within the island. Just look at the traffic on the second bridge and you would get my idea. However, I firmly believe that prices cannot keeping up. In fact when I look at some of the condo prices in the island, the prices has either stagnated for past one year or facing downward pressure. Most of the time, this is also due to the current pessimism where wait-and-see is the order of the day. Yes, I believe Penang continue to have good property potential.

written on 8 Dec 2015

Next suggested article: Penang’s increasing population equals long term demand

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