Edited as at 5pm on 25th July 2018. (Added in the IDEAS paper for download at the end of the article) As well as additional comments after reading the paper.
Just a few days ago, I was telling the crowd about the three signs to look out for when it comes to property bubble bursting; continuous property price increase, total unaffordability of all properties and Non-Performing Loans. There’s now a prediction that the property bubble is about to burst and that the government should allow it to happen but be prepared to remedy it to ensure the economy is not badly affected. As per article in FreeMalaysiaToday (click to read full article) The idea that Malaysia’s property market may be bursting soon comes from The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS). IDEAS senior fellow Carmelo Ferlito says that the property bubble which has been building up over the past few years will burst soon and this is due to three main push; spectacular growth of the high-end property segment was ignited by rising profit expectations, growing demand and a supportive credit market. These three elements had generated a bubble which, following the property transaction dynamics, reached its peak between 2012 and 2013.
There has been more reports over the past few years highlighting the glut in supply of office space and high-end residential establishments in certain parts of the country, particularly the Klang Valley. At the same time however, people wants affordable housing. Ferlito presented a n IDEAS policy paper titled “Affordable Housing and Cyclical Fluctuations: The Malaysian Property Market” in which he explored the problem behind the local property market and provided some policy suggestions. He shared, “The focus on the high-end segment was justified by high demand, and it is therefore natural that investment expanded in that sector. However, now that it appears clear that unexploited profit opportunities are disappearing, a capital allocation restructuring appears necessary. The high involvement of government agencies in the affordable housing market risks crowding out private initiatives and preventing the necessary restructuring from taking place.”
He said the government should let the bubble burst instead of keeping prices artificially high, putting at risk the financial solvency of buyers. His suggestion? “Without credit support, the crisis will happen faster and force both capital restructuring and prices to move downwards.” Recommendations to the government is to respond with market-oriented solutions and pay special attention to household financial exposure. In terms of affordable housing market, it has suggested that the downplay its role in the property market and instead encourage the private sector to get involved in the affordable housing market. Besides that, it says that the government should also enhance financial literacy, especially encouraging people to save and rent instead of buying properties. Besides that, the government should also ease regulations to allow foreigners in possession of a regular working visa and who paid taxes “to help the industry in a crucial moment of difficulty”. Full article in FreeMalaysiaToday.