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Press Release: Juwai IQI – Rapid Vaccine Campaign Leaves Real Estate Herd Immunity Expectations Behind – 62% of Agents Predict 2022 Herd Immunity

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Press Release: Juwai IQI – Rapid Vaccine Campaign Leaves Real Estate Herd Immunity Expectations Behind – 62% of Agents Predict 2022 Herd Immunity

Kuala Lumpur (30 June 2021) — The Malaysian vaccination campaign has accelerated so quickly that the real estate industry will need to update its expectations about when the country will achieve herd immunity and how soon life will get back to normal. That’s according to a new survey by Kuala Lumpur-headquartered real estate technology group Juwai IQI.

The Juwai IQI survey of real estate agents in May and June found that just 6% believe the country will achieve herd immunity this year, and another 62% of agents believe that will take place in 2022.

Commenting on the survey findings, Juwai IQI Co-Founder and Group CEO Kashif Ansari said:

“The survey results show how quickly the vaccination campaign has accelerated. Just 45 days ago, international supply constraints made it was difficult to obtain the vaccines the country needs. The government has resolved the shortage. The government’s current plan is to vaccinate 80% of the population and achieve herd immunity by December of this year.

“This means that the real estate market may return to rapid growth more quickly than developers and agents currently expect. They will need to adjust their plans for hiring, investment and marketing forward to catch up to the speed with which life is likely to return to normal.

“The Prime Minister has said that the government is spending RM400 million to increase the vaccine supply and obtaining enough doses to protect 130 per cent of the population. The government is accelerating the vaccination effort to enable Malaysians to get back to normal again.

“Malaysia is aggressively ramping up its vaccination efforts so that life can return to normal. There is even a fleet of mobile vaccine trucks to reach people who might otherwise be overlooked.

“At least 1.9 million people, or about 6.2 per cent of the population, have already received both doses of the vaccine. The data also showed that 5 million people, or 15.9 per cent of the population, have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

“As more people get vaccinated, fewer people will get sick and fewer will spread the infection. That will drive the number of new cases down so that the country can reopen and relaxing its restrictions.

“Real estate professionals still have to adjust their expectations to match the reality of the fast- moving vaccination campaign. The government is clear that life should be back to normal by the end of the year.

“In locations such as the Federal Territories, life could be back to normal much sooner than year- end. The government reports that 80% of the population in Putrajaya has already had one or two doses of the vaccine. Once you are fully vaccinated, your chances of getting sick drop dramatically. I’ve seen data that suggests two shots of either the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccines, for example, reduce by more than 90 per cent your chances of having to go to the hospital or of dying from Covid.

“Despite the fast-improving situation, only 6% of agents are optimistic that herd immunity can be achieved this year, in 2021. They haven’t caught up to the fast-paced vaccination campaign. Thirty-four per cent of agents believe herd immunity can be achieved in the first half of 2022, while 28% believe the country can achieve herd immunity in the second half of 2022. The remaining 33% of agents believe the nation can achieve immunity sometime in 2023 or in 2024.

“I am sure agent attitudes will change rapidly as they become more aware of the progress the country is making. They will realize that developers again are ready to build, sellers are ready to sell and buyers are ready to buy — all much sooner than they might have expected a month ago.

Vaccination Offers Best Hopes of Recovery

“The only way things can return to some form of normalcy is for all eligible persons to get inoculated. The vaccine is the only way we can defeat the virus.

“Covid and its variants will probably never completely go away. Still, once a large enough share of the population is vaccinated, it will not be able to spread widely nor cause us to shut down our economy again.

“According to the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Malaysia will hit a 10% national vaccination rate by mid-July this year.

What Is Herd Immunity?

“Herd immunity will drive the number of cases down and allow things to return to normal. We will achieve herd immunity when enough people in the community have protective antibodies against Covid to prevent it from spreading because of vaccination.”

The Survey

Juwai IQI conducted the survey in May and June of 2021, polling 397 real estate agents from across Malaysia.

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