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Yes, we should have a NATIONAL database but for now…..

When it comes to the property market, I really dislike the average numbers that is often quoted by all the media. Seriously, we need to be like Australia where the property prices are always in median. In brief, average means the central point. So, if there were 10 transactions, five at RM1 million and another five at RM200,000 the quoted number would be an average of RM600,000 which actually means nothing. Nobody actually bought at RM600,000. Google gave this as an answer to median. “denoting or relating to a value or quantity lying at the midpoint of a frequency distribution of observed values or quantities, such that there is an equal probability of falling above or below it.” Well, in brief, this is the number which occurred the most within the mid point. For example, if there were 10 transactions, 6 of them was RM600k and 2 was RM200,000 and 2 was RM1 million, then the median price would be RM600k. This actually means something as it reflects the actual number for transactions which has happened the most number of times.
I like this statement by Khazanah Research Institute research director Dr. Suraya Ismail, “In a free market, information is power… and an integrated database is about having that information.” She was commenting in an article in The Star: Property sector needs integrated database . She said that such a database would provide information to the developers to plan for a steady supply of units at the right location and the right price.  She added, “Currently we don’t have a proper national housing survey that looks into account what is the existing stock, vacancy rate, price range, last transacted price or transportation cost.” She shared that overall house prices in Malaysia are 4.4 times the median income. In terms of Kuala Lumpur, it is 5.4 times, in Penang, it is 5.2 times, Johor 4.2 times and Selangor 4 times. (Generally, this is already considered a unaffordable because the best would be around 3 times.)
Actually, we do have some statistics today but it is usually private-led. For example, even before we buy, we are already able to look at the actual transacted prices in Take a look at the image for the typical information which is already available to all of us. From the price per sq ft to the typical price range and even the actual transactions. It is even possible to search by AREA instead of the actual project. We also have information from the National Property Information Centre (NAPIC) . Quite comprehensive too but needs a bit more calculations and the numbers are more macro in nature. In terms of reviews for most properties, is one such site which you can obtain a lot of information. They provide even a review of the crime rates in a certain area for example. I guess buyers would have to refer to whatever they have today. Waiting for even more information before buying is not a good idea. Go and search for them. Happy evaluating.
written on 26 Sept 2017
Next suggested article: 4 to a home versus 3 to a home, the significance?

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.

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