News: COVID-19 Exacerbate Situation For The Property Market

Mar 23, 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic, people in the real estate business are concerned that the virus outbreak will make the situation worse for the market – which has already been soft in recent years.

In fact, almost a dozen real estate agents said inquiry calls sharply declined since the COVID-19 outbreak made the news and there has also been no requests for viewing of properties, either for purchase or rent, reported Free Malaysia Today.

Developer Jerry Chan, who formerly served as chairman of the Penang Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association, believed that the government needs to make swift action and changes in policies to soften the blow on the real estate industry.

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Government intervention would be particularly helpful to developers in the midst of constructing their properties, he said.

The government should consider the disruption caused by its movement control order while allowing developers to delay their projects’ completion dates.

“We also need the banks’ indulgences on repayments and loan servicing until this crisis blows over,” added Chan.

According to him, the government should press for a moratorium on loan instalments for home buyers and those servicing loans taken to fund industrial and commercial buildings.

“Desperate times need immediate and drastic action,” he said. “We need a crisis mode reaction.”

He also called for the enhancement and extension of the home ownership campaign initiated by the government last year as it caused some improvement in the property market.

Meanwhile, a Penang-based real estate agent who wanted to be known only as Heng said prospective buyers seemed to have adopted a wait-and-see stance.

This comes as some buyers expect prices to drop following the end of the virus threat. However, Heng does not expect this to happen, noting that Hong Kong’s property prices continued to soar despite the protests.

With this, Heng is trying to make sales by posting videos of the properties on the internet to allow prospective buyers to view them even without having to be physically present at sites.

“I’m posting more 360-degree views of the properties on Facebook, “he said.

National Property Information Centre data showed that 31,092 residential properties remain unsold as of September 2019, with their total values falling RM18.8 billion in 2019 from RM19.54 billion in 2018.


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Victor Lim
Senior negotiator
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