Tag Archives: Malaysia

Buyers falling victim to rogue property agents in Malaysia

Many online property listings in Malaysia feature absurd asking prices.

To earn more money, some unscrupulous property agents in Malaysia are quoting a higher asking price than the seller’s actual selling price, according to an opinion piece by Melati Mohd Ariff, reported Malay Mail Online.

“This situation has persisted for quite some time, with buyers at times falling victim to ruthless real estate agents,” said Ariff.

“It was when I stumbled upon an advertisement for a landed property bearing two different prices that I realised something (was) amiss. The property owner quoted RM80,000 (S$26,781) lower than the agent!”

In addition, Ariff reckons that only those earning a five-figure salary or more can afford to buy a house in Kuala Lumpur, especially landed property.

A check of online listings of freehold landed homes shows that properties in Malaysia’s capital are priced from RM800,000 (S$267,812). Most of these homes were built 20 to 30 years ago.

Ariff said: “A friend of mine told me that a two-storey house in (the suburb of) Setapak purchased over 20 years ago (as a second owner) for around RM300,000 (S$100,430) is now worth some RM1.2 million (S$401,757)!”

Residential property prices in the area have soared after malls were constructed and roads were upgraded.

“Another friend purchased a three-room condominium in Kuala Lumpur for RM190,000 (S$63,586) in 2003 and its estimated market value today is RM700,000 (S$234,373),” noted Ariff.

Ariff added that there are many online property listings featuring absurd asking prices.

For instance, a one-storey bungalow in the city-fringe has an asking price of around RM400,000 to RM500,000 (S$133,921 to S$167,401). But if a buyer were to view it, he or she would be shocked to learn that it’s just a dilapidated wooden house standing on a freehold land site.

Experts warn against flipping Iskandar homes

Singaporeans should purchase homes in Johor’s Iskandar region only if they intend to occupy them since gains from real estate flipping will be hard to achieve, revealed property consultants quoted in the media.

The Iskandar housing market has been dominated by speculators in the last few years, but the surge in supply has resulted in a slowdown since mid-2014.

“In 2012 and 2013, it was a free-for-all and speculation was rife. Even Singaporeans were coming in, buying blindly, and that encouraged developers to launch bigger numbers of units,” said PA International Property Consultants executive director V. Sivadas.

But transactions have moderated since the Malaysian government rolled out property cooling measures and stricter bank lending rules.

The fierce competition among property firms has also raised the risk of first-time developers abandoning their projects, Sivadas noted.

The high-rise residential market is particularly risky as oversupply looms largest in that segment.

On Monday, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) board member Lawrence Wong expressed concern over the 335,838 private homes in the pipeline in Iskandar, which is more than the overall number of private units in Singapore.

Tan Ka Leong, director of property consultant WTW Johor Baru, said oversupply may be a real threat in the state of Johor over the next two to three years.

As such, consultants are advising investors to only shop for property in Iskandar if their pockets are deep enough to withstand a down market.