Property market remains robust despite OPR hike to 3%, says Rehda president

PETALING JAYA (May 13): The Malaysian property market remained robust despite the rise in the overnight policy rate (OPR) by 25 basis points to 3%, said the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) Malaysia.

Its president Datuk NK Tong (pictured) noted that there will be a tailwind amid the inflationary environment, particularly after the property sector is opening up after three years with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I think people recognise that real estate is a good way to hedge against inflation. So, I think investment in property is still positive.

“We did a survey every six months, and the results that came out in February for the end of 2022 showed that most of the developers were more optimistic about the second half of 2023,” he told reporters at Rehda’s Aidilfitri Open House at Wisma Rehda on Saturday (May 13).

On subsidised cement prices, Tong said the government’s move to reduce cement prices for developers building affordable housing priced RM300,000 and below is a good initiative to encourage buyers to buy their first house.

According to him, developers in Malaysia have been actively building affordable housing for close to 50 years, with the majority of such housing being built by Rehda members.

Rehda is of the view that it is high time other related industry players offer initiatives in an effort to make housing more affordable.

“The mechanism is still being worked out. The developers want to know how much we could actually save from the discount given to cement?

“Will it vary depending on whether it’s a strata property, because there’s more concrete and cement involved, versus landed property?” he asked.

On April 18, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, when announcing the initiative, said the move would benefit the bottom 40 and the middle 40 income groups, as it would see a maximum of RM5,000 reduction in house prices depending on the type and the price of the house.

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