Despite the challenges of COVID-19, Kuala Lumpur-headquartered real estate technology company Juwai IQI reports that Malaysian residential real estate sales in certain market segments are growing quickly. The company transacted 293% more new project sales in 2021 to date, compared to the same period of 2020. The 2021 sales are 247% higher than during the same dates in 2019.
The latest coronavirus restrictions have not caused sales to drop. In the week of May 10, 2021 the company concluded US$88 million of new-project residential sales across Malaysia, nearly 75% more than in the approximately US$50 million of a typical week this year.
Juwai IQI Group Co-Founder and CEO Kashif Ansari said, “The MCO didn’t hurt Juwai IQI’s sales in Malaysia as one might have expected. On the contrary, our sales went up during that period. This is because our technology platform made it possible for us to continue to serve buyers despite the MCO. Since then, we have continued to invest in technology and are building a 1000-person global technology and data team here in Kuala Lumpur.
“Paradoxically, it is because of COVID that many people believe this is a good time to purchase homes. Malaysians have been spending less due to the pandemic-related restrictions. As a result, they have built up more savings and want to put that money to good use by buying a stake in the property market.
“COVID has made us all aware that unexpected events can strike at any time. Property buyers see owning real estate as a relatively low-risk way to build a financial cushion.
“Our recent consumer survey found that 70% of Malaysians have neither lost a job nor had to close a business during the pandemic. Most Malaysians are still earning their income but are not spending as much as before the pandemic. Many are using the money for down payments on property instead.
“What many see as the upcoming property boom is another reason people are buying property today. Observers expect that economic, employment and income growth should increase more rapidly in the post-pandemic rebound than the pre-COVID rate. Those conditions tend to coincide with rising property demand and prices. Demand has been fuelled by low interest rates, the reintroduction of the Home Ownership Campaign and various other property related initiatives introduced in Budget 2021, including PENJANA.
“We foresee a robust market post-pandemic, in which the best positioned and best designed properties will sell more rapidly and at higher prices. Less attractive homes will also benefit to some degree from the rising demand.
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“Two projects where we have seen strong sales this year despite COVID are D’Cosmos and The Fiddlewoodz. At Fiddlewoodz, prices start at RM854,800 for a unit with two bedrooms and two baths.
“Buyers today are much more sensitive to lifestyle and amenities than in the past. They realise they may have to spend much of their time at home, so their home had better be pleasant. Projects that offer resort-style living are benefitting from this new emphasis on quality of life.
“One reason Fiddlewoodz has been selling so quickly is its resort facilities, such as its fantastic swimming pool. It is not the first building to have a rooftop pool, but it will be the first to have a 360-degree rooftop infinity pool across the entire rooftop, overlooking all KL Metropolis.
“The best-selling units all have at least two bedrooms and two bathrooms. In addition, some have study rooms.”