The consensus of property professional opinion relating to Malaysia seems to have been epitomised by CapitaLand’s commitment to the property market when it joined forces with Malaysia’s leading lender Maybank at the end of 2006 and structured one of the largest closed end private equity funds. The fund is investing in commercial and residential property in Malaysia from 2007 and is committed to the market for the medium term at least.
CapitaLand is one of the largest real estate companies in Asia and their overriding opinion of property in Malaysia as an investment commodity is positive. In the words of one of the company’s leading executives, Malaysia’s real estate industry has “tremendous growth potential.”
There is only one potential issue overshadowing the sector and that is one of short term oversupply in the face of slightly restricted demand. But there are even ways for an investor to overcome this in 2007 immediately by targeting their focus specifically on decent residential stock. There are four firms widely cited as worthy of great consideration and they are Sunrise Berhad, YNH Property Berhad, IGB Corp Berhad and Plenitude Berhad.
Driving industry confidence in the property market in Malaysia going in to 2007 was the announcement back in April 2006 of the Malaysian government’s blueprint for economic growth and diversification for 2006 – 2010; the government’s ninth Malaysia Plan as it is called, has impressive provisions for infrastructure improvement and general economic development that analysts believe will positively and directly affect the real estate market across the nation.
Another particularly positive factor in the favour of real estate in Malaysia is the value of the local currency the ringgit…it is so far below the euro, dollar and British pound that foreign investors buying in Malaysia can get so much more for their money! Add to this the fact that property per square foot or meter in all major Malaysian towns and cities is a fraction of the cost of similar property in the likes of London and New York and yet demand for real estate is high from an affluent expatriate market as well as an increasing Japanese, Indian and Singaporean market and you have so many fundamentals in favour of Malaysia for 2007 market entry.
And finally, an added bonus in Malaysia is the fact that investors seeking a shelter from direct market exposure have real estate investment trusts, and the likes of CapitaLand’s equity funds to choose from which generally invest in a diversified portfolio of commercial, residential and mixed use developments to spread an investor’s risk.