GEORGE TOWN, Sept 2 — Conditions in the property market here made it ripe for buyers to start shopping for units that are set to be completed by the end of the year, said the chairman of the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) Penang branch.

Mark Saw explained that with several projects due for delivery by the end of the year, some investors who purchased units under the now-discontinued developer interest bearing scheme may want to release these before payments are required.

This was exacerbated by the difficulty that some buyers were facing in securing loans, which he said could further depress prices.

"We expect a slight dip in pricing in the secondary market at the end of the year as we are expecting at least half a dozen projects to be completed at the end of this year.

"The prices will differ between different owners, but some might be lower as the owners could be desperate to sell," he said.

He explained that the new buying opportunities will spur the secondary market that is currently tepid.

The secondary market refers to property by individual or corporate owners who had bought it from developers.

"This is why we think the Malaysian Secondary Property Exhibition this time will be able to fill demands by a certain segment in the market," he said.

He believed there are three groups of buyers still keen to purchase properties now: new homebuyers still searching for their dream homes, investors waiting for a depressed market to buy up properties for investment, and state natives living abroad who could afford to buy property here due to the foreign exchange rate gains.

This will be the fourth year that the Malaysian Secondary Property Exhibition (Maspex) is being held here.

Over 5,000 units of properties will be on offer in 20 booths at the exhibition at Queensbay Mall from September 22 to 25.

Saw said the exhibition will feature property talks and also to educate the public against unlicensed real estate negotiators.