KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 — The residential sector continued its strong rebound from two years of slump due to the Covid-19 pandemic, registering a 34.6 per cent growth in the first nine months of 2022 versus the same period from the previous year according to data released by Rahim and Co. Property Consultants.

Transaction values and volume in the home market rose by 35 per cent within that nine months. In the first half of 2022, the total number of homes sold rose 26.3 per cent with some 116,000 homes sold at a total value of RM45.6 billion, a 32.2 per cent increase, the group said in its 2022-2023 property market outlook released this morning.

By volume, the residential sector contributed 61.8 per cent of total transactions nationwide.

Of the transactions, primary sales are still in minority at 18.5 per cent with the remaining being secondary sales as developers remained cautious over launching new units amid continued concerns about the high number of unsold properties to date.

“With the added complexity of rising prices and economic uncertainty, developers have taken a passive approach in new launches,” the report said.

“While various incentives and financial-aid schemes are provided to help ease the financial burden of first-time homebuyers and further stimulate transaction activities, concerns on overhang numbers remained as new supply influx continued, even for the affordably priced units,” the group said in a statement.

Homes in the central region like Kuala Lumpur 531,302 units were added to the market in six months of 2022, a 5.8 per cent growth year-on-year. 6,307 units were sold in the same period but at much higher value, at RM6.1 billion or a 58 per cent growth year-on-year.

In Selangor, 1,640,081 new units were added in the same period although it represented a mere 1.2 per cent growth. A total of 27,501 units were sold then at a transaction value of RM15 billion, a 21.6 per cent growth year-on-year. Transaction volume was up 16 per cent within the same period.

Office, retail glut remains

The office market continues to face a saturated environment of high supply against stagnant rental demand but some areas with good transportation connectivity and contemporary facilities are more in demand than others, the group noted.

“For the commercial sector, the challenges and hurdles lie in meeting the needs and preferences of today’s consumers and occupiers whose lifestyles have evolved with the digital and e-commerce trend that was accelerated by the pandemic,” it said.

Meanwhile, supply of retail spaces is still facing occupancy pressure even as demand by consumers was normalising for most of the year despite rising inflation, as the lifting of Covid curbs drove shoppers back to the malls.

The occupancy rate of retail lots in Selangor in the first half of 22 was 77.7 per cent despite the addition of 40.92 million square foot of new spaces. Supply went up by 2.5 per cent but occupancy dropped 1.1 per cent.

In the capital city, new retail space grew 4.8 per cent year-on-year in the same period without any change to the occupancy rate, which stood at 81.6 per cent.