Property glut in Sarawak could be temporary

Datuk Sim Kiang Chiok

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, July 2: The oversupply of properties resulted from unsold units for the property market in Sarawak could just be short-term.

Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) Kuching branch’s chairman Sim Kiang Chiok opined that the overhang situation for the property market in Sarawak could be temporary.

He believed increased population coupled with rural to urban migration will create demand for properties and thus the property overhang situation could be dealt with over time.

“There are apparently many unsold properties (commercial units and residential properties) in the market.

“The situation seems to have been made worse with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Some say that many properties will remain unsold due to their exorbitant price tags.

“My personal opinion and based on the National Property Information Centre (Napic) reports, the overhang residential properties (in Sarawak) are 1,966 units ,238 units of shops and 60 units of service apartments at the end of first quarter of 2020 (1Q20).

“With our population growth, rural to urban migration I foresee that this overhang is only temporary and can be absorbed when the financial institutions are willing to lend based on more relaxed guidelines, stable job market and world economic and market confidence are restored after the MCO lockdown,” he said in a statement.

He observed that the unsold properties up to 1Q20 constituted approximately 20 per cent as compared to the total number of residential property transactions in 2019.

Elaborating further, Sim who is a director of Sim Swee Yong Development and Construction Sdn Bhd said there were 1,966 units of unsold residential units in 1Q20 throughout Sarawak as opposed to 9,914 units of houses sold in 2019.

Breaking down the strata titled properties such as townhouse, condominium and apartment, he said those categories of unsold properties constituted about 1,082 units, and landed 884 units.

He added that in Kuching, there are 994 units of unsold properties which made up of 755 units of high rise apartments and 239 units of landed properties.

Before the Movement Control Order (MCO) was implemented, Sim opined the situation of oversupply of properties could be due to poor location, pricing mismatch, suitability of building designs, development layout, and ease of obtaining loans. —DayakDaily

The statistics of unsold properties in Sarawak as of first quarter of 2020. Source: National Property Information.