Malaysia will tighten COVID-19 restrictions effective this Wednesday in a renewed effort to combat the country’s rising cases.
Five states – Penang, Selangor, Melaka, Johor and Sabah, and the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, and Labuan – will be placed under Movement Control Order (MCO) again for two weeks until January 26.
Another six states – Pahang, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan – will be placed under conditional MCO (CMCO), while Perlis and Sarawak will be under the recovery MCO (RMCO).
Only five essential economic sectors will be allowed to operate during this period namely manufacturing, construction, services, trading, and distribution, as well as plantations and commodities.
Industry players are worried the property sector may once again face a major setback because of the re-implementation of the MCO.
Juwai IQI Group co-founder and chief executive officer Kashif Ansari said, however, that property deals or rental of properties can still be made during the MCO and (post-MCO).
For property purchase, buyers can handle contracts, request a loan, view a property, and check the status of their transaction without having to meet anyone in person, he said.
Kashif said due to the pandemic, people want the real estate industry to use technology to replace old-fashioned ways of doing things.
People want both convenience and safety during the current pandemic, he said in a statement.
“Why go to an appointment somewhere for something they can easily do from home using technology? Buyers can do it all online. You can find, view, and negotiate a property. You can track your down payment or rental deposit. And you can handle your contracts and pay your stamp duty…all online, without the need for face-to-face contact,” he said.
Kashif said many investors purchasing a property today are using money they might otherwise have spent on travel or entertainment.
As a result, they will end up with hard assets that can gain value and earn income over time, he said.
Kashif said the government’s policies have played an important role in supporting property and the economy throughout the pandemic.
He further said the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) and other incentives have specifically helped first-time homebuyers get into the property market.
At the same time, the low Overnight Policy Rates have also made loan repayments more affordable, he said.
“This is evident in the latest data from NAPIC. Buyers have been responding to market changes and the number of transactions in the third quarter of 2020 climbed 7.4 per cent to 89,245,” he said.
Juwai IQI had transacted RM61 million to RM101 million of property sales and rentals per week since May 2020, with no change in this aggregate weekly value over the past few months.
Kashif said the Juwai IQI Property Survey and Index Malaysia Q3 2020 found that the real estate industry expects average home prices to rebound in 2022 by 10.6 per cent, and the growth will be the economic recovery and rebound in trade and investment.
“We believe this is probably a good time to buy residential real estate if one has the financial wherewithal to do so. The recovery from the pandemic is coming and it is likely to be sustained and rapid once it begins. Anyone holding real assets is likely to benefit from significant appreciation,” he said.
Kashif said renters will also be able to do everything online, from inspecting properties to signing the contract.
He said gone are the days when renters have to have at least two in-person meetings to view property and sign contracts.
“The new pandemic restrictions are serious, and we want everyone to be safe. That’s why we’ve been working so hard to make it easier for people to buy and rent properties without having to put themselves at risk,” he said.
Juwai IQI has made renting easier and faster for tenants by digitising the contracts. The company has a standard template contract that agents can personalise online and distribute to the new tenant and property owner.
Over the next few weeks, Juwai IQI will also make it possible to sign these contracts digitally, incorporating three-factor authentication for security.