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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        21  April 2011

Malaysian property prices to rise

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Malaysian property prices are expected to increase between 10 percent and 20 percent this year, in light of rising inflation and increase in demand for local properties from foreigners, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai.

“Inflation in 2010 stood at 2.2 percent and was at 2.4 percent in the first two months of this year. We expect it to be higher this year due to escalating food and oil prices,” he said after the launch of the National Property Information Centre's (Napic) property market report 2010 yesterday.

Lim also said many foreigners were looking to purchase property here because the prices of properties were cheaper than in neighbouring countries such as Singapore.

“And Malaysia, because of the ETP (Economic Transformation Programme) has attracted a number of investments from overseas. Investments last year were four times higher than 2009.

“We also expect more foreign companies to set up base here. Our Islamic banking is No. 1 in the world (so) all this will attract foreigners to come into Malaysia,” Lim said, adding that this would also contribute towards pushing up prices of properties in Malaysia. He said rising oil prices would also cause prices to escalate.

“There's a lot of uncertainty in the Middle East. It's beyond our control and that (rising oil prices) will affect the other things,” he said adding that property prices in Malaysia were currently at a “manageable position.”

According to Napic's statistics, the Malaysian property market recorded 376,583 transactions in 2010 worth RM107.44bil.

Both the volume and value of transactions registered double-digit growth of 11.4% and 32.6% respectively from 338,089 transactions worth RM81.02bil in 2009.

Napic valuation director-general Datuk Abdullah Thalith Md Thani said 2010's (RM107.44bil) value was a new high for the Malaysian property market.

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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