For the past year, developers have shelved plans for new building and consolidated by selling homes that were ready-built.
As demand for residential mortgages picks up, developers are opening show homes and testing the water by inviting prospective buyers to sign registers of interest.
Most developers have a tipping point of registrations that then kicks off development.
Kuala Lumpur’s housing market is mainly focused on a young, well-paid local population moving in to the city for work in hi-tech and financial sectors.
Although Malaysia’s property market has fallen away in the past year, prices have not collapsed as badly as in the USA and UK.
Kuala Lumpur is also boosted the take off of cheap direct flights from London Stansted and other major European airports from only £149 one-way. Many investors and business people see Kuala Lumpur as a city for a pied-a-terre for onward flights to Asia-Pacific destinations like China, Thailand, Bali and Australia all for less than £50 one-way.
Popular housing with a good demand are terrace and semi-detached houses priced below RM1mil (£172,000).
Most development is spreading out along the Klang Valley, that is a few minutes by road or rail from the city’s ‘golden triangle’ centre.
A lot of planned projects are apartments comprising smaller and more affordable units for singles and sharers. High-rise living is booming and very much becoming part of the Kuala Lumpur culture, as in Hong Kong and Singapore
With a fast growing population and limited greenfield building land, the Malaysian government has to opt for more and more high-rise blocks to take up the need for housing in coming years as a young population also means a need for more housing down the line to cater for this generation’s children.
The government sees the sense in high-rise apartments like Sky and St Mary residences with an average density of 50 units per acre that cuts the land required for houses by 75% as the ‘fit’ is about 12 houses to an acre.
Apartment complexes are also popular because of the facilities like gyms, pools and cafes plus the increased personal wellbeing of living in a property with round-the-clock security.
Most Malaysian analysts are unconvinced that the economy will level out soon and feel the situation is more likely to start changing around the second quarter of 2010.
In general, the Asia Pacific rim economies are less affected by the recession than those in Europe, with the powerhouses of India and China still expecting increased but reduced growth of at least 6% GDP this year. The latest estimates for the UK are a 5.6% decrease in the past 12 months.
The Malaysia property market has also held out better than others due to tighter government planning controls that prevented an oversupply of new property, that has been the root of the property crash in places like Dubai.
Photo credits: Wili_Hybrid via Flickr