Sim Kiang Chiok

KUCHING: The property market is experiencing poor sales for both commercial and residential units due to various factors, said Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) Kuching branch chairman Sim Kiang Chiok.

He said many businesses were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic due to social distancing and reduced dealing with customers during the movement control order (MCO) period which was implemented to check the spread of the virus.

“For commercial properties, those in good locations are still in demand,” he said when contacted yesterday.

He said that popular areas were Tabuan Jaya, Kota Sentosa, and areas where there are heavy residential population of good income earners.

“The prices of houses in these popular areas can range from RM600,000 to RM850,000 for a two-storey terrace house, whereas for a typical three-storey shop in a prime location, prices are from RM1 million to RM1.8 million per unit,” said Sim.

According to him, one of the most popular locations for residential property sales was Samarahan, where the town is growing very rapidly due to the universities and colleges there. He added that the prices of houses there were still reasonable.

“The other popular new areas are the Tabuan Jaya area towards Samarahan, Batu Kawa all the way to Sungai Moyan, and the Matang Jaya area,” he said.

He said that, at the moment, prices of houses were steady and there was no price war.

He noted that the government was helping to spur demand in the property market by promoting the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) and relaxing real property gains tax (RPGT) for up to three residential properties.

On factors which could affect the economy and property market, he pointed out that borders were still closed so tourism and related industries were still heavily disrupted and this would have a negative spinoff on the economy.

“In Malaysia, our bank moratorium and wage subsidies will end in September this year, and if there are any loan defaults and liquidation, this will only start to surface early next year. There might be auctions of assets and bankruptcy too.

“Of course, the government is helping through targeted assistance by the banks to those who have lost their jobs and businesses as announced by our Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at the end of July,” Sim said.