Buying a home, including in Malaysia, can be a nerve-wracking experience especially when it comes to negotiating the price. The more so for those who are just about to purchase their first houses without the assistance of any real estate agent.
Unless you are good at haggling, the probability of getting the seller to come into agreement with your proposed price is quite slim. Even worse, you may skip negotiating after being dazzled by the glittering first impression the house gives you.
The most convenient way to keep those butterflies away from your stomach when confronting the seller is by hiring a real estate agent.
An experienced and honest real estate agent will be your worthy companion in the process of negotiation since he or she knows every trick of the game in the industry. Besides, they speak in the same language as the seller or his or her agent.
That is understandable because they make a living by negotiating for the best price on behalf of their clients and most importantly, they help you make an informed decision.
Why hire an agent?
There are a number of reasons for hiring a real estate agent. First, they are well-trained and experienced in the art of negotiating the most favorable price possible for their clients.
Maybe you are a good haggler yourself and capable of persuading the seller to give you a 3% discount. Yet, hiring a real estate agent may get you a better deal, let say, a 5% discount on the final price.
To make it clearer, if the seller opens the price at RM500,000, you may get the house at RM485,000 after you are done haggling by yourself.
In comparison, the agent may get the seller to agree to part with his or her property at RM475,000. Do the simple math and you will find there is a RM10,000 difference between those two approaches.
Second, real estate agents can also be your only true friends in this cruel and wicked world. Well, that sounds a little bit melodramatic.
In some ways, a good real estate agent performs better than your Facebook BFFs. He or she is willing to go the extra mile to ensure you get the best deal for the house by checking the defects, applying for a home loan and insurance, identifying nearby amenities or finding out the crime rate in the area.
The fees ain’t free
The best things in life are free, so they say. But, that saying is not applicable to real estate agents. That is understandable because negotiating for the sale and purchase of real estate is their main source of income.
As stated by the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA), the commission fee for real estate agents is set at a maximum of 3% of the property sale price. That rate is only applicable for the sale and purchase of properties in Malaysia.
How about the minimum rate? Well, the least you must pay is RM1,000 per property. Let say the sale price of the property is 30,000 and if you apply the maximum commission fee of 3%, by rights you are supposed to pay only RM900 to the agent.
But, in this case, you still have to pay a minimum commission fee of RM1,000 to the real estate agent.
So, take some time to do the calculation first to help you decide whether it will be moneywise to appoint a real estate agent to deal on your behalf.
Technically, the burden of paying the agent’s commission fee is borne by the seller. Nevertheless, the seller may transfer the cost to the buyer by adding the commission fee to the final price.
Don’t be surprised, you may end up paying the very same price that the seller asks initially.
Calm as a cucumber
After some deliberate thinking, you agree to appoint a real estate agent. Then, comes the moment for both of you to take a look at the house you are interested in buying.
The best thing to do is to let the agent do all the talking and negotiating. After all, that is the main reason you hire him or her.
Yes, you may chip in once in a while but keep it at a bare minimum. Avoid being perky and showing you are very interested while inspecting the house; otherwise, the agent will have a hard time to get the best price from the seller.
Taking a picture of the house or a selfie in front of it is definitely a no-no. Don’t do that, even when the seller is not around.
Some nosy neighbors may see you doing that and relay the information to the seller. Once the seller learns you are excited about the house, it will be hard for the agent to get the best deal for you.
Words of advice
Please make an effort to verify you are dealing with a REAL real estate agent. If someone approaches you and present his or her business card with the Real Estate Negotiator (REN) number printed on it, don’t take it at face value yet.
Run a check with relevant authorities such as MIEA first. In fact, you can go to the MIEA website and perform a search there.
Or, to save you from the trouble of appointing a fake real estate agent, just pick one that suits your criteria from the long list of REN members listed on the MIEA website.
Happy hunting and may you get the best deal for your dream house.
An article published in Star Property recently discussed some interesting points of view by experts on, among others, the outlook of Malaysia’s residential property market in 2020.
Despite the downward trend in this market segment, all of them agreed that there will be some slow and significant improvement during the next 12 months.
Knight Frank Malaysia Managing Director, Sarkunan Subramaniam believed that pricing is the only cause for property overhang in this country right now.
He mentioned several other contributing factors such as mismatch of products, expected yield, unfavorable location in regards to accessibility, distance, lack of amenities and product type.
On a different note, Sarkunan viewed that several areas like Desa Park City, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, and Damansara Heights are capable of luring the upper-income group, high-net-worth people, and foreigners.
Besides, the spillover effect of Tun Razak Exchange is expected to benefit the Imbi and Pudu area once the financial district is open for business.
Secondary property market
For 2019, Sarkunan explained that the secondary property market experienced a higher level of productivity in 2018 due to the shift of the base year for real property gain tax from 1 January 2000 to 1 January 2013.
He added, among other factors that stimulated that market are the improved processing procedure for the Malaysia My Second Home application and the revision of price threshold for foreign buyers for unsold high-rise properties in urban areas.
Meanwhile, Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia Deputy Chairman, Aziah Mohd Yusoff said, reasonable price and good location are among the factors which will ensure the steady demand for residential properties especially terraced units and condominiums.
She also believed the secondary property market, mostly in the residential segment, is experiencing a correction period due to poor market sentiment and strict lending rules imposed by Bank Negara Malaysia and the impact would likely to continue next year.
Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents President, Lim Boon Ping forecasted, the residential property market will continue to be driven by affordable houses, mainly units sold under RM400,000.
For the past few years, he said, more than 60% of the total transactions were made up of residential properties.
Finally, the Association for Abandoned Building Owners Malaysia Chairman, Dr. Mohamed Rafick Khan implied that the government should take a laissez-fare approach toward the residential property market.
He believed, the housing market must be free from the hands of the government because market forces will correct itself.
What the government should focus on, then? Mohamed Rafick said the government can spend more time on town planning and public transport systems which in turn will stimulate the demand for property.
He also forecasted the property market will not see an oversupply in affordable homes for the next three to five years despite the government has been consistently pushing developers to build more houses in that category.
Lower profit margins and risk are said to be the reasons behind developers’ indifferent response to that call.
Mohamed Rafick concluded prices for new properties will be expected to stay high although the price will be slightly reduced in the secondary market.
Points to ponder
Although things look a little bit promising in the near future, prospective homebuyers should exercise caution before deciding to purchase new homes.
Maybe the worst is yet to come for the residential property market in Malaysia if the domestic and global economies don’t show any sign of improvement next year.
So, you want to buy a house. Unless you have stacks of cash at your disposal, purchasing a home requires a long-term financial commitment that may last until the next generation.
Be it a landed or a high-rise property, it is highly recommended for you to gauge your state of readiness before sealing a deal with the developer or the real estate agency.
To make life simpler, we have compiled five questions potential homebuyers must ask themselves as part of their homework prior to making the great leap forward.
1. Do I have the financial capability to purchase a home?
Well, maybe you have saved up enough money to pay the downpayment and all other costs related to the purchase. Or, you may just withdraw some money from your Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) account.
Thinks look quite good for now. But, after signing the sales and purchase agreement, you find out that you may have to fork out more extra money to install iron grilles on doors and windows. Perhaps, the house needs some repairing to be done.
Besides, don’t forget to calculate other monthly financial commitments like a car loan, an education fund for your kids, study loan repayment and personal loan.
Finally, please make sure you have enough money to cover your expenses and the most important of all, to support your living and family.
2. Buy or rent?
Most of the time, it can be cheaper to rent a house rather than buying it. Of course, owning a house provides you with an indescribable sense of accomplishment (although technically, the bank owns the house until you have the loan in full).
Renting is practical when you don’t intend to stay for a long time, the rental rate is lower than the monthly loan installment, houses are ridiculously overpriced in the area you plan to live or you will inherit your parents’ house.
However, renting too has its downsides. Maybe you are unlucky enough to encounter ‘the landlord from hell’ who shirks from the responsibility of forking his or her own money to pay for the maintenance of the house.
Worse still, the landlord may bring a potential buyer to take a look at the house while you and your family can only stare in horror at the unwelcomed guests.
3. Should I sign up for a home mortgage insurance plan?
The only certainty in life is death. Grim as it may sound, every homebuyer needs to consider this fact, especially for those who are above 40 and planning to pay for their home loan installments for the next 30 or 35 years.s
Yes, you have to pay an additional sum to insure your home loan but at the same time, it bestows peace of mind to yourself and your loved ones.
Financial institutions in Malaysia offer two types of mortgage life insurance namely, Mortgage Reducing Term Assurance (MRTA) or Mortgage Decreasing Term Assurance (MDTA) and Mortgage Level Term Assurance (MLTA).
Please consult your friendly banker for further information on MRTA/MDTA and MLTA to help you choose which one is the most suitable for you.
4. Does the house have a good resale or rental value?
Some people buy houses for the sake of reselling or renting them. Nothing wrong with that as it is not illegal making money that way.
Since cheap houses are hard to find these days, please perform an evaluation to ensure the prices will not plummet in the long run.
Find out the resale and rental value of other houses within the same locality and other factors that may influence the prices such as the availability of amenities, public transportation system, or crime rates.
If the forecast looks gloomy, find a house somewhere else.
5. Do I really need to buy a house at the moment?
Most of the time, newlyweds get pretty excited about buying a dream house to shelter themselves and their yet-to-be-born children.
The trend has always skewed toward homeownership especially among those with a higher level of education.
Still, always think about the future because you may need to relocate due to a change in jobs or business locations.
Don’t simply jump into the bandwagon just because everyone else is doing it. The road lies ahead is full of uncertainties and you may be in for a rocky ride.
The terminology used in selling and buying property can be confusing if you are not used to it. As such, we have gathered all jargons used in selling and buying property in Malaysia for you to refer.
Any parcel shown in a strata plan that is used exclusively by the homeowner. A common example is the car park bay.
The purpose of adjudication is to ensure that the instrument is duly stamped to protect the parties to the contract in respect of the admissibility of the instrument as evidence in court during a civil proceeding. An instrument which is not duly stamped is not admissible in court as evidence.
Known as “cukai pintu” in Bahasa Malaysia. It is payable twice a year to the respective local authorities to finance the maintenance cost of the city such as waste transportation, landscaping and street lights. It is payable on or before every Feb 28 and on or before every Aug 31.
An apartment normally features basic facilities like a swimming pool and security. It has fewer facilities than a condominium.
A public sale of a property or real estate that is sold to the highest bidder. These are properties that are available at below-market prices and sold on ‘as-is-where-is’ basis. No guarantee is given on vacant possession and titles.
Base rate (BR) / Base financing rate (BFR)
A floating interest rate determined by financial institutions in Malaysia, based on their benchmark cost of funds, and the Statutory Reserve Requirement. Different banks offer different BRs, with current rates hovering between 3% and 3.95%. The rate offered is depending on their own efficiency in managing borrower credit risk, liquidity risk premium and operating cost. A profit margin will be set above the BR, for example BR + 1.15%. Hence, when the BR is 3.2%, this translates into an effective lending rate (ELR) of 4.35%.
Banks with large and cheap deposits are able to offer more attractive BRs for their customers.
Bungalows in Malaysia come in one, two- and three-storey styles. They are also known as detached houses. These detached houses which have open spaces on all sides. There is also the option to choose to design and build your own house if you purchase a ready bungalow lot.
Capital gain / appreciation
Capital appreciation is an increase in the value of a property. This due to changes in market conditions or supply and demand. Capital gain is the positive gain made from the sale of a capital asset.
A warning on a title to a purchaser that a third party might have some interest in or right to the property.
Certificate of completion and compliance (CCC)
A document issued by local authorities and endorsed by a registered member of the Board of Architects Malaysia. It is a vital document to show that the property is completed according to the required standards and is fit for occupation. Document issued by local authorities and endorsed by a registered member of the Board of Architects Malaysia. It is a vital document to show that the property is completed according to the required standards and is fit for occupation.
Properties that are mainly used for business purposes such as malls, offices, and so on.
Condominiums, also commonly known as condos, have common areas such as walkways as well as recreational facilities such as a swimming pool, gym, clubhouse, CCTVs and so on. They are jointly owned by the unit owners. The owners and occupiers of condominiums are subject to the rules and regulations of the condominiums.
Shared areas of a property that do not belong to any individual proprietors, such as stairways, guard houses, cables, open spaces, walls and fences, swimming pools, playgrounds, jogging tracks and any part of the land used or enjoyed by all occupiers of the building.
Consent from developer
Get the consent of the developer to the sale of the property to the new buyer and to undertake
the registration of the property in the name of the new buyer.
Property pledged as security for a debt, such as real estate as security for a mortgage.
The process of transferring property between a buyer and a seller. In real estate, conveyancing involves drawing up and carrying out a written contract that sets out the agreed purchase price and the date of transfer, as well as the obligations and responsibilities of both parties.
Deed of Assignment (DOA) ( if title is not issued )
DOA is a legal document that transfers the interest of the owner of that interest to the person to whom it is assigned, the assignee. When ownership is transferred, the deed of assignment shows the new legal owner of the property. Sign DOA, When land still under master title.
Defect liability period
A period of between 18 and 24 months whereby the developer must repair any defect(s) identified by the homeowner due to defective workmanship or non-compliance to the original floor plan. In other words, this is a warranty period given by the developer after key collection.
Builder of the property
Various types of fees such as the registration of charge fee, land search fee, bankruptcy search fee incurred by banking institutions and solicitors attending to the financing documentation in relation to the financing which are payable by the customer.
Removing a debt by making full payment. A mortgage discharge is a document formally specifying that a mortgage debt have been paid.
Income / money that is left after all expenses have been deducted.
Debt Service Ratio (DSR)
The DSR is meant to show how much of a person’s income is used to service debt installments, and is represented as a percentage (%) of income. Sometimes it is referred as Debt Burden ration ( DBR ). It is derived from division of 2 main components:
DSR = Financial Commitment / Net Income
Financial Commitment = All Loan Repayments ( Car Loan, Credit Card, Personal Loan and Homeloan )
Net Income = Gross Income – Deduction
Deduction = EPF + SOCSO + Income Tax + etc.
Gross Income = Basic Salary + Fix Allowance + Part of Variable Income
The calculation will be vary from bank to bank up to 20% variance due to difference in recognizing variable income.
A registered interest in a land by a person who is not the land owner. This is stated on Land Title, which can be obtained from a title search with the Land Office. Examples of encumbrances include easement, mortgage, covenant and other liabilities. It may devalue the property or prevent the property owners from exercising full control of their property.
Earnest deposit is like a booking fee, given by the purchaser to the seller when he makes the offer to purchase the property. It is counted to part of down payment, and refundable if the offer is not accepted. The earnest deposit payment should be made payable to the real estate agency. Once the SPA is signed, this earnest deposit will be the real estate agent’s commission from the seller.
Interest rate that remain constant throughout loan period even when base rate changes.
A freehold property is owned by the buyer indefinitely. However, the state can still take back the freehold plot if it is for public purposes such as building highways. In such cases, compensation is given, usually in the form of cash or discounted new properties.
Flat interest rate mortgages and loans calculate interest based on the amount of money a borrower receives at the beginning of a loan and not outstanding balance of the loan.
Flat interest rate, as the term implies, means an interest rate that is calculated on the full amount of the loan throughout its tenure without considering that monthly installment that gradually reduces the principal amount. As a result, the Effective Interest Rate is noticeably higher than the nominal Flat Rate quoted in the beginning. The formula of calculating fixed rate of interest is –
Interest Payable per Instalment = (Original Loan Amount * No. of Years * Interest Rate p.a.) / Number of Instalments
For example, if you take a loan of RM 100,000 with a flat rate of interest of 10% p.a. for 5 years, then you would pay:
Principal repayment of RM 100,000 + RM 10,000 (interest @10% of 100,000) X 5 years = Total payment of RM 150,000. This is equivalent to RM 30,000 every year or RM 2,500 per month.
Over the entire period, you would actually be paying RM 150,000 (2,500 * 12* 5). Therefore, in this example, the monthly installment of RM 2,500 converts to an Effective Interest Rate of 17.27% p.a.
This method is particularly used to calculate the interest payable for personal loans and vehicle loans. In this method, you have to pay interest on the entire loan amount throughout the loan tenure. It is actually less popular among the borrowers because even if you gradually pay down the loan, the interest does not decrease. Flat interest rates generally range from 1.7 to 1.9 times more when converted into the Effective Interest Rate equivalent.
Flippers purchase a property for a resale profit. These properties are usually the ones with the highest capital appreciation / gain in the shortest amount of time. The duration can range between a few months to a few short years.
Gated and guarded community
Developments have controlled access with a guardhouse and perimeter fencing.
Gross development value
The GDV of a property development is the figure that is based on the total value possible from the sale of all the units within that proposed development.
Developers are responsible for obtaining the titles for individual properties within a stipulated time after the handover. Like birth certificates, these titles validate the existence of the property and its ownership. An individual title is given to owners of landed properties such as terraced, bungalow and semi-detached homes. Meanwhile, strata titles are issued to property owners with shared facilities such as condominiums, apartments and gated-and-guarded landed homes.
Joint management body (JMB)
Established under Strata Management Act 2013, comprising the developer and homebuyers. They are responsible for maintaining the common properties, determining and collecting the service charges necessary for such purposes, insuring the building against fire and other risks, complying with orders given by local authorities and enforcing house rules.
Jabatan Penilaian dan Perkhidmatan Harta (JPPH)
Valuation and Property Services Department of Ministry of Finance, JPPH advises the Federal Government, State Government, Statutory Body and Local Authority in Malaysia on matters pertaining to the valuation of real estate and property services. Besides this, JPPH also provides information on sale or transfer of real estate to valuers, appraisers or estate agents who are registered with the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Malaysia
Joint management committee (JMC)
The committee elected by the JMB to carry out the duties and powers of the JMB. A JMC should consist of at least one representative from the developer and between five and 12 purchasers. A purchaser can only hold office for no more than three years.
An owner of a leasehold property is not the owner of the land upon which the building is erected, but is a lessee of the land for a period varying from three years to 99 years (the maximum period of lease permitted by the National Land Code 1965). Opposite to leasehold , is what is known as freehold, it basically means permanent and absolute tenure of land or property with freedom to dispose of it at will.
Letter of intent to purchase
A Letter of Intent to Purchase, also known as a booking form is a document outlining an agreement between two or more parties before the Sale and Purchase agreement is finalized. The letter provides an outline of the proposed terms of the transaction so the parties can negotiate before committing to a contract. It is needed to minimize misunderstanding and document progress towards a sale. Since this intent letter is not a binding contract, which means the property owner can still sell the property to someone else. It’s also a great way for a buyer to help secure financing.
Letter of offer
A contract between the borrower(s) and the bank stating the terms of the housing loan package.
Also known as a loan or credit facility agreement or facility letter. An agreement or letter in which a lender (usually a bank or other financial institution) sets out the terms and conditions (including the conditions precedent) on which it is prepared to make a loan facility available to a borrower.
The period of time that a person will take to fully repay their loan.
The number of years that a person is tied to their lender aka financial institution. If the loan is fully redeemed within this period, there will be a full redemption penalty that is equal to a percentage of the loan quantum. Lenders may also charge a penalty for making partial payments within this period.
The relationship between the amount of outstanding home loan and the total value of the property. For example, if you receive a loan of $900,000 on a home that costs $1,000,000, the loan-to value ratio is 90% when you sign up for the loan it reduces as you as you pays down the principal portion of the loan.
Malay reserve land
Land that is exclusively for Malays or Bumiputeras. It cannot be sold to other races including foreigners.
Management corporation (MC)
MC must be formed to take over the JMB’s responsibilities within two years after the handover. An MC consists of owners who have their strata titles and registered themselves as parcel owners. It exists under the Strata Titles Act 1985 and does not need to be registered with the Registrar of Companies or the Registrar of Societies. It is a corporate body that may prosecute and be prosecuted, and has a perpetual succession right.
Market Value is the estimated amount for which a property should exchange on the date of valuation between a willing buyer and a willing seller in an arm’s-length transaction after proper marketing wherein the parties had each acted knowledgeably, prudently and without compulsion. In simpler terms, it means the price an asset is able to fetch in the marketplace.
Margin of Financing
The margin of financing depends on a few things, the value of the property, your income and your repayment capability. The amount of financing provided by a financial institution depends on the market value (for completed properties only) or purchase price of the house, whichever is lower. For example, if a property is priced at RM500,000 and the Margin of Financing is 90%, the amount of own money is RM50,000.
A title, or title deed, indicates the owner of a property. In most cases, every property during the stages of development and construction will be under a single Master Title.
Memorandum of Transfer (MOT)
Signed by both the developer or seller and homebuyer after the signing of the SPA and before the payment of balance purchase price. MOT is an official form that needs to be submitted to the Land Office for the ownership transfer of the property to the buyer.
Mortgage Reducing Term Assurance (MRTA)
A home loan life insurance that provides financial protection for property loan borrowers and their families by helping to settle outstanding loan amounts in the event of death or disablement of the borrowers.
National Land Code (NLC)
The main land laws for all states in Peninsular Malaysia. Sabah and Sarawak are governed by Sabah Land Ordinance and Sarawak Land Code respectively.
A facility with a credit line granted based on a predetermined limit. There are no fixed monthly instalments as the interest is calculated based on the daily outstanding balance. This provides borrowers with the flexibility of repaying the loan anytime and the freedom to re-use the money. The interest charged is generally higher than the term loan.
Principal and Interest
The principal and interest payment on a mortgage is probably the main component of your monthly mortgage payment. The principal is the amount you borrowed and have to pay back, and interest is what the lender charges for lending you the money.
Repaying both interest and the principal will allow you to gradually increase your equity in the property by reducing the size of your mortgage, and at the end of the loan term you will be the sole owner of your home.
PRIMA (Perumahan Rakyat Satu Malaysia)
PR1MA was established to plan, develop, construct and maintain affordable lifestyle housing for middle-income households (average monthly household income of between RM2,500 to RM7,500) in key urban centres. The government plans to build affordable homes in cities and towns all over Malaysia.
Interest rate / financing Rate
The fee charged by a lender to a borrower for the use of borrowed money, usually expressed as an annual percentage of the principal; the rate is dependent upon the time value of money, the credit risk of the borrower, and the inflation rate.
“Cukai tanah” means land tax. The NLC makes it compulsory for all landowners to pay quit rent annually to the relevant state Land Office usually by every Jan 1.
Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT)
A form of capital gains tax on chargeable gains (profit) from the sale of your property. The rate varies according to your ownership tenure (date of SPA signed to date of disposal). If you want to avoid paying RPGT, it is best to sell your property after at least five years of ownership.
The outstanding amount owing to the Vendor’s bank (“Redemption Sum”). Where the Redemption Sum exceeds the Purchase Price or the Balance Sum, additional provisions are required to be made for payment of the amount in excess by the Vendor.
Reducing / Diminishing Interest Rate
Sometimes it is called monthly rest or daily rest loan.
Reducing/ Diminishing balance rate, as the term suggests, means an interest rate that is calculated every month/daily on the outstanding loan amount. In this method, the installment includes interest payable for the outstanding loan amount for the month in addition to the principal repayment. After every installment payment, the outstanding loan amount is reduced. Therefore, the interest for the next month is calculated only on the outstanding loan amount. The formula for calculating reducing balance interest is :
Interest Payable per Installment = Interest Rate per Installment * Remaining Loan Amount
For example, if you take a loan of RM 100,000 with a reducing rate of interest of 10% p.a. for 5 years, then your installment amount will reduce with every repayment. In the first year, you would pay RM 10, 000 as interest; in the second year you would pay RM. 8,000 on a reduced principal of RM 80,000 and so on. In the final year, you would pay only RM 2,000 as interest. Unlike the fixed rate method, you would end up paying lower around RM 130,000 instead of RM 150, 000 for the same rate.
This method is particularly used to calculate the interest payable for housing, mortgage, property loans, overdraft facilities, and credit cards. In this method, you have to only pay interest on the outstanding loan amount. The interest rates quoted for such loans are the Effective Interest Rate, which is similar to the interest rates used for Fixed Deposits (FD) and Savings Accounts.
The process of paying off a portion or the entire amount of the existing loan with the intention of obtaining another loan from the same or another banking institution.
Refinance with cash out
Cashing out means refinancing a loan where the borrower will take out money on their own home. If a home is appraised at $1,000,000 and the borrower’s outstanding mortgage loan is $700,000, it is possible to enter into an 80% cash-out refinance transaction for a loan of $800,000 (80% of $1000,000). The new mortgage of $80,000 will pay off the $700,000 loan and leave $100,000 cash-out to the borrowers.
Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA)
SPA is actually a written contract representing the seller and buyer in a real estate transaction. It spells out all the terms and conditions of the purchase as well as the role of both parties. In the event there is a default from any one party, the termination and indemnity clause in the agreement will provide protection.
Funds collected by the JMB or MC from owners to maintain and manage a strata development.
Also known as Semi-Ds, these are two houses which are built side by side and connected on one side of each house. Semi-D houses have open spaces at its front, rear and any one side. These houses often have generous gardens and backyards.
Shophouses are a row of terraced houses but with one major difference: The ground floor is usually where a shop / business is operated.
A special fund opened and maintained by the JMB or MC for unexpected costs that may arise and for the long-term structural upkeep or upgrades to the common property such as:
painting or repainting any part of the common property
purchase of costly materials for the upkeep or upgrade of the common property
renewal or replacement of any common facilities
any other expenditure as the committee deems necessary.
For the transfer/assignment (if no individual title is issued), based on the adjudicated value by
the Stamp Office
Strata Title is the separate property deed for each unit in a sub-divided property (multi-storied building or a number of buildings on a piece of land that have common facilities administered by a management committee). These can include: apartments, condominiums, townhouses and sometimes landed house.
Completed existing properties that are available and are usually occupied by owners or renters, or vacant.
SoHo / SoFo / SoVo
SoHo is small office home office, SoFo is small office flexible office and SoVo is small office virtual office. Each is relatively similar but differs in terms of functionality.
A standard tenancy agreement stipulates that the tenant is obliged to pay two months’ rental in advance as a security deposit, one month’s rental as advance rental and a refundable utility deposit that is normally fixed at one month’s rental (subject to both parties’ agreement). It is important to remember that the tenancy agreement is for the benefit of both parties concerned and should be irrefutable
Terraced houses are all connected to each other in a row and usually have open spaces at the front and back. The corner lots are quite similar to semi-detached houses as one side will have more open space compared to the rest. Each row may consist of 10 to 12 units depending on the size of each house, as it must comply with the regulations of the Fire Services Department which state that each row shall not exceed 130 feet in length.
A facility with regular predetermined monthly installments that do not change during the entire term of the loan. Each installment payment consists of the loan amount plus the interest.
A check of the title records to ensure that the seller is the legal owner of the property and that there are no other claims or liens outstanding.
Generally, townhouses are not as popular as other types of houses in Malaysia. They are two properties built on the same piece of land with the lower unit usually occupying the ground and part of the first floor, while the top unit occupies the remainder of the first floor and the second floor. Most of the time, the owner of the lower unit is different from the owner of the top unit.
Vacant possession (VP)
Property handover day! With the delivery of vacant possession, homebuyers will also receive a copy of the CCC.
Valuation establishes an opinion of value utilizing an objective approach based on facts related to the property, such as age, square footage, location, cost to replace, etc.
Property developer or seller of the unit.
Void or Unenforceable
A void contract is a formal agreement that is illegitimate and unenforceable from the moment it is created. There is some overlap in the causes that can make a contract void and the causes that can make it void and unenforceable contract is a valid contract that cannot be fully enforced due to some technical defect.
The interest earned by an investor on an investment, stated as a percentage of the amount invested. The basic formula for calculating rental yield is annual rental income divided by property price.
Zero entry cost / free moving cost loan package
A loan package where borrowers do not have to pay for all or certain charges and fees involved in obtaining / refinancing a loan such as legal fees, stamp duty and disbursement charges.
Buying your first home can be nerve-racking and confusing. Getting into the right mindset can save you future troubles. A careful research and good planning always pays.
These tips will help you navigate the process and avoid common mistakes. We break them into three categories:
House search tips.
First-time home buyer mistakes to avoid.
Start saving for a down payment early
It’s common to put 10% down, but some banks now allow much less, and first-time home buyer programs. Allow yourself some time to to save up. Do not overstretch your credit.
Understand your affordability, down payment and mortgage options
There are lots of mortgage options out there, each with their own combination of pros and cons. If you’re struggling to come up with a down payment, check out:
The amount you put down also affects your monthly mortgage payment and interest rate. If you want the smallest mortgage payment possible, opt for a 30-year mortgage. But if you can afford larger monthly payments, you can get a lower interest rate with a 15-year mortgage loan.
Research for government programs
Research on government house ownership programs. Federal government l program like PRIMA can benefit you greatly if you qualify. Research on state level program as well. Sometimes it is available only for the state that you live in.
Determine how much home you can afford
Before you start looking for your dream home, you need to know what’s actually within your price range and which area that you can afford. In order, to make life easier for you we have built home search tool. Use it to your advantage.
Check your credit and pause any new activity
When applying for a mortgage loan, your credit will be one of the key factors in whether you’re approved, and it will help to determine your margin of financing and possibly the loan terms.
Secondly, check your credit score and improve it. Update your arrears and lower down your credit card balance. Banks calculates credit score based on financial behavior, income, expenses, financial commitment and your demography like age, sex, year of employment, marital status, education level.
To keep your score from deteriorating when you apply for a mortgage, avoid opening any new credit accounts, like a credit card or auto loan, until your home loan approved.
Compare mortgage rates
Many home buyers get a rate quote from only one lender. You can compare mortgage rates from financial aggregator like imoney, gobear and ringgitplus. During campaign period you might get additional goodies. Get at least three quotes from different banks and compare both rates and fees.
You must read the product term sheet to understand mortgage product features. Many banks are offering Flexi Loan where you have the flexibility to pay part or all of your principal early. Research on Islamic Home loan as well as they have discounts for stamp duty, rate ceiling and some other good features.
House search tips
Hire the right professional agent
You’ll be working closely with your real estate agent, so it’s essential that you find someone you get along with well. The right real estate agent should be highly skilled, motivated and knowledgeable about the area.
Pick the right type of house and neighborhood
But even if the home is right, the neighborhood could be all wrong. So be sure to:
Drive through the neighborhood on various days and at different times to check out traffic, noise and activity levels.
Common first-time home buyer makes
With so many things on your mind, it’s not surprising that some first-time home buyers make mistakes they later regret. Here are a few of the most common pitfalls, along with tips to help you avoid a similar mistakes.
Not saving enough for after move-in expenses
Once you’ve saved for your down payment and budgeted for closing costs, you should also set aside a fund to pay for what will go inside the house and moving in cost. What goes inside the house includes furnishings, appliances, rugs, updated fixtures, new paint and any improvements you may want to make after moving in.
Buying a home for today instead of tomorrow
It’s easy to look at properties that meet your current needs. But if you plan to start a family, you may need to buy a larger home now that you can grow into. Consider your future needs and wants and whether the home you’re considering will suit them.
A lot can be up for negotiation in the home buying process, which can result in significant savings. Are there any major repairs you can get the seller to cover, either by fully handling them or by giving you a credit adjustment at closing? Is the seller willing to pay for any of the closing costs? If you’re in a buyer’s market, you may find the seller will bargain with you to get the house off the market.
Compare surrounding property prices as well, we have the tool to help you scan the best deals around.
Over the last one and half decades, Klang Valley has seen a surge in number of condominiums built. This phenomenon coincides with cheaper mortgage lending rates, access to EPF withdrawal for house down payment and installment, lengthened mortgage lending period, creative pricing and product features, rise in home and land prices and, new transport oriented developments. Furthermore, the planned High Speed Rail between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore promise a better future for Klang Valley property market as this will give spill over effect of Singapore economic strength and purchasing power. That is what happened to Paris where property value appreciated after the completion of London-Paris high speed train.
Currently, condominium is half of the property listed for sale in Klang Valley and represents the largest type of property being sold online. This means that home buyers have plenty of options to choose from and should carefully weigh their options. Please exercise caution as some of condominiums in popular areas are under pricing stress. There are pockets of bubbles and can be avoided by carefully analyzing the fundamentals.
We at Red AngPow aim to equip you with unbiased, easy to use tool for analysis and making use of technology to empower consumers to make smarter decision. Armed with decades of data analytics skills, banking experience & property expertise we are bringing to consumers the insights and technology that are previous privy to large corporate at no cost to home buyers. *We are using condominium listed online as of July 2018 for this analysis.
In this article, we are focusing on condominiums near LRT, MRT & KTM Komuter stations as these where are the most of condominiums are built. Our definition of near train stations is within one kilometer to nearest train stops.
*larger words means more frequent.
In order to make house buyers getting great information and and for us to deliver a insightful shopping experience, we have plotted current condominium listing on interactive and zoom-able map . Home buyers can glance at vital statistics at the area of choices and make comparison of the the surrounding properties in one page. It gives a bird’s eye view of insights that delivers advanced yet simple information to home buyers. At deeper level, when zooming in down to condominium your can see detail listing of the chosen properties where you can sort and according to the criteria that you choose. You can click on the link to go to the original listing by the the advertisers and property agents.
With advanced technique of Artificial Intelligence and Property Industry experience , we have built a scientifically curated listing marked with blinking lime colored dots to assist home buyers to find their dream homes or the best value for their property investment. It was done with no preferential treatment to any developers, property agents or sellers. It was built with pure facts and science with no human bias.
With our map technology, searching for condominiums nearby train stations by train lines & median price per square feet has never been easier. The first of it’s kind, easy to use and available at your fingertips.
As we can see from the maps, stops at LRT lines are most popular places for developers to build condominiums due to the fact that it pass through populous residential areas, economic centers and transportation hubs. The long stretch of KTM Komuter lines falls second in term of popularity and has the cheapest price and price per square feet. KTM Komuter passed through less affluent neighborhood and has poorer public perception in term of reliability due to frequent train breakdowns. Among the train lines, MRT is the latest addition to Klang Valley transportation system and the first line SBK was completed in 2017. Middle part to the North West part of MRT SBK line has higher property price while the South East toward Kajang offers lower property prices. There is also major upcoming township development around Kwasa Damansara and Kwasa Sentral stations that investors and home buyers are eyeing.
As evidence suggests, distance to train station has great influence to condominium price. The nearer the property to train stop the more expensive is the price per square feet and most of condominiums in Klang Valley are built within 3 kilometer radius of train stations. Thus, it is very clear that the convenience of being nearer to train stops increases property value. LRT stops has the most number of condominium around them, followed by Komuter and the least is MRT. Prices of condo near LRT train are the most expensive because it pass through strategic areas and a number of affluent neighborhoods. While MRT is new and the completion of it coincides with the softening property markets the prices around its stops are relatively lower. We foresee that prices around MRT station will catch up in the future when the economic fundamentals is on track e.g. when banks lending policy is relaxed and income of general population rise. Charts below illustrate the relationship between number of property listing online, price and price per square feet against the distance to nearest train station.
Let’s look at the histogram of condominium near train stops in Klang Valley below to understand the density of price, built up square feet and price per square feet distribution. This will give you good sense of the condominium offerings in Klang Valley. The bar represents number of condominium listed for sales while price, built up square feet and price per square feet are on the X-axis.
Price – price of most condominiums generally is between RM450K to RM1M. Condominium above RM800K are beyond the affordability of general population. We expecting softening demand for above RM800K price tag.
Built up size – built up size for most of condominiums is generally between 900 square feet to 1450 square feet. Larger size are difficult to rent out as typical renters are young professionals, couples or young family with small kids that do not prefer larger size properties.
Price per square feet – price per square feet is concentrated between RM450 per square feet to RM800 square feet. Some developments that are pricing price per square feet higher that overall average of the areas are having trouble to sell despite offering many additional features, more facilities and great design. We hope that in the future, developer do study the affordability of their potential customers before building the properties.
By visualizing the price, price per square feet and built up size in 3D, we can see a trend that the closer condominium to KLCC the higher the price is. Only LRT train line pass through KLCC and it is expected to see these expensive grouping fall under condominium near LRT station category. On the other hand there is a smaller numbers of condos near MRT stops such as Pusat Bandar Damansara and TTDI that are very expensive. Further away from KLCC as far as Subang, Kelana Jaya or Gombak you can get older condominium with double the size of KLCC condominiums and with significantly cheaper price tags but much less exclusive than KLCC and farther commuting distance for those who work in large corporations.
*Size of the bubble represent the distance to KLCC. The smaller the circle the closer it is to KLCC.
Condominium Rental Yield
This is one of the most import gauge for true economic value of home price. Unlike speculators which focus on prospective property price change, value investors often use rental yields to estimate the value of property across economic cycle. Like any form investment where we measure annual return,here we apply the same method to property. In this case, we use annual cash flow from property rentals divided by property value. This is gross yield as it does not include associated expenses of owning a property (e.g. maintenance fee etc). Whether you will be staying at that property or for investment, you must always measure this to see whether you are getting a good deal. Below is the quote from world famous investor Warren Buffet on cash flow, that stays true across all economic cycles. Among the reasons why investors like Warren Buffet is so successful is due to his ability to hold term and his rationality to assess future cash flow generated from his assets without fear and greed.
“Focus on the future productivity of the asset you are considering”… “If you instead focus on the prospective price change of a contemplated purchase, you are speculating.”
Of all the property types, condominium gives the higher rental yield % as compared landed property but lower potential on property appreciation . With this visualization, it’s easier to see the guidance of expected rental yield, the good rental yield and the bad rental yield.
The median rental yield return for both overall condominium and condominium near train station are slightly below 4%. The opportunity is that you can find condominium that can give you as high as 7% rental yields. One and half decades ago, rental yield of 6%-7% was not considered a bargain.
Charts below illustrate the relationship between distance to KLCC (size of bubbles), rental yield%, price and built up square feet of condominiums in Klang Valley. For this, we only illustrate condominiums that are near to train stations and differentiated by colors to mark different train lines. Rental yield for condo near KLCC is not great. Generally speaking, the smaller bubbles which represent condominium with shorter distance to KLCC are mostly below 4% while the larger bubbles which represent condominium farther away from KLCC offer higher than median rental yield. Looking at the second chart with different viewing angle, we can see the most expensive condominiums are predominantly come from condominiums near LRT stations because it pass through prominent areas.
Different viewing angle of the chart above.
Developers For Condominium Near Train Station
For some home buyers, developers credibility is an important factor in their decision making. Reputable developers will minimize incompletion risk and give better assurance for the quality of work. Developers are offering their products to different segment of consumers. Some are targeting young young and middle income family with more affordable price points. Some are targeting foreigners and people with high net worth. Due to softening market, nowadays many of developers are offering rebates, gifts and free sales and purchase agreement due to softening demand and affordability issues of general population.
Below are the overview of each train stops by train line types. The bubbles represents train stops, the size of the bubbles represent number of listing found online and the color represents the areas in Klang Valley that the train stops located.
As expected, the most expensive condominium measured by price per square feet are dominated by condominium near LRT stops that are in city center and Bangsar.
For condominium near MRT stops, the most expensive by price per square feet measure are Pusat Bandar Damansara and Tun Razak exchange. Please note that for condominiums near Pusat Bandar Damansara stop are divided into two areas which are Segambut and Lembah Pantai depending at which sides of the stop they are in. There affordable condominium in around MRT stops which are further away from Kuala Lumpur city center at South-East and North-West sides of Klang Valley. Click here to view the map.
Condominiums near KTM Komuter stops offer more competitive pricing as it pass through less affluent areas. KTM Komuter lines cover more land areas than the rest of the train lines and offer wider selection in term of choice of location from Batu Caves all the way to Port Klang. However this train line is perceived to be old, slower and less reliable making it the least preferred train line.
Well, it is a lot of information to digest in one article. We have to save the rest for future analysis. We will give more granular information from time to time. Thank you for reading our insights. Please subscribe to our mailing list to receive our insights direct to your mailbox.