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House: Wait or Buy Now?

Artikel ni saya petik drp StarProperty. Dan saya fikir ia menarik untuk dikongsi bersama.

Q&A: Should we buy now or should we just wait?

Dear Azizi Ali,


I have recently just got married and wish to start a family by buying our first property. As you know, housing prices in Klang Valley are rocket high. Even if both my husband and I can afford to down for a new house or second hand, the monthly instalments will take up a big portion of our net disposable income (which puts a strain on us). We are now looking at an area known as Bukit Subang (next to Denai Alam). The price is half of Denai’s (same size). We want a house that will have reasonable appreciation as a form of future investment and for current purpose, for own stay.

However, we are receiving opinions that we should delay the purchase as the property bubble may burst. Reason being, that a lot of executives whose monthly salary is in the region of RM5,000 to RM6,000 are buying houses that are worth almost a million for investment and when it’s time to start paying the instalment, defaults will begin and foreclosure will kick in. At the same time, supply is more than genuine demand (i.e. investor demand is more than genuine purchase).

Do you think we should buy in that area? Should we buy now or should we just wait? If we do buy, do you think that it is wise to stretch ourselves (i.e. instead of buying Bukit Subang, we buy in Denai Alam?)

Advice and opinions are appreciated.



Dear Aquila,

Firstly, congratulations on your marriage. May you and your husband live happily and prosper!

Next, I understand your concerns about the property market and they are valid concerns indeed. Prices in selected areas in KL and PJ have risen by some 50 percent in the last two years. I doubt that anyone’s income have risen by that much in the same period. As property prices have to bear some semblance to income, there is a bubble in these areas – which is my way of saying, there are pockets of bubble today.

While prices can still rise and defy gravity for a little bit longer, they cannot be sustained. And when that happens, it will come down. By how much it comes down is anyone’s guess.

Third, you are right again about the default rate. There is no way (or perhaps more correctly, little way) that anyone earning RM6,000 a month can afford to pay a mortgage costing close to RM1 million. The people who are doing this is hoping that the price will rise fast and high enough so they can sell the property before their obligations to repay the mortgage kicks in. Otherwise, they will be in serious trouble.

Actually, some people are already in trouble. I have noticed that the quantity of auction properties have increased lately. More importantly, is the quality of the properties being auctioned. While most of the properties used to be in the not-so-hot areas before, my eyes light up when I see houses even in the hot areas today. This trend will only continue in the near future.

Fourth, your thoughts of buying in a place slightly further from the CBD (central business district) areas just confirms the pockets of bubble theory. Prices in the hot areas are way too expensive, so you are looking at the cheaper and usually, further suburbs. You are not the only person thinking of doing this; tens of thousands are thinking the exact same thoughts. And it actually makes sense, “Why pay through the nose and suffer when you can buy a cheaper property elsewhere?” Yes, you have to travel a little bit further to get to work (and shop at the designer boutiques) but it is better than suffering every month paying for a monster mortgage. By the way, this happens every time prices rise to astronomical figures. I remember the same thing happening in the late-1980s when property prices in downtown San Francisco rose substantially. So, instead of paying ridiculous prices buying in downtown areas, people just rented or bought the cheaper properties in the suburbs. As a result, the downtown prices soon collapsed. By the way, in case anyone is wondering, I did not live there; I just read about it!

Now that the introduction is done, let me answer your question – finally! If you do not want to wait, buy the property in the cheaper (and further) areas. That way, you are paying a more down-to-earth figure for a property and also avoid carrying the burden on paying off a monster mortgage. A house is supposed to make you happy. I cannot see how anyone can be happy for long if the mortgage is taking 50 percent of their income every month!

On the other hand, there are also good deals in the hot areas today, in the form of ‘motivated’ sellers and auctions. Look deeper and you will find them. Finally, I’d like to share one last piece of advice – wanting to become rich is glorious; wanting to become rich next week is asking for trouble!

I wish both of you the best.

Azizi Ali

Kategori:Hartanah, Pelaburan
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