Real estate data ‘plays key role in urban planning’

Photo by Samule Sun on Unsplash

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Local councils, property developers, financial institutions and policymakers are encouraged to leverage on real estate data to guide their decision making and urban planning, Joe Hock Thor, managing director of PropertyGuru DataSense, said at the CEM Star Talk recently.

Data intermediaries provide platforms for big data analytics in Malaysia’s real estate market. The information gathered includes transaction data, price trends, buyer demographics and preferences, geospatial data and rental rates, among others.

According to Thor, actionable insights from such data can benefit Malaysian cities in the form of better urban development, governance and sustainability if adopted by market players.

This data can help identify purchase trends, chart demand, and form buyer profiles for first-home buyers or investors, he said.

Analysing data also establishes, to a certain degree, the motivation behind property purchases such as capital growth or rental yield, which allows stakeholders to better plan and target customers.

“Our local councils, developers and governments have a lot of data but we need to start looking at them from a different perspective,” Thor added.

Preference for landed properties

A new development that is declared sold out may hint at good absorption, but does not accurately reflect demand if it omits identifying how many purchases were made by investors instead of first-home buyers.

A preference for landed properties has dominated the local real estate market over the years.

Speaking on the changes brought on by urbanisation and purchase trends, Thor said a preference for landed properties has dominated the local real estate market over the years.

And during the pandemic, there was an uptake of higher-priced properties within the Klang Valley, resulting in a higher median purchase price than in previous years despite falling property prices across the country.

The number of investors also increased, while the number of first-home buyers went down, suggesting how those with resources capitalised on the opportunities presented by the pandemic.

He noted a disconnect between purchase prices of properties in the primary market and the respective rental returns, and also pointed out the inherent costs faced by developers that influence selling prices.

Thor further touched on how rezoning and regentrification are used to increase the value of properties sold by developers, and discussed the feasibility of rent-to-own models.

CEM 2021

The CEM Star Talks are a series of webinars leading up to City Expo Malaysia (CEM) 2021 next month.

A joint initiative between Malaysian Institute of Planners (MIP) and Nextdor Property Communications, CEM 2021 will consist of a virtual exhibition taking place from Nov 8-Dec 8 and a five-day forum from Nov 8-12.

Those interested to participate in City Expo Malaysia may register at https://www.cityexpomalaysia.com/.

The online expo invites urban planners, stakeholders in town development, as well as enthusiasts to exchange ideas and solutions to the challenges posed by urbanisation.

Entrance to CEM 2021 is free. Those interested may register here.

Meanwhile, the full conversation between Joe and Imran can be viewed here.

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