The momentum is expected to continue as per industry experts from DataSense and Knight Frank
Johor is experiencing the strongest property demand from foreigners and the momentum is expected to continue, driven by increased interest from Singaporean buyers, according to DataSense real estate intelligence head Dr Lee Nai Jia.
Based on its Property Market Outlook Report 2024, Iskandar Puteri in Johor witnessed the highest percentage of foreign demand, mainly from Singaporeans and its permanent residents. Lee pointed out that the announcement of the Special Economic Zone and the progressive completion of the Johor Bahru–Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link were factors which boosted demand from Singaporeans.
He noted that the Singaporean property prices are experiencing a historic high, which was also driving property demand in Johor. In addition, he noted that most of the visitors were looking at properties that were priced below RM1 million. “We are seeing that Singaporeans are not looking at high-end homes priced above RM1 million which ties in well with them. In terms of the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) impact, we suspect that potential buyers are still analysing and taking their time before decision-making. We observe that Malaysian citizens living in Singapore are going back and looking at properties,” Lee said in a property market outlook webinar and panel discussion.
Lee added that the first group that were interested in buying property in Johor were Singapore-based Malaysians, who commute between both countries almost daily, due to high rental prices in Singapore. While, the second group are potential buyers from Singapore who are encouraged by the government’s announcements in regards to economic developments, which have increased interest and demand.
Touching on the spillover effect, Knight Frank Malaysia executive director Amy Wong pointed out that connectivity was an important factor to consider. “The existing Causeway and the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link are already at maximum capacity. However, with the RTS connectivity, it is an actual spillover. In terms of the Singaporean residential price increase, it is also a spillover as the Housing and Development Board rents are already at an all-time high, coupled with the fact that the office sector in Singapore is very expensive and occupancy is also at a high,” said Wong, pointing out that Singaporean offices may not be able to expand due to limited space.
She noted that there was a hybrid work environment in Singapore, which may have prompted more employers to only require its staff to be present in its offices only a few times per week. “That encourages people to actually consider living in Johor because they only need to make that trip only a few times a month,” she said.