The Asia Pacific region residential property market has seen its fair share of ups and downs in 2016, and looking ahead to 2017, experts predict that economic performance and policy will have the biggest effects on the property sector.

China dominated headlines with residential property prices in tier-1 and tier-2 cities experiencing extremely strong growth, to the point that the Chinese government stepped in with cooling measures to prevent a housing crisis. In Hong Kong, policymakers introduced a further rise in stamp duty to slow a market that saw prices rising in one of the world’s most expensive property markets, while in Australia, strong purchasing from foreign buyers led to increased taxes in a number of states.

Conversely, markets in Southeast Asia and India continued to show sluggish performance. In the case of Southeast Asia, a mixture of cooling measures and disappointing economic performance continued to make for weak performance in much of Singapore and Malaysia. Indonesia and Thailand saw a slowdown in activity, and in India the market continued to be slow in many major cities with weak sentiment continuing to make trading difficult.

The Brexit decision, Trump’s presidential win and the now-unlikely Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has resulted in much uncertainty about economic growth prospects for many countries, especially in the Asia Pacific region. The wider economic environment, and policymakers’ actions will have the most impact going into 2017.

On one hand, this could directly impact residential markets; on the other, the uncertainty could drive investments away from equity and into property. Policies will continue to have an impact on the market in 2017, where buyers and investors will have to be extra vigilant of trends and fluctuations in the market.

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2017 is expected to be a largely uneventful – some would say resilient – year for the Malaysian real estate market. Sarkunan Subramaniam, executive director of Knight Frank Malaysia believes 2017 will be another subdued year for property, as developers face lower demand, especially for high-end residential properties, and have to implement stategies to attract and improve sales. However, as resported in The Star, the silver lining is that the market is leaning towards the affordable market segment, with creative products within the segment being well-received. Despite fewer launches and a decline in sales, there are projects that perform well due to the nature of the product, concept, location and marketing strategies. It’s all a matter of catering to the demand for quality yet affordable homes.



As far as the property outlook in Singapore is concerned, Alice Tan, head of consultancy and research for Knight Frank in Singapore, some sectors will do well in 2017. ‘Almost all segments of the property market, residential, commercial and industrial, have experienced weaker performance in price and rentals, hitting new lows in the third quarter of 2016,’ she said. Secondary properties could contribute more to private home sales in 2017, as people show greater interest in larger yet reasonably-priced private homes, in addition to supply provided by affected home owners.

(Source: PropertyWire)