Malaysia bans public gatherings of over 250, to decide on Apec 2020 summit

Malaysia will decide whether to delay or cancel the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) 2020 summit it is scheduled to host in November, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Functions) Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof said today that the matter will be brought to the Cabinet for further discussion. He said this is in line with the government’s new directive to ban public gatherings of over 250 in Malaysia, including international events. Asked whether the ban on gatherings will apply to wedding receptions with crowds exceeding 250 people, Mohd Redzuan said the order remains, but advised the public to exercise caution when holding such events. Meanwhile, the government has come up with a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the prevention of Covid-19 in all types of schools registered under the Education Ministry. (The Edge)

Millennials account for 70% of all new home purchases in 2020 to date

Since the start of the year, millennials have accounted for 70% of purchases at new housing projects, 53% of subsale real estate purchases and 55% of rentals, according to transaction data from real estate network IQI Global. Millennials are the most numerous buyers, whereby members of the older generations are less likely to complete a real estate transaction in any given year. “In the years to come, we believe millennials will continue to gain market share, and developers and agents will adjust themselves to better serve this large and important buyer group,” IQI said in a statement. Millennials’ share of purchases at new projects rose to 62% recorded in 2019 from 48% in 2018. The states where millennials account for the largest share of new home purchases are Sarawak (88%) and Kuala Lumpur (70%). For rentals, millennials have accounted for less than the 59% recorded in 2019 at 55% currently, substantially more than either baby boomers or Gen X-ers at 12% and 32% respectively. IQI said millennial home buyers prioritise convenience, price, amenities and home size, equating to homes that are conveniently located near schools, shopping, transit, retail, entertainment and services, as well as employment. (The Malaysian Reserve)

Cost saving property purchases via auction

Malaysia’s auction market is booming as properties are usually offered below market prices, auctioneer Ng Chan Mau & Co Sdn Bhd said. It also said the evolvement of online publicity had increased public awareness on the industry. Its business director Low Chee Hian said Bank Negara Malaysia’s move to reduce its OPR had boosted investors interest in properties. “Auctions can boost property demand as people opt for cost-savings purchases amid tough market,” he said, adding that auctions also provide access to products information for bidders while promoting a straightforward transfer of ownership. He, however, cautioned newbies to contact and obtain accurate information directly from reputable auctioneers to avoid any unfortunate circumstances. (NST Online)

BOVAEP raids firm for suspected illegal real estate agency practice

The Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVAEP) and the police conducted a joint raid on a real estate cooperative firm’s office in Puncak Alam, Selangor. “We have received a large number of complaints from the public that this firm has been appointing illegal brokers to sell housing projects on behalf of property developers and perhaps, members of the public,” said BOVAEP board member Ishak Ismail. According to Act 242 or the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act (1981), a real estate agent must obtain a licence or permission from BOVAEP before doing so. Furthermore, Ishak said the cooperative has engaged some 2,400 real estate agents and is involved in selling a number of housing projects nationwide. However, according to Ishak, the laws provided by SKM allow for selling and renting of properties but only of a cooperative’s own assets. (The Edge)

Wall Street empties out as New York City declares state of emergency

Working from home went from optional to mandatory across Wall Street this week as financial firms reported their first confirmed cases of coronavirus and the outbreak triggered a state of emergency in New York City. JPMorgan Chase & Co, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley each announced similar programs on Thursday for working remotely to stem the spread of the pandemic. JPMorgan’s plan applies to New York-area employees while Goldman’s plan was for most staff across North America and Europe, excluding some sales, trading and critical staff. Banks also have ramped up other precautionary efforts like office deep-cleaning after firms like Barclays and BlackRock Inc reported their first confirmed cases. As of Thursday there were more than 129,000 cases of coronavirus globally and 4,750 people have died, according to a Reuters tally. (The Star Online)