Knowing what to build, where and when

The importance of market analysis in the local building and development industry.

The emergence of the digital revolution has made information accessible and exposed to the property market. It has socially affected the way of thinking and expectations, with regard to decision making in acquiring personal goods, including property assets. Clearly, the behavioural changes of the property market players complicate the environment and understanding of property ownership and investment.

The property market in Malaysia has shown some significant changes over the past couple of decades, from home ownership to investment, with property now becoming a significant and strategic asset class. This shift has resulted in more sophisticated property products, expanding towards long-term investments and new lifestyles.

However, we must not disregard property as a necessity and a basic need, especially for those in the bottom and middle 40 per cent (B40 and M40) income groups. Therefore, a balanced market analysis must consider the wide spectrum of the built environment, without leaving out any gaps that may result in unbalanced development with high market inefficiency. Other infrastructure assets, such as transportation, communication, water, energy and sewerage, must also be part of the market analysis to establish a holistic view in the justification to build.

For the builders/developers, the decision of property development is dependent on ‘the market, the market and the market’. So in this current property market, the questions on most developers’ minds are: What to build? Where about? And what would be the best timing?

Business Management Division Office of Deputy Vice Chancellor (Development) Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)

Dr Hishamuddin Mohd Ali is professor of Property Asset Management in the Faculty of Geoinformation and Real Estate at UTM. He holds a PhD in property investment and finance from the University of Salford, United Kingdom.

He is actively involved in property research, having led many research and consultancy projects and published in various publications and proceedings. He has been appointed as a consultant for many projects in real estate valuation, market and feasibility studies for more than 30 years. His research interest covers asset management strategy, property market dynamics, investment and valuation.

He is a member of the European Real Estate Society (ERES), International Association of Certified Valuation Specialists (IACVS), Royal Institute Surveyors Malaysia (Property Surveying Division) (RISM) and the Malaysian Institute of Professional Property Managers (MIPPM).

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