Time to target the Malay market, says Ahyat Ishak
KELANA JAYA (April 20): Property developers need to take a relook at their marketing strategies to target the Malay consumers better, said seasoned property investor Ahyat Ishak.
“The only way for the [property] market to move to the next level, is for the Malay market to be fully activated. The Malay market has not been made fully aware about property investment, even now.
“But the Malay market is a huge market and developers who have targeted that market are doing very well,” he said during the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda) Property Forum 2017: Status Quo or Road to Recovery?” held yesterday.
The other panellists at the forum include Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd (MIDF) chief economist Dr Kamaruddin Mohd Nor, Jones Lang Wootton executive director Malathi Thevendran and Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) head of consumer finance Abdul Razak Mohd Nordin. The forum was moderated by Rehda deputy president Datuk Soam Heng Choon.
Ahyat also pointed out that there is a “toxic mentality” among Malaysians that buying a property means having their life tied down.
“The thing is, even if Malaysians don’t buy properties, they will still be in debt for other things that they may not need. My advice is to stay steadfast, because the market is brutal and I want Malaysians to buck up and prepare for anything worse to come,” he added.
According to Ahyat, there is “still a lot of opportunities in the property market despite the slowdown.
“Personally, my radar is on the western corridor of Klang Valley. [When purchasing a property], one should look at fundamentals like population and transport-oriented developments (TOD). If you know what you’re doing, there is a lot of opportunities for you. It’s a buyers’ market.
“Also, you should purchase based on your centre of gravity — somewhere you’re living in or brought up in and another one is your workplace because you’re familiar with these areas. Everyone needs to find out which location works best for them,” he said.
Ahyat also advised potential property investors to “kira-kira” or do their sums first before they look or talk about the location.
“If you are unable to purchase based on your (budget) calculations, then it’s very dangerous because buying a property is a long-term commitment. So I don’t look at a location first, I look at my financial situation first.”
For newbie investors, the primary markets have many compelling freebies now, he added.
As for the segment to invest in, Ahyat said he often chooses to put his money in mid-segment properties, “because during bad times, people want to downgrade and during good times, people want to upgrade”.