FAIR WEATHER AHEAD
When you talk about the property sector today, you can be forgiven for making a negative association rather than a positive one.
Everyone seems to be talking about the property sector now, and everyone seems to have an opinion about it. But almost always, that opinion isn’t a positive one.
Why? Two words: supply glut. You’d be hard pressed to find another couple of words that have gripped Malaysian conversations like these two have.
Now, although we Malaysians have been talking about how homes are expensive for quite some time, it wasn’t until November 2017 that the matter was given an unwelcome validation.
It was then that Bank Negara Malaysia published a report which confirmed our fears. It says that homes are too expensive for 35 percent of households in Malaysia, and the number of unsold properties were at a decade high.
And as if we need the point to be driven home any more, this month, the central bank published another damning report, which essentially says the problem is getting worse.
But maybe BRDB Developments is pulling a page from Rudyard Kipling’s playbook, because they seem to be keeping their head when all around them are losing theirs.
“It’s no secret that 2018 will be challenging for the property sector. But there is economic data that says the Malaysian economy is resilient,” says CEO Kajendra Pathmanathan.
At times it becomes a bit more challenging as new things come into play, but it’s a matter of working around these things and finding opportunities
He then pointed out how international rating agencies have recently given Malaysia the vindication of a healthy A3 Stable rating. “Given all this, BRDB is still optimistic that the property market still has opportunities amidst all the challenges that exists,” he adds.
When asked whether recent measures like the temporary freeze on developments worth RM1 million and above has been bad for business, he didn’t seem a tad less optimistic.
“We take it in our stride. Yes, at times it becomes a bit more challenging as new things come into play, but it’s a matter of working around these things and finding opportunities. The RM1 mil moratorium is a bit here and there. I think developers will still find a way to continue to contribute to the property sector, he says.
Kajendra says BRDB has two overarching strategies heading into this year to weather the challenging period, and more importantly, to come out tops against its many competitors.
Watch Kajendra share BRDB’s those strategies in his chat with Luqman Hariz. He also responds to claims that developers like BRDB are willfully contributing to the supply glut to chase profits.
Podcast of the interview: