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PETALING JAYA: With the economy back on the recovery path, commercial real estate, which took a beating during the pandemic, is back on the radar for investors.
Savills Malaysia Sdn Bhd group managing director Datuk Paul Khong said he expects commercial properties to make “a reasonable comeback” in terms of yields and returns for 2022 and 2023.
“This is because demand for retail space is slowly recovering – the retail businesses, especially the food and beverage sector like the semi/fine-dining restaurants.
“Also, luxury segments, including luxury watches and premium fashion and accessories, seem to have fared relatively well and many retailers are relooking into selective and careful expansion plans,” he told StarBiz.
Khong said market sentiment in the retail segment had improved substantially with the reopening of borders on April 1.
“However, we are not completely out of the woods yet. Shoppers are still carefully holding on to their cash and selective with their spending habits.
Savills' Datuk Paul Khong
“With the Ukraine war adding fuel to the fire, all costs of goods and logistics are rapidly escalating, whilst the markets are just exiting from a two-year battle on losses caused by Covid-19. Recovery and normalcy will now take more time.”
Khong noted that commercial properties are “becoming popular again”.
“We expect capital values will continue to escalate northwards slowly into 2022 and 2023, especially with improved market sentiment in the retail segment and the substantial cost-push in the current construction climate.”
Moving into the second half of 2022, Khong said the market will continue to rely on the forward guidance and fiscal measures from policymakers.
“Mitigation of inflationary risks are critical, especially as the economy is just recovering from Covid-19, but now globally impacted by the Ukrainian war.”
At current market conditions, Khong said he expects a slight increase in new businesses entering the market, adding that rentals will be relatively flat for now in many locations and sectors.
“Prime shoplots will always be a top investor’s choice and now that retail sentiment is up and businesses are back again, property prices will be escalating, in tandem with actual demand after taking a dip in value during the pandemic.”
Meanwhile, Knight Frank Malaysia in its Commercial Real Estate Investment Sentiment Survey for 2022 revealed that respondents were very keen to explore commercial investment opportunities in the logistics, industrial and healthcare sub-sectors within the next 12 months.