Even with the lifting of the Movement Control Order (MCO) and the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) followed by the Restrictive Movement Control Order (RMCO), it is anticipated that living alongside Covid-19 is inevitable.

Therefore, property matters need to be circumvented around this pandemic for at least another 18 months or so.The following is the outcome summary of the webinar meeting held on April 8, 2020. Concerns were raised and solutions proposed pertaining to real estate concerning the various International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) chapters. Here is a bird’s eye view of the analysis and proposed ideas coming from all side of the divide – as FIABCI unites with fellow real estate practitioners from all across Asia.


Mike Geh | President of the FIABCI Chapter of Malaysia.

General remarks from FIABCI World President Walid Moussa

– Real estate in all markets are affected with possible drop in prices all around.

The e-commerce industry is flourishing with online shopping and ordering of essentials.

– Following this Work From Home (WFH) trend, more companies are expected to adopt this practice for a prolonged period.

– Companies could also steer towards implementing co-working spaces and/or hot desks.

– Rentals for offices are expected to drop (both in occupancy and values).

– Purchasing power for real estate will also drop. There will be more demand for affordable homes from the private developer and Government.

– The secondary market will also be affected alongside student housing.

– With the social and political uncertainty, security will be of utmost importance.

– Projects with shared and/or communal facilities will be badly affected due to
social distancing.

Expect major shifts in consumer behaviours towards spending patterns and demands.

– Governments will play very critical roles in helping markets to recover globally   which include waiver in taxes as there will be default and/or requests for deferments.

– Central banks and/or commercial banks will also have a role to assist their clients in the form of moratorium including waiving compounded interest.

– Landlords also have a responsibility to assist their tenants.

– Recommendations include reducing the asking price of your property or to adopt cash  back policies.

If there’s a need to clear stock immediately to assist in cash flow, drop the asking price.

– If one is able to wait it out with sufficient cash reserves, then plan accordingly.

What’s the best marketing strategy that realtors can employ while we are in lockdown aside from training and home study?

General compilation of answers:

• Learning and adapting to all the technology tools available.

• Plenty of opportunities can be explored using these online and digital tools.

• Use this chance to establish and expand network, profile and professional skills online.

• Reconnect with clients and an opportunity to rebrand one’s organisation.

• This opens up a chance to adopt and adapt to technologies out there which will make for effective and efficient solutions.

This outbreak is also causing a possible collapse in the global economy so most purchasers and/or investors will inadvertently put property purchases on hold. So how can we manage and/or overcome this challenge?

General compilation of answers:

• Purchaser’s behaviour will change according to the situation.

• Luxury products will be badly affected.

• For malls, the tenant mix needs to be revisited in order to fit into this new environment.

• For luxury properties, demand will not be affected much due to the purchasing power of the rich. For medium-priced housing, a reduction in price is anticipated for the next six to nine months. Low cost housing will be the focus for the short term period. The secondary market is also expected to perform better than newly launched projects.

• Go into the digital realm, and improve the safety and health facilities of your
physical business.

• Not discounting the fact that there will be more developments in medical facilities.

• This crisis is not seen as a “crisis” to some smart investors out there – but in fact, it is an opportunity so do not allow emotions to affect rationale.

Are there other alternatives or spaces for real estate properties? Will there be more lease or sale?

• Most developers are going green in order for them to maximise space usage

• For malls, the spaces have to be more connected and have better ventilation
and utilities.

• Home offices will be in higher demand in the coming future.

• Due to social distancing, co-working space will be in lower demand as people do not want to congregate in a space with other strangers.

• Home office will be a more preferred option, such as the Small office Home office (SoHo) which is very common in Singapore.

Here’s a summary of findings and viewpoints from different FIABCI chapters concerning the property market across the region.

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