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Perceptions Of Young Professional In Malaysia: Homeownership Or Renting?

The European Proceedings of
Multidisciplinary Sciences
ISSN: 2421-826X
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ICRP 2019
4th International Conference on Rebuilding Place
M.R. Faraziera (a)*, T.A. Hamizah Liyana (b), O. Nurhayati (c)
*Corresponding author
(a) Quantity Surveying Department, School of Housing, Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800
Gelugor, Pulau Pinang,
(b) Quantity Surveying Department, Faculty of Built Environment & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia,
81310 Johor Bahru, Johor,
(c) Quantity Surveying Department, School of Housing, Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800
Gelugor, Pulau Pinang,
Since decades, housing affordability has been such a controversial issue that has been debated especially
among Malaysian. Young professionals nowadays find its hard to own a house due to the hike of house’s
price, which has led towards the growth of renting culture. The main objectives of this paper are to
identify the perception of young professional in homeownership vs. renting in Malaysia. Quantitative
research has been applied 182 respondents has answered the online questionnaire. The respondents
involve in this research were those in the age of 22 and 37 years old in 2018, whom graduates with at
least bachelor level. The respondent cohort would be those who resides in major cities in Malaysia such
as Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching. The results of the finding,
most of the respondents still preferred to be the homeowner despite the hikes of houses price from time to
time. However, based on the result obtained, it also can be seen that majority of the respondents seem to
be ready to adopt the renting culture due to the hikes of houses in Malaysia.
© 2019 Published by Future Academy
Keywords: Young Professional, affordable housing, homeownership, Malaysia.
Corresponding Author: M.R. Faraziera
Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of the conference
eISSN: 2421-826X
1. Introduction
Owning a house are everyone’s dreams, and this idea has been inherited from generations to
generations, which in turn heighten a direct or indirect demand in the housing market (Cheah & Stefanie,
2017). Osman et al., (2017) highlighted that there are different definitions of affordable housing from
different views in between of RM300,000 to RM500,000. However, according to Bank Negara Malaysia
(BNM) (2018) the earlier statement is not usable because, houses in the price range of RM300,000 to
RM500,000 are not consider as affordable to the households earning of the median income in Malaysia.
BNM pointed out, according to the international standards using the Housing Cost Burden approach, they
estimated the maximum price of affordable housing at only RM282,000.
Meanwhile, the renting cultures now have been widely practiced since the housing price is no
longer reasonable and affordable for the median income in Malaysia (Lim, Olanrewaju, Tan, & Lee,
2018). According to Rafee (2018), only 33% of millennials in Malaysia can afford to own a property due
to escalating home prices and slower salary growth. According to Fuster, Arundel, and Susino (2019)
renting is the best option due to its flexibility and cheaper than buying a house. In addition, Salleh, Yusof,
Johari, and Ahmad, (2018) highlighted in his report that for a house that cost more than RM500,000,
renting might be a more viable option given the price of properties and the rising cost of living.
2. Problem Statement
Owning a home is like a reward to the buyer for their hard work (Lim et al., 2018). However, this
dream is now becoming difficult to be a reality especially for today's youth whom are currently struggling
to own a house (Olanrewaju & Tan, 2018). There are few factors that have been recognized which lead
towards housing unaffordability.
Growth in House Prices
According to Bujang, Jiram, Abu Zarin, and Md. Anuar, (2015) while Gen-Y has struggled to
develop a career and increase their incomes, house prices to income ratios continuously rising, sparking
challenges for first-time buyers today. Ling, Hassan, and Cheng, (2017) supported this scenario, in which
there is steadily growth of housing prices from 2007 until 2018, whereas the household wage only
recorded an upsurge of 8.3% in Malaysia. From the year 2009 until 2017 the number of houses
constructed are double, which shows such a huge difference. However, as the year passes, most of the
new launches feature houses focusing in the range of between RM250,000 and RM500,000. Meanwhile,
the low-cost houses have been reduced gradually from year 2009 until 2018 (Edge Property, 2018). Most
of the developers are now focusing on the high-end houses for maximum returns. The profits for the high-
end projects are relatively much higher than the low-cost projects. As a result, the young generation
cannot afford to own a house as the selling prices are beyond their affordability.
Housing Loan
According to the Housing and Local Council Minister, Zuraida Kamaruddin, the strict housing
loan requirement which is imposed by the bank on first-time home buyers, particularly youths, ought to
be reviewed (Bernama, 2018). Zuraida added that factors obstructing the loans approval for home buyers
are due to the lack of a second financial gain, insufficient spouse salary and National Higher Education
Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loan repayments (Bernama, 2018). According to Kaushal (2016), in the
Corresponding Author: M.R. Faraziera
Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of the conference
eISSN: 2421-826X
current scenario, where builders are desperate for buyers and banks also try to attract borrowers by
reducing interest rates but difficulty to get the loan approval from the bank is just the same as before.
Therefore, the bank should loosen the terms of the home loan application to help the younger generation
to buy their first house (Lerner, 2018). Indeed, loosen the lending terms will encourage homeownership
among young professional in Malaysia (Fuster et al., 2019).
Mismatch Between Supply and Demand for Housing
Data from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) showed only 21% of new launches between January
2017 and March 2018 which cost less than RM250,000, indicating that the presence of 20 federal and
state agencies for housing development did not help the situation (Cheah & Stefanie, 2017). In short, even
though the government still provide the affordable houses for Malaysian, the quantity is insufficient to
cater for the demand for the houses (Olanrewaju & Tan, 2018). This problem occurs due to the sudden
‘gold rush’ by the developers, in which they prefer to build high-end property compare to the lower- and
medium-end property to ensure maximum profit. In the meantime, the slower growth in the household
incomes in relation to house prices worsen the situation. As it is hard to find buyers, as a result there is
enormous overhang of the high-end housing development (Lim, 2018). If the house constructed is
beyond affordability, as a result, the number of unsold properties will increase gradually (Bujang et al.,
2.1.Homeownership VS. Renting
Lim et al. (2018) mentioned that home-ownership is best describe as a place we dedicated for
ourselves, raise a family, reminiscences memories with friends and become part of robust neighbourhoods
and communities as well as able to meet financial goals for investment in future. Meanwhile, renting
means, a property from which the owner receives payment from the occupier, known as a tenant, in return
for the occupation or use of the property.
Li and Wen (2018) stated that homeownership is not meant for everyone, this is because, there is
no single country in the world have 100 percent of homeownership. In addition, usually the property
penetration is about 75%, and the rest rent for various reasons, some residents can afford to become
homeowners but by choice want to be a renter, some while others have not been able to become
homeowners because they are at the early stage of their career (Olanrewaju & Tan, 2018).The residential
sector has always dominated the Malaysian property market (REHDA, 2017). However, recently the
transaction of residential have decreased to -0.8% from H1 2018 which equivalent to 767 units of houses.
The decline volume transaction has an impact towards the value of transaction for residential sector. The
value of transaction recorded a reduction of 3.6% from 2017 which is equal to RM 1.18 Billion. Even
though residential sector is highly dominant for Malaysia property, however, it does not show positive
growth in the housing market.
According to Bank Negara Malaysia, only 24% or 25,124 units of houses cost below RM250,000
including those being built by the private developers were launches throughout January 2017 until
September 2018 (The Star Online, 2018). Hence, the number of houses constructed was insufficient to
satisfy the demand of one third of Malaysian households which can afford to buy houses beyond this
price level, as a result, the number of sold units decreases tremendously yearly. In 2015, Malaysia is
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leading the home ownership rate with the percentage of 72.5% which is relatively high as compared to
other developing countries (Khazanah Research Institute, 2015).
However, most of the developed countries including Australia, United Kingdom (UK) and United
States of America (USA), have the least percentage of homeownership (are this fact validated by any
citation or based on here say). This is mainly due to the higher price of properties in the country. This
proves that the more developed the country, the more expensive the property will be. Hence, most of the
communities in those countries are practicing renting instead of buying properties as it is beyond their
Consequently, renting can be a reasonable choice under certain circumstances. Salleh et al. (2018)
highlighted that when the market and the economy as a whole see long-term correction, it can provide a
good opportunity for the rental market as a lease requiring lower financial commitments and giving
immediate access to the accommodation. There is still massive growth in the rental market relative to the
owner-population market. Li and Wen (2018) stated that, renting may not be a bad option because it
allows flexibility. If buyers apply for housing loans, they need to bear for 30 years of commitment paying
houses instalment.
Hoong (2018) mentioned that if monthly rents are below the monthly installments for housing
loans especially in the urban areas, then perhaps the best option is to rent. In addition, Mostafa and Jones
(2019) believes with a strong jobs market, people began to choose to stay mobile and often they could not
afford to buy near urban centres where they are more likely to get a job at a higher wage. Besides, Hulse,
Morris, and Pawson, (2019) stated that as a renter, tenant only need to sign the contract for a year, 6
months, or even on a month-to-month basis which gives them more freedom to move, travel long-term,
etc. and is contrary to the mortgage payment for 30 years. Fuster et al. (2019) emphasizes that, by renting,
occupants will experience financial benefits instead of owning a house. There are no right or wrong
choices in choosing between renting or buying a home. However, the best option can be made depending
on personal finances including the place that residents want to live on (Wahi, Zin, Munikanan, Mohamad,
& Junaini, 2018).
2.2.Young Professionals
According to Business Dictionary (2018), “professional” can be best described as a person who is
certified officially by a professional body belonging to a particular profession because of having a course
of study and/or required practice. Young professionals show distinct characteristics which is caused by
the environmental factors such as economic factors, depending on high technology, and have built up the
young professional traits (Passy, 2018; Fuster & Zafar, 2016). According to the Fact Sheet (2017), young
professionals are more likely to be college graduates, working in a rapidly growing occupation, and be
racially and ethnically diverse.
According to Li and Wen (2018), across the board, the generally accepted age cut off for a ‘young’
professional is 37 years old. Therefore, this research was mainly focused on young professionals with the
range of age between 22 years old to 37 years old which are defined by the age range for Gen Y.
Therefore, this study intended to identify the perception of young professionals in Malaysia on their
preference of homeownership or renting a house.
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eISSN: 2421-826X
3. Research Questions
What are the perceptions of young professionals in homeownership vs. renting in Malaysia?
4. Purpose of the Study
To identify the perceptions of young professionals in homeownership vs. renting in Malaysia
5. Research Methods
The main instrument used for data collection in a survey research is via questionnaires. An online
questionnaire was designed using Google Forms sent through WhatsApp and email to the respondents.
For this paper, the questionnaire design is mainly focus on the perception of young professionals
regarding homeownership vs renting. The sample population for this research are graduates with at least
at bachelor level and live in one of the major cities in Malaysia such as Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang,
Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching and the age range between 22 to 37 years old (Gen-Y).
6. Findings
6.1.The Demographic Information
The personal information of respondents is gathered in this part. There are seven questions
included which are gender, age, city they are currently staying or living, marital status, household
member, educational background and monthly net income as shown in Table 1 and 2.
For the online survey, total of 84 males and 96 females answered the questionnaire The highest
age groups is between 32 to 37 years old, followed by age group between 27 and 31 years old finally age
group between 22 and 26. For current living city, the highest number of respondents are living in Kuala
Lumpur. This is followed by Penang, Selangor, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching. The highest
number of respondents are from Kuala Lumpur because the young generation prefer to work in major
cities due to more job opportunities. This is supported by the Department of Statistics Malaysia, DOSM,
(2017) which Kuala Lumpur recorded the highest median monthly household income of RM9,073
followed by Selangor (RM 7,225), Johor (RM5,652) and Pulau Pinang (RM5,409).
As shown in Table 1, there are 103 who are married, 75 respondents are single, and 4 respondents
who single mother or single father. The high number of respondents that are married correlates with the
highest number of respondents aged between 32 to 37 years old. Next, the educational background of
respondents is taking into consideration in the survey as the level of education of respondents will
correlates to the level of monthly income. It can be seen that there are 112 respondents have degree
qualification, 34 have Master and 33 with PhD qualification.
For monthly income, the highest percentage of salary are between RM2,000 to RM3,999
categories. With this amount of monthly net income, it will be hard for the young professionals to
purchase a house due to the unaffordable price.
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eISSN: 2421-826X
Table 01. Summary of Respondent`s Personal Information
Respondent’s Personal
No. of Respondent
Percentage (%)
26 26 years old
27 31 years old
32 37 years old
Kuala Lumpur
Johor Bahru
Kota Kinabalu
Single Mother / Father
Household Member
1 2
3 4
5 6
> 7
Educational Background
Monthly Net Income
RM2,000 RM3,999
RM4,000 RM5,999
RM6,000 RM7,999
6.2.Young Professional: Buying vs. Renting
Relative Importance Index (RII) is calculated according to the data obtain from the questionnaire
survey. Then IT will be ranked using the RII calculation to find out the relative importance of each
variables. The five-point Likert scale ranged from 1 (totally disagree) to 5 (totally agree) will be adopted
and will be transformed to relative importance index (RII) for each factor as follows:
Figure 01. Relative Importance Index (RII) Formula
W = weights given to each factor by the respondents and will ranges from 1- 5
A = highest weight (i.e 5 in this case), and
N = total number of respondents
The formula is derived from Badu, Owusu-Manu, Edwards, Adesi, and Lichtenstein (2013). Each
factor’s RII perceived by all respondents will be used to assess the general and overall rankings in order
to give an overall picture of the perception of young professional in buying or renting houses.
A x N
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Table 02. Relative Importance Index (RII) of young professional: Buying vs. Renting
From Table 3, with highest RII, it indicates that majority of the respondents are now ready to shift
towards a renting culture. Although this scenario is still new to be practiced in Malaysia, but in other
countries such as in Singapore, the United States and China (are this fact validated by any citation or
based on here say) have been widely introduced. It is not surprising to see Malaysia to practice this
culture soon.
The second ranking would go to, ‘people tend to rent rather than buying a house due to the hike of
house's price which is out of their affordable range’. The maximum pricing for affordable homes in
Malaysia should be in the range of RM150,000 to RM300,000 and if it exceeds those amounts, the house
will be deemed as unaffordable for young Malaysians. However, as the year passes from 2009 to 2018,
most of the new launches feature houses focusing in building the house in the range of between
RM250,000 and RM500,000. Therefore, it would be worth to rent a house if the monthly rentals are
approximately 50% lesser than monthly housing loan payment for the same value of houses.
On the other hand, ‘renting provides short-term commitment because tenants are bound to a
particular period of contract payment’ was ranked at the third place with RII of 0.79. Usually, the rental
period lasts for 12 months. If the tenants have an intention to stay longer, they need to renew their
contract with the homeowner. Compared with buying a house, renting provide a short-term commitment
since they only bound with the payment contract within the stipulated period. Meanwhile, if buying a
house, they are bound with a contract which they are required to pay monthly instalment without skip for
at least about 25 to 30 years.
In addition, respondents believe, ‘renting is a flexible option since, it is always easy to shift out of
One of the positive sides of renting is that, tenants only need to prepare a short notice to inform the home
owner if they have intention to move out from the house. Besides, renting will be an ideal option
especially for those that might confront with unexpected changes such as job relocation. Since the young
professionals are still climbing up the ladder in their career, they might opt for job relocation in other
cities to develop their career. Hence, renting will be the best option for them.
Furthermore, the next ranking is ‘tenants have limited responsibilities towards rental property’.
Once the tenants are in renting periods, all the maintenance or repairing costs should be covered by the
landlord. For example, if any damages occur such as leaking of roofs, appliances are not functioning and
etc. homeowner are responsible to fix the damages on their own expenses. Unless the damages occur due
to the tenant’s fault, then the landlords are free from that obligation. The landlords are responsible to
ensure that their properties are in a good condition before allowing the tenants to rent the house.
The growth of houses price could lead towards renting culture.
People tend to rent rather than buying a house due to the hike of house's price which is
out of their affordable range.
Renting provide short-term commitment because tenants are bound to a particular period
of contract payment.
Renting is a flexible option since, it is always easy to shift out of a rented
Tenants have limited responsibilities towards rental property.
Renting is more profitable as tenants are free from paying property taxes.
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The lowest rank goes to ‘renting is more profitable as tenants are free from paying property taxes’
with the RII of 0.70. As compared with buying a house, renters are free from paying taxes like property
assessment tax, quit rent, stamp duty, and etc. Most of the time, all these taxes can be such a hefty burden
for homeowners as it is determined according to the estimated values of the house (Grossman, 2018;
Mostafa & Jones, 2019). This means, the expensive the houses prices, the higher the tax will be bear by
the home buyer. Therefore, the monthly rent is always cheaper than the monthly instalment on a house as
renters are free from paying taxes and hence provide the best option to the young professional to have a
shelter to live on
7. Conclusion
Providing adequate affordable homes for all Malaysians which cater for all levels of income
earners with sufficient quantity and quality is always the aspiration of the Malaysian government. This
linked to the fact that the lower and moderate-income families have always been the most important parts
in Malaysian’s society. They have made up the largest component of population in Malaysia, and their
housing needs are very crucial for the development of both the social economy aspects as well as the
social security aspects of the country. On the other hand, if the government fails to fulfil their housing
needs, indirectly the urbanization process in Malaysia will be affected.
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Purpose Although a high proportion of the Ghanaian population live and work in under‐developed areas, research on rural infrastructure development is scarce. The purpose of this paper is to explore the challenges confronting rural infrastructure development and the requisite incentives needed to boost it. Design/methodology/approach An inductive methodological approach was adopted using a structured questionnaire to survey the perceptions of rural contractors. Findings Incentive systems identified include the provision of mobilization funds for projects; a plant pool for rural contractors; special allowance for rates of project items; and provision of letters of credit to secure loans for projects. Key challenges confronting rural construction were identified as a lack of financial institutions willing to support projects with funds; lack of potable water; lack of good health care systems; and lack of a goods market to supply materials. Research limitations/implications Identification of challenges and incentive systems for rural infrastructure development provides an opportunity to reinvigorate rural infrastructural development in sub‐Saharan Africa. Practical implications The study will be of value to all project partners throughout the supply chain who contemplate rural infrastructure development. Originality/value The paper presents a novel epitome of rural infrastructure delivery in the developing country of Ghana.
Affordable housing has been defined as housing which is adequate in quality and location. In addition to this, it is deemed to be housing that is not so costly that it prevents its occupants from meeting their basic living needs. This study aims to develop a framework to facilitate affordable housing delivery. The data collection used was a survey questionnaire. The survey was administered to occupants within five high-rise buildings in Penang. The study also utilized a Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure of 0.518, and Bartlett’s test of sphericity of (x2 (210) = 10953.982, p<0.001). The two statistical test discovered that the major determinants affecting demand for affordable housing were crime rates, housing prices and down payments. The results also demonstrated that six factors were successfully constructed using a factor analysis and assigned as factors that determined the demand for affordable housing. The research will be useful to policy makers, urban planners, developers, and contractors.
Purpose The establishment of design criteria is an important activity in the initial phase of housing development. A lack of adequate information regarding design criteria will result in poor satisfaction of homebuyers, pre-occupancy obsolescence, high maintenance costs, property overhang and the abandonment of houses. In Malaysia, many of these consequences are prevalent. However, while information on homeowners’ requirements is inconclusive, paper aims to investigate the criteria upon which design teams/developers base their decisions in the design of affordable housing. Design/methodology/approach The present research conducted a cross-sectional survey questionnaire comprising 25 design criteria administered to 200 stakeholders in the housing industry. The design criteria were determined through a weighted mean. The associations between the criteria were analysed through a principal component analysis. Findings The results found that safety and security of home occupants and property, maintenance costs, noise and nuisance minimisation, extent of future modifications and waste disposal were the five major design criteria. Factor analysis narrowed down the 25 criteria to six factors, which explained 77 per cent of the total variance. The six underlying factors named of significance were operating costs, sustainability, comfort, neighbourhood, transportation and spatial. The findings also indicated that the design teams/developers paid little attention to a few critical design criteria. Research limitations/implications Future studies should involve a large sample size and increase the design criteria. Practical implications The study is important for improving homebuyers’ satisfactions because it provides information design team and developers decision-making factors. Originality/value This study is the first to address design criteria of affordable housing in Malaysia and elsewhere. This research provides fresh information on design management of affordable housing. The findings will be useful to policymakers, urban planners, place managers, design consultants and developers.
The rise in private renting in home ownership societies has been variously interpreted as increasing risk and insecurity and providing more flexible housing options for an increasingly diverse resident cohort. Drawing on an original survey and in-depth interviews with private renters in two cities in a classic home ownership society (Australia), there is clear support for the “disaster” interpretation in respect of low-income households renting in outer urban areas, with financial stress and insecurity reflecting and compounding disadvantage. For many others, private renting can be interpreted as a “constructive coping” strategy in the context of urban housing market restructuring. A sizeable cohort of private renters explicitly prioritises living in a desired inner/middle city location over owning. One – albeit relatively small group – appears “deviant” from the home ownership norm in associating private renting with greater lifestyle freedom. The paper contributes an understanding that location and lifestyle are of paramount importance to many private renters rather than housing tenure per se.
We use a strategic household survey to study the sensitivity of intended homeownership decisions to financing constraints. We find that the average stated likelihood of buying a home is strongly sensitive to the size of the required down payment, which we vary exogenously across three scenarios. This sensitivity is particularly high for respondents that appear more liquidity constrained based on observable characteristics (including current renters, or owners with low savings or low home equity). For renters, expectations of future rent inflation and of improvements to their personal financial situation also predict intention to buy.