Klang Valley rent rates up as part of nationwide trend, but pace stabilising

KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — Average rent throughout the country increased year-on-year in the first quarter of 2024 but at a much slower rate, rising by just 1.8 per cent in what is seen as sign that rentals have stabilised after surging just after the pandemic, real estate consultancy IQI said in its Malaysia Home Rental Index report.

The firm said the trend indicated “increased affordability” as the rate of increases slowed down. Rent rose to an average of RM1,920, for the January-March period compared to the first quarter of 2023.

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“While rents are higher today than in seven out of the 10 most recent prior quarters, the annual rate of increase has been declining. On a quarterly basis, average rents have fallen for the past two quarters,” IQI said.

“This suggests a trend of increasing affordability for renters. The performance of the Malaysia Home Rental Index in the first quarter suggests that demand growth for rental properties is slowing but remains at the higher end of levels set in recent years,” it added.

“The average rental price in Malaysia over the past two years is RM1,895, slightly lower than the first-quarter average price of RM1,920.”

In the Klang Valley, rents trended upwards although at different rates.

Rent in the capital city rose by 7.6 per cent annually to RM2,735, yet remain 27 per cent lower than pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of 2020. But Selangor’s average rent surged by 10 per cent annually to RM1,879, fully recovering to pre-pandemic levels.

“While Selangor is significantly more affordable than Kuala Lumpur or the national average, rents in the state have fully recovered from the pandemic and no longer offer a Covid affordability discount. Rents in Q1 are virtually identical to rental rates in the first quarter of 2020,” IQI said.

Rental yields

Nationwide yields are stable at 5.16 per cent, with Johor Baru offering the highest yield at 6.25 per cent, IQI said. The lowest average gross yields were in George Town (3.5 per cent), Kuala Lumpur (4.4 per cent), and Ipoh (5.2 per cent).

“Overall, the combination of a large, stable, and liquid market, relatively affordable entry prices, and high yields is attractive to international investors,” the firm said.

“Malaysia’s gross rental yield of 5.16 per cent is only lower than comparable numbers in Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines.”

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