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Henry Butcher Malaysia Property Market Insights: HB Perspective 2024


Henry Butcher Malaysia recently released the HB Perspective Malaysia Property Outlook 2024 report. The report features insights and an overview of the forecast for Malaysia’s property market in 2024 spanning across residential, office, retail, industrial, and hospitality sectors. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of life and has brought numerous obstacles to overcome. HB Perspective’s 2024 report takes into account the effects of the pandemic’s and the aftermath that awaits.

Overall, the Malaysian property market in 2023 indicates an optimistic outlook for businesses since its recovery in 2022, particularly those in the property sector, in light of improving economic conditions and rising consumer sentiments.

Post Covid-19 Economic Overview 2023 and 2024 Outlooks

HB Perspective 2024 reports significant progress across various sectors in Malaysia’s property market following its post-Covid-19 recovery journey. The nation’s economy has seen significant improvements since 2020 and 2021, with the GDP growing at a staggering rate to 8.7% in 2022, and moderating the growth rate to 3.9% in the first nine months of 2023. Malaysia has faced a notable downturn in total trade, however, domestic demand in conjunction with expenditure across private and public sectors has helped ensure the stability of the nation’s economy.

Following the slowdown of the pandemic period from 2020 to 2021, the Malaysian property market showed marginal growth of 1.5% in the volume of property transactions in 2021, but has since recovered by leaps and bounds. In 2022 the volume of property transactions grew by a whopping 32.8%, where the value of the transactions rose to 21.6% and 23.6% in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

The pattern of the value of transactions within the Malaysian property market from 2022 to 2023 indicates the stability of the industry, though it no longer reaches such accelerated growth following the recovery from the low base caused by the pandemic in 2020-2021.

As for the predicted changes and status of the economy in 2024, it is expected to continue growing in a positive light as the Malaysian government holds high hopes and confidence in the economy’s recovery by the GDP being forecast to grow in between 4% – 5% this year. This is upheld by RAM (RAM Holdings Berhad), MIDF (Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Berhad), and the IMF (International Monetary Fund) projecting a growth in between 4.4% – 5.5%, 4.7%, and 4.3% respectively. 

Based on these observations affecting business markets and the economy, Henry Butcher Malaysia holds the view of being cautiously optimistic in the Malaysian property market sectors in its ability to remain stable while continuing to maintain a gradual and sustainable growth trajectory in 2024.

Residential Property Sector

Regarding the Malaysian residential market, HB Perspective notes that the OPR of 3.0% maintained by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) stands to benefit businesses due to increased borrowing costs along with a greater possibility of house buyers entering the market because of relatively stable interest rates that are anticipated to not increase significantly in the near future. Additionally, Henry Butcher Malaysia observes that property developers are likely to review and raise the prices of new project launches as a response to rising construction costs due to the increased pricing of building materials for the past few years

Budget 2024’s Visa Liberalisation Plan effective from 1 December 2023 until 31 December 2024 provides visa-free entries to Malaysia to citizens of China and India for purposes other than work and study. In addition to boosting retail, leisure, and entertainment industries, the residential property sector stands to gain from this policy in servicing the demand for residential needs throughout the 30-day stays provided.

Henry Butcher Malaysia also highlights that residential real estate trends in 2024 will have a focus on landed residences, affordable high-rise developments including apartments especially in major towns and cities, smaller built-ups with an appropriate lower pricing range to fulfil affordability needs, strategically located unique and/or prime projects, and potential projects fueled with forward-thinking concepts and themes that will set itself as a unique selling point from the usual developments seen in the market. 

Office Property Sector

Henry Butcher Malaysia has stated that the Malaysian office property market is currently facing issues with oversupply, particularly in Kuala Lumpur. The completion of newer mega office towers in 2024 is expected to apply pressure on occupancy and rental rates, leaving older buildings falling behind on renovation upgrades to likely be disadvantaged in sustaining tenant interest. Furthermore, the increasingly important demand for new office spaces to meet environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) standards will result in newer project developments to survive the competitive market while attracting more interest from potential clients.

The problems caused by market oversupply can, in time, resolve itself as it may lead to some developers shelving or deferring new office projects. That said, with the impressive performance of the Malaysian economy over the past two years and the subsequent recovery of companies negatively impacted by the pandemic, a renewed confidence has generated greater demand for office spaces. This demand is expected to be bolstered further by business expansions, approved investments expected to encourage economic growth, and fund campaigns such as Dana Perintis by Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) (KWAP).

Retail Property Sector

HB Perspective 2024 reports an uptick in economic activity within the retail sector in post-covid-19 Malaysia, as health authorities have grown sufficiently prepared, and consumers resumed their shopping and leisurely activities outside. This is reflected in the resurgence of shopping centres in urban areas and tourist attractions, where good business was recorded during special weekends, holidays, and events – especially so during Christmas and New Year celebrations starting from 2023.

Henry Butcher Malaysia has observed the performance of the weak Malaysian Ringgit and its impact – notably that along with high airfares, locals are expected to be more likely to remain in Malaysia for holidays. Furthermore, in conjunction with the boost in tourism brought about by the Visa Liberalisation Plan, a favourable exchange rate plays a significant role in increasing expenditure of foreign tourists during their stays.

The report notes Retail Group Malaysia’s (RGM) forecast of a retail sector growth rate of 3.5%. However, the retail industry is hampered by factors that may decrease consumer spending on non-essentials, luxuries and outings, such as the rising cost of living, as well as the Service Tax rate increasing from 6% to 8% effective from March 2024. The precautions by consumers based on these circumstances are what the industry has to take into account in order to reach the outcome of a successful continued growth in the retail sector.

Industrial Property Sector

Henry Butcher Malaysia’s review for the industrial sector highlights Malaysia’s dismal trade performance in 2023 which may result in dampening the demand for industrial spaces. However, foreign direct investments (FDIs) and domestic direct investments (DDIs) will become the key in offsetting this issue. Investment trends in Malaysia indicate that plenty of committed investments have been successfully secured in 2024, potentially resulting in even greater demand to occupy and rent out business and industrial space units. Furthermore, the opportunity to boost trade performance has arisen as China’s economy moves forward on its road to an established recovery in 2024.

Manufacturers and warehouse operators stand to gain by occupying established areas with greater access and proximity to sources of labour. The industrial sector has also emphasised the importance of improving accessibility through the proposal and planned completion of infrastructure projects like the Bayan Lepas LRT Line, as they help facilitate business opportunities and attract investors which in turn generates greater demand for industrial space.

In regard to government plans and policies, the Malaysian government’s recently introduced New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030) in September 2030 outlines key objectives to facilitate Malaysian economic growth. The economic impact on the Malaysian real estate market – and the industrial sector by association – is expected to manifest through the implementation of the policy’s goals of increasing economic complexity, creating high value job opportunities, expanding domestic linkages, developing clusters of linked industries – both new and old, promoting inclusivity, and enhancing practices to meet ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) standards to meet expectations of consumers and investors.

The industrial sector can also anticipate further changes in its property market with the proposal of the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) government policy that aims to cultivate a sustainable and inclusive energy system to facilitate the nation’s transition from a fossil fuel reliant economy to a high value green economy. As such, the industrial market can expect improvements in operations and investment opportunities aligned with the values of this transition.

Hospitality Property Sector

Henry Butcher Malaysia notes that the Malaysian tourism industry’s post-Covid-19 rebound is supported by tourist arrivals exceeding the previous target set by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture (MoTAC), thus imbuing confidence in meeting the 2024 target of 27.3 million. In view of Budget 2024’s Visa Liberalisation Plan along with allocated funding for the promotion of tourism and preservation of heritage sights and buildings, tourist arrivals are expected to further increase to reach set targets especially for Visit Malaysia Year 2026. 

The weak Malaysian Ringgit is expected to boost domestic tourism as a by-product of locals choosing to spend holidays within the country, as well as to promote greater spending by international tourists. Furthermore, the Malaysian government has loosened criteria for the Malaysia My 2nd Home (MM2H) programme in order to attract international tourists and investors by facilitating affordable long-term stays.

However, Malaysia’s shortage of labour in tandem with the increased Sales & Service Tax (SST) of 8% that will potentially result in significantly hiked up prices for goods and services, such as hotel room rates, will prove to be challenges to the hospitality industry’s recovery if no solution is proposed. Despite this, the anticipated activity that may emerge for Malaysia is a factor for the hospitality sector to look forward to when catering to tourism needs.


Henry Butcher Malaysia’s outlook for 2024 overall reports that the Malaysian property market is making efforts to maintain its stability with its post-Covid-19 recovery journey. As it stands, the property sectors has emphasised on meeting the demands of target markets, while navigating the challenging circumstances of the time. The property market is expected to be met with a promising growth in demand and investment opportunities, though caution is advised in light of the variability of the property sectors’ outlooks.

Furthermore, real estate trends will be swayed significantly by the long-term effects of government plans, shifts in consumer behaviour, political instabilities, and domestic activities. All such factors are to be taken into consideration moving forward in reinvigorating the confidence within the economy itself to help fully rebound the Malaysian property market to its former status of glory.

View the full HB Perspective Malaysia Property Outlook 2024 report here.