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Targeting a new mindset amid the emerging urban exodus trend


27 Apr 2021

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – There is an emerging trend that is reshaping the property landscape – urbanites are relocating to suburbs, or the phenomenon known as ‘Urban Exodus’. This ongoing trend of migration is accelerated by the onset of the global pandemic, giving the property industry a major makeover. As we move into the post-pandemic property market, there are three key factors reshaping the industry.

1. Growing Upward Social Mobility

The Malaysian housing preferences have changed, with many homebuyers looking to live away from the city. This is because suburban property is the manifestation of an everyday Malaysian’s homeownership dream – living in a large space with multifunctional rooms in a low-density neighborhood. From keeping up with the growth of children to taking care of aging parents, homebuyers are looking to upgrade their current home to a larger permanent living space in the suburbs to accommodate those needs.

“The emerging mass affluent is a dominant force in the property landscape with their home-buying preferences. The paradigm shift in home-buying trends is a wake-up call for businesses to be mindful and prepared to evolve along with the market,” said Darien Mah, founder of FOREFRONT Group, which recently developed the house-buying app FOUN.

2. The Millennial Shift

Statistics revealed that the gap between income growth and property price is getting larger by the year, making the urban housing market unaffordable for many. A report by World Bank has also shown that there is a pattern of income stagnation and widening income gap among millennials, further decreasing the level of housing affordability.

However, millennials are still looking for opportunities in the property market, hence why the affordability that comes with suburban living ticks all the boxes for this generation of homebuyers.

3. The New Normal

At the beginning of the 2020 global health crisis, everyone was confined in their homes and the city lost its luster. There is a growing trend where city dwellers are looking to trade their cozy apartments in the city for more spacious homes in the suburbs.

Since the first movement control order (MCO) in Malaysia, having the luxury of car-porch workout or backyard farming has become a desirable aspect in life, or indeed, the new definition of suburbia chic. With remote work being a daily reality for many, urban dwellers no longer see the value of living in an overcrowded city.

This article is by FOUN.

FOUN is a one-stop property solution, developed by creative group FOREFRONT, that aims to empower the everyday Malaysian to achieve their housing goals while maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

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