Published on: INDVSTRVS
Ohmyhome Co-Founder Race Wong discusses why PropTech is the future of selling and buying real estate, and Wong shares tips on up and coming areas to invest in Singapore and Malaysia.
Ohmyhome Co-Founder Race Wong, was recognized as an outstanding entrepreneur, for her efforts to simplify how Malaysians buy, sell and rent property. After clinching the Outstanding Woman award in Entrepreneur Category at Women Glamour Award 2019 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia recently, Wong’s contribution to simplifying the entire value chain in property acquisition in South East Asia is not going unnoticed.
Within three years since launching, Ohmyhome emerged as Singapore’s number one HDB flat transaction app and recently expanded its footprint into Malaysia.
On achieving industry recognition, Wong says she’s honoured to be in the company of serious competition.
“It is a great privilege and honour to be recognized alongside the many outstanding women. The purpose of the award is to encourage other women by sharing our stories. If I am able to achieve my dreams and goals, many others can do so too! Making housing transactions simple, fast and affordable is at the heart of everything we do, and we’re delighted that the recognition places Ohmyhome at the forefront of the start-up industry,” says Wong.
Ohmyhome is a DIY platform connecting homeowners and searchers directly at no cost.
Features such as ‘ShoutOut’ and ‘Open House’ enhance the overall user experience. For those who prefer comprehensive and professional assistance, competitively priced agent services are available from 1% commission for Condo Agent Service, and at flat fees from SGD 588 to SGD 4,888 net for HDB Flat Agent Services.
Wong claims the App is powered by advanced technology and trusted by customers, Since launch, Wong says more than 4,500 homes have been transacted through Ohmyhome which represents a combined value of over SGD 1 billion.
We asked Wong to share her opinion on the key indicators of market buoyancy with regard to buyer and seller sentiment going into Q4 2019. According to Wong, competitive mortgage interest rate has remained relatively unchanged since August this year, which may still attract buyers to make commitments to purchase now.
Wong says there are a huge number of unsold units available. The quarter on quarter unsold units have increased 60% from 24,193 (Q1 2018) to 38,710 (Q1 2019). Only a drop-in no of unsold unit is seen in Q2 2019 at 35,538 units. The number of resale transactions in the private resale market has increased from Q1 2019 1,858 units to Q2 2019 2,371 units.
“These statistics by developers and resale market suggests a pickup in market activities in Q2. While we hope that the momentum will continue into Q4, it may be unlikely. Q4 is a time when activities start to moderate as seen in historical trends, combined this with the ample supply of unsold units that can take years to be absorbed with more units coming in the pipeline, we find that market buoyancy could be a stretch for Q4,” says Wong.
According to Wong, we can expect demand increasing due to housing availability going into 2020.
“With the introduction of a new enhanced housing grant (EHG) earlier in September 2019, we would expect to see an increase in demand for housing and the HDB resale market to be more active as these measures make public housing more affordable and accessible to lower and middle-upper income households. It helps young families set up their first homes at ease with more options in the resale market. Singaporeans will also enjoy more flexibility in choosing the size of their flats, the convenience in terms of location and affordability,” says Wong.
In regard to demand, Wong says investors should keep an eye on the most popular suburbs to rent and buy in Singapore and Malaysia, particularly property that have direct access to the greater southern waterfront.
“D16,18,19 and 23 are currently the most popular to rent. Investors should keep an eye on areas that have direct access to the greater southern waterfront,” says Wong.
Ohmyhome recently expanded its service offerings to home renovation and relocation services. We asked Wong what were the driving factors behind this decision.
“Though housing is the biggest and most important purchase in one’s life, the whole transaction process is often a cumbersome and expensive one. We know the problems in the market and our goal is to streamline the entire transaction journey on one platform. We’re always looking at ways to improve our customer experience and saw a growing need for homebuyers to have easy access to services such as renovation and moving. With the new services introduced to its ecosystem, customers can now enjoy the convenience of utilizing multiple services on a single app,” says Wong.
According to Wong the expectation for real estate agencies to be part of the post-sales process is all part of value creation for the customer.
“With the new services introduced to our ecosystem, Ohmyhome has raised the bar as we now have a robust ecosystem offering a total of ten property services on its platform including – DIY platform, agent services, conveyancing, mortgage advisory, home-staging, renovation, moving etc; as different agencies have different business models, they might focus on what they are good at currently, instead of post-sales services,” says Wong.