The number of properties going under the hammer in Malaysia has been on a worrying uptrend in recent years (see Table 1). Even if we attribute the sharp increase in 2020 — the figure is effectively only for half a year after taking into account the six-month blanket loan moratorium — to the Covid-19 pandemic, the rising trend has been playing out for far longer.

Residential property transactions (by value) from auctions as a percentage of total transactions have been rising since 2015, doubling by 2018 and reaching nearly 16% in 2019. The numbers are far, far higher than that in neighbouring Singapore.

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