Factors that Influence Buyer Decision for Property

1.0 Introduction of Study

Nowadays, the demands for houses increase every year. In Malaysia, housing demands include all sorts of houses which are low cost houses, medium cost houses and also high cost houses. All the demands for the houses come from all kind of income groups based on their income. The supply of the houses sometimes over than demands that makes the houses abundant.

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More challenges of competitive market in these decades because the developers entering the housing market increasing. At the same time, the local and national economic makes the developers to aware and pay attention to the buyers for their needs, satisfaction and preferences. When the developers meet the buyers’ needs, satisfaction and preferences in delivering the product, this will avoid in abundant of the property.

The thesis is about the findings of the research that determines the factors that influence the buyers towards buying the residential property. The buyers that involved in this thesis are chosen from the people that attend new launched project and also the buyer that already bought a house. The findings also come from the observation of the study area and also the market.

All the factors that influence buyers in decision-making will be defined and the preferences and satisfaction of the buyers also taking into account. The outcome of this study will help to increase the quality of the property towards the development of new residential property in the market.

1.1 Background of Study

The study covers the buyers and also the residential property in Kuching, Sarawak. The demand for houses increased in Kuching caused by the increment of the population in this town. The study can also be the guide towards preparing the residential property based on the preferences and the satisfaction of the buyers. If the residential property build based on the preferences and satisfaction of the buyer, the market will be active and the supply of the houses will meet the requirements of the buyers through this study.

The factors that maybe included that influence the buyers in decision making are design, location, developer’s reputation, facilities within neighborhood, safety and security and the price. The factors that influence the buyer in decision making toward the residential property of each respective buyer is different, so through this study, the factors can be defined.

1.3 Problem Statement

This dissertation is to know what are the factors that influence buyer in decision-making for residential property. It is to assure that the preferences and satisfaction of the buyers could be determined.

1.4 Objectives

There are two main objectives for this research. They are as follows:

To define the factors that influence buyers in decision making for residential property
To measure the level of importance of factors that influence buyers in decision-making process.
1.5 Scope of Study

The scope of this study is mainly in Kuching which is located in Sarawak. The study will focus on residential property in Kuching Sarawak. The residential properties which are the landed property that involve in this study include the medium cost housing and high cost housing. The landed property that being focused are single storey terrace house, double storey terrace house, single storey semi-detached house, double storey semi-detached house, single storey detached house and double storey detached house.

It also concentrated on the buyers in three groups of age between 25 years old to 30 years old, 30 years old to 35 years old and 35 years and above. The three groups are chosen because of the age of 25 years to 30 years is the best age to own the house and the age of 35years and above is the age which they must own the house for living.

Besides that, this study also focuses on the group of income in order to determine the level of affordability in buying the property. In this study, the residential property that involves is medium cost housing and high cost housing. So, the income group should be determined.

1.6 Significance of Study

The significance of this study is to know the factors that influence the buyers in decision making of residential property in order to make sure that the supply of the property will fulfill the requirement of the buyers in buying the property. It also important to know the preferences of the buyers so that no housing units in the area would be abundant caused by not fulfill their satisfaction.

In addition, this study also can be the guidelines and also preparation for the developers in order to build and supply the property to the market and at the same time, the government can take action to avoid the housing development from being abundant. The factors that influence buyers in decision making are also important because it can help to determine the design, the location, the price and also the facilities that needed in the development.

1.7 Methodology of Study

In this study, two methods used in order to find the information to lead through the completion of this thesis. The methods are divided into two which is primary data and secondary data.

For primary data, the method is by distributing the questionnaires. In distributing the questionnaires, the person to answer the survey are the new buyers, the recent residents and also the visitors at the new launched project and housing exhibition.

For secondary data, the method are by manual which come from reading the reference books, journals, papers and also the magazines , by statistics data which can be look at the Department of Statistics of Jabatan Perangkaan Malaysia and Economic Planning Unit and also the data collection from online through websites related to the topic and also the research papers. Through reading, much information can be gathered together for a good and successful outcome in this study. All the materials to be read will be find at main library of Universiti Malaya, library Faculty of Built Environment, National Library, Pustaka Negeri Sarawak and also Perpustakaan Sultanah Zanariah Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

1.8 Organization of Study
CHAPTER 1 Introduction

In chapter 1, the introduction includes the background of the study that will be discussed in this thesis. It also shows the problem statement that also can be the hypothesis of this study. The objectives of this study also include in this chapter. Besides that, the introduction also discussed the scope of the study, the significance of study and also the methodology of the study.

CHAPTER 2 Literature Review

Literature review consists of the strategy of the thesis in order to gain and gather the data of information that are needed in this study. All the data from the articles in the property magazines and books, the journals related to the housing demands and property buyers, the research papers about the related topics, books that include all the information about buying a property and also residential property, magazines that shows the factors influence the buyers in decision making of residential property.

CHAPTER 3 Overview the Study Area

For this chapter, the overview of the study area will consists of the socio-economy in Kuching which is the location of this study. The socio-economy depends on the population of people in Kuching, the household income, the group of age, the changes in physical environment and others socioeconomic issues.

CHAPTER 4 Research Analysis and Findings

The research analysis is the analysis of this study from all the information and data that gathered together in order to get the outcome. All the analysis and the findings from this study determines into graphs, charts, tables and also pictures to make this study clear.

CHAPTER 5 Research Outcomes and Conclusion

In this chapter, all the finding and research analysis will be summarized and the conclusion of this study will be presented. Either than that, the implication of this study are also discussed and the availability of the problem statement whether it can be used or not.

2.1 Introduction

In decision making for residential property, there are several factors that influence the buyers. The factors are divided into categories. The categories are buyers’ taste and preferences, demographic factors, economic factors and marketing strategy.

This thesis will focus on residential property which is the landed property. The landed property consists of property for high income group and middle income group which are terrace house, semi-detached house and detached house. The property categorized according to the supply and demand in the market and also the prices.

The location for this housing study will focus in Kuching, Sarawak that have a large population due to Sarawak, the biggest state in Malaysia which have the multiracial including Malay, Chinese, Indian and others. The reason to have this location as the case study is because of the big location with multiracial and can explore the demand and the preferences of the consumers in buying the residential property.

2.2 Definition
2.2.1 Decision- Making

Decision-making is an outcome of mental processes. Every decision making process produces a finalchoice wherebythe output can be an action or an opinion of choice which is a continuous process integrated in the interaction with the environment concerned with the logic of decision making and rationality with the invariant choice.

Decision making made by the buyer, depends on individual’s need, preferences, satisfaction and also their requirement in order to choose the perfect and right choice in buying the property. The decision making influence by various factors.

In this study, the objective is to determine the factors that influence buyers in decision making of residential properties. The decision making of every people related to the factors and the way of the people think in order to fulfill the need and satisfaction through the requirement of the property.

2.2.2 Consumer (Buyer)

The product which is goods and services that consumes by a person and has the ability to choose between the different suppliers and products. In the other hand, consumer or buyer is a party that requires or agrees to own, acquire and have the benefit in usage for the services that in exchange for money or other consideration under a contract or agreement of sale.

The consumer or buyer in this study just focuses on high group income and middle group income. It is because to look towards the choices or need of this income group in their decision making for buying residential property. For lower income group, it just only lead to the affordability in their decision making, so they are not chosen as the respondent in context of buyer for this study.

2.2.3 Consumer Behavior

‘Consumer behavior examines not only consumer’s action, but also the reasons for those behaviors. On a macro level, marketers are interested in demographic shifts as well as society’s values, beliefs and practices that affect how consumers interact with the marketplace. Thus, concepts are drawn from sociology and psychology figure prominently in the study of consumer behavior.’ (Karen M Gibler and Susan L Nelson, 2003, p.63-64)

Consumer behavior is the study of how people behave when obtaining, using, and disposing of products and services or when, why, how, where and what people do or do not to buyproducts.It mixes ofpsychology, social,personal andcultural. It is attempting to understand the buyer decision-making process for both, individually and in groups. The characteristic of individual consumers such asdemographicsand behavioral variables which is in an attempt to understand people’s wants. It also assesses influences on theconsumerfrom groups such as family, friends, reference groups, and society in general.

Customer behavior study is based on consumer buying behavior, with the customer playing the three distinct roles of user, payer and buyer. The relationship marketing is being the influential of asset for customer behavior analysis as it become a keen interest in the rediscovery of the true meaning of marketing through the re-affirmation of the importance to the customer or buyer. A greater importance is also placed on consumer retention, customer relationship management, personalization, customization and one-to-one marketing. Social functions can be categorized into social choice and welfare functions.

Consumer behavior also can be define as the process and activities which the people engage in when searching for, selecting, purchasing, using, evaluating, and disposing of products and services to satisfy their needs and desires. For cultural, the people will act based on the cultural that usually be the influence in certain places and surrounding. For social, the people will think and act more to socially action that also can be positive and negative. In physiological aspect, it is more to thinking and the personal behavior leads to the decision making. People maybe influence by the way they thinking of.

2.2.4 Marketing

Definition of marketing by Institute of Marketing is the management function which organizes and directs all those business activities involved in assessing and converting customer purchasing power into effective demand for a specific production or service to the final customer or user so as to achieve the profit target or other objective set by the company.

‘Marketing is a combination of marketing concept of marketing concept, marketing function and the operational implementation of these functions in the context of the concept. … The marketing concept can be most simply explained as a belief that the organization can function in the best interests of its customer and its self where a balance is achieved between the need of both of these parties.’ (Trustrum, LeslieBernard,1989, p.48).

Marketing plan is the marketing strategy by the developer to sell their property to the people so that people will attract to buy the property from them. The advantages of marketing strategy will diverse marketing activities that can be better co-ordinate and can avoid or reduce to a minimum crisis management such as unsold unit and etc. The basis of marketing strategy is 4P’s consist of Product, Price, Place and Promotion.

2.2.5 Developer

The coordinators of the activities that converting ideas on the paper to the reality by building the realproperty that encompassing activities range from therenovationand re-leaseof existingbuildings to the purchase of rawlandand the sale of improved parcels to others.

Developers usually take the greatestriskin the creation or renovation of real estate and receive the greatest rewards such as the money and also acknowledgement from the purchaser or respective buyer that satisfy with their product. Usually, developers purchase a tract of land then determine themarketing of the property. After that, they developing the building program and design, obtaining the necessary public approval and financing, building the structure, leasing, managing, and ultimately selling the property.

Developers work with many different counterparts along each step of this process including the architects, planners, engineers, surveyors, inspectors, contractors, property agents and etc. The developers build the house to supply to the market and sell to the buyer based on the demand in the market. The demand depends on the needs of the consumer, the market trend and also the economic trends.

2.2.6 Residential

Residential property is the property in the residential area that includes the single family housing, multi-family residential or mobile house. The residential property is under the zoning of residential and may permit high density land use or low density land use.

Residential development is real estate development for the purpose of residential. The developments are when the land divided into lots with the house constructed on each piece of subdivided land. Medium Cost Housing

Medium cost housing is the property that sell in the median price that can be purchase by medium income group and high income group. The medium cost housing in this research is the single storey terrace house, double storey terrace house, single storey semi-detached house and double storey semi-detached house. High Cost Housing

High cost housing is the property that the price is high and usually for the high income group of people. The high cost housing is selling with the high price that the price influences by the material, the design, the location and the size or area. The people that usually buy the high cost property is the people that need the high satisfaction and also all about luxury. The high cost housing could be the detached house and also high end property. In this research, the high cost housing is the single storey detached house and double storey detached house.

2.3 Factors

Factors divided into four categories which are demographics’ factor, economics’ factor, buyer’s taste and preferences and marketing strategy. The factors distribute in the categories so that it is easy to determine what, how, when and etc. In addition, the factors that influence buyers in decision of residential property can be determining by distributed the factors as above.

For demographics’ factor, it includes the age, social class and race or ethnicity. Age of the buyer also important that may influence them in decision making because it may show that what type of residential property they want that can give them satisfaction or needs for the requirement of the property. For social class in this study, it consists of high income group and middle income group because it is easy to know what they want to consider before buying the property not only based on their financial. The low income group is not included in this study because of the affordability of them to buy the type of property which is just the low cost housing. Race or ethnicity is one of the demographics’ factor because it also could influence the buyer whether to live in a same location with it own ethnic or race or just mixed with other races and ethnic.

For economics’ factor, it consists of prices, availability of finance and affordability. Prices of the property depends on the type of property, location of the property, the supply and demand of property and also the market trends of current situation. The availability of finance may depend on either the government loan or private institution’s loan such as bank and etc. The finance also depends on the availability of the bank in releasing the amount of loan and based on the income of buyer. Affordability is the main thing to discuss whereby every people have their own level of affordability.

Marketing strategy is also one of the factors in decision making. Marketing strategy has four basis which are price, promotion, place and product. The price can me the measurement to know what is the price that agreed and affordable for the buyer based on the type of property, location and also the market price. The promotions in this marketing strategy consist of the launching of the project and the exhibition also important which is good in order to promote the property to the prospective buyer. Such promotion can attract more buyers and give the buyer opportunities to ask about the property and also giving the good image of developer and the product itself. Place is the location where is the property located and it seems very important because in every location, it have its own density and population. Some of the buyer wants the location either the high density or low density of population and some of the buyer wants to buy the property located in the city centre or otherwise. For the product, it depends on whether it is high class property or medium class property for high income group and middle income group. Depending on the class of property, the marketing strategy should be based on the focus group that will buy the property. So, the developer has the main role in the development to plan a good marketing strategy in order to have the successful project by selling 100% of the units.

Buyers’ taste and preferences is the buyer needs and satisfaction in order to fulfill their taste and comfortless. The buyer needs and satisfaction is different. According to Abraham Maslow (1954), safety is one of the needs of human. The safety includes the security of family, health and property. So, the people needs the property for secure and health whereby every human being need shelter to lives. For satisfaction, it is more towards the luxury, taste and comfort that will be different depending on the person. Preferencesis a concept that have been used in thesocial sciences, particularly economics that assumes a real or imagined choice between alternatives and the possibility of rank ordering of these alternatives, based onhappiness, satisfaction,gratification, enjoyment and theutilitythey provide. More generally, it can be seen as a source ofmotivation. In cognitive sciences, individual preferences enable choice of objectives or goals.

2.4 Factors Might Be Influence the Buyer

From the factors above, the factors might be influence the buyer in decision making for the residential property are the design, location, developer’s reputation, facilities within neighborhood, safety and security and the price.

The residential property has several of design nowadays such as contemporary design, modern design or traditional design. All the design chooses by the buyers to buy the residential property. So, the design might be one of the factors that influence buyer in decision-making. The location also might be the factors that influence the buyer in decision making. The location might be choose by the buyer are in the city centre, near the city centre and out of the city. The location that the buyer wants to live is the factors might be influence them in decision making.

The developer’s reputation might be the factor that influences buyers because it is all about quality and confidence to the buyer to buy the house. The reputation of the developer could show the quality of the house and build the confidence to the buyer in buying the property from them. The safety and security in residential area is important because nowadays the criminal cases highly increased and made people more aware about the security for the safety living. The people trust that if in the area have a good security and safety, it would be safe for living and it might be one of the factor that influence buyer.

The price is based on the design, location and also the market trends. The price that is reasonable based on the area or size, design; location would be the factors that influence buyer in decision-making. So, the factors might be influence the buyer will be determined in the questionnaire and the level of interest would be defined.

2.5 Buyers’ Decision- Making Process

Buyers decision vary an importance and complexity, thus, it is important to classify them to be understand the characteristics, the products, the marketing strategy implications on each type of purchase behavior.

2.7 Theory of Needs

Maslow’s theory of needs

Figure 2.5: Maslow’s Theory of Needs

The safety level includes the security of the body, employment, resources, morality, the family, health and property. In this research, the important part of the safety is the shelter whereby its a need for the family to live with comfortable and healthy living in a property.

So the buyer’s have the right in the need for a property that they want to buy and before make the decision, they need to know what is the factors that influence them in buying the property.

2.8 Conclusion

For this literature review, the discussion more on the definition of decision making, consumer, developer, the marketing and also factors that lead to the factors that influence buyers in decision-making.

All the category of factors based on the buyer itself and also the market trends that supply the property. The developer also have to take note that not only the demand of buyer need to be fulfill but also the economic and demographic factors must taking into account. In conclusion, the factors that influence buyers in decision making of residential property for this case of study and also the level of interest of those factors can be determine by the research.

3.0 Introduction

This chapter attempts to give an overview of the study in Kuching. The issues to be discussed in this chapter are information related to socioeconomic in Kuching.

3.1 Background of Study Area

Sarawak is one of the state on the island of Borneo which also known as ‘Land of the Hornbills’. It is situated on the north-west of the island and it is the largest state among all in Malaysia. It is the capital of Sarawak as it is the largest city on the island of Borneo and also the fourth largest city in Malaysia. Sarawak divided into eleven administrative divisions which are Kuching Division, Samarahan Division, Sri Aman Division, Betong Division, Sarikei Division, Sibu Division, Mukah Division, Kapit Division, Bintulu Division, Miri Division and Limbang Division.

Each division divided into districts which are 33 districts in Sarawak. In Kuching Division, there are District Of Kuching, Lundu and Bau. The study area of this research is District of Kuching in Kuching Division. The district covers an area of 1, 863 square kilometres with the population approximately 620 700. The district of Kuching is administered and divided into three local governments which are Kuching North City Hall, Kuching South City Council and Padawan Municipal Council.

The part under Kuching North City Hall covering an area of 369.48 square kilometers which is the area north of te Sarawak River, parts of Old Kuching and also the western Central Business District. Meanwhile, the area south of the Sarawak River, eastern Central Business District and towards the South China Sea is within Kuching South City Council jurisdiction. The rural areas within Kuching District, Batu Kawa, Kota Sentosa and Third Miles are under the jurisdiction of Padawan Municipal Council.

DistrictJurisdictionLand Area (square kilometers)


Kuching North City Hall


Kuching South City Council


Padawan Municipal Council




Table 3.1: Total Area of Kuching District

For further information about the location of Kuching, please refer to the Appendix I.

3.2 Population

Sarawak has the population of about 579, 900 in years 2006.From this survey, it shows that Kuching District has a great housing market which the potential buyers are from the category of 25 years old and above.

According to the population census 2006 published by Department of Statistic, Malaysia, the population of Kuching District is as the following:-


Kuching North City Hall

133, 600

Kuching South City Council

143, 500

Padawan Municipal Council

302, 800



Table 3.2: Population Census 2006 in Kuching District

(Sources: Population Distribution by Local Authority Areas and Mukims, Census 2006, Department of Statistics Malaysia.)

3.2.1 Projected Population by Ethnic Group

(Sources: Population Distribution by Local Authority Areas and Mukims, Census 2006, Department of Statistics Malaysia)

The majority projected population by ethnic in Kuching District within Kuching Division is Chinese, which is 38% of the whole population and about 220, 400 people. The second ethnic is Malays, 36% and follow by other ethnic groups 16% and Iban 10 %.

The projected population by ethnic group and jurisdiction in Kuching for year 2009 is shown in the Table 3.3. The total population from the table has shown that majority of residents in Kuching District live under Padawan Municipal Council jurisdiction. Population under Kuching North City Hall is lesser than other jurisdiction although the land area is bigeer in size than Kuching South City Council.

JurisdictionTotalMalayChineseIbanOther Ethnic group

Kuching North City Hall

133, 600

80, 160

26, 720

10, 040

16, 680

Kuching South City Council

143, 500

40, 805

68, 800

21, 060

12, 835

Padawan Municipal Council

302, 800

87, 799

124, 842

26, 890

63, 269

Note: 1. Population projection based on the 2006 Population Census

2. The added total may differ due to rounding

(Sources: Population Distribution by Local Authority Areas and Mukims, Census 2006, Department of Statistics Malaysia)

3.2.2 Projected Population by Age Group
Age GroupKuching North City Hall
Total579, 900








54, 900


49, 300


49, 300


43, 500


37, 400


30, 700


29, 600


25, 300


20, 800


16, 900


14, 500

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