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Measuring long-run housing affordability for Malaysian millennial households: a geospatial and income distribution analysis

Gary John Rangel (Department of Finance, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia)
Jason Wei Jian Ng. (Department of Applied Statistics, Sunway University, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia)
Thangarajah Thiyagarajan Murugasu (Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics, Monash University Malaysia, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia)
Wai Ching Poon (Management and Humanities Department, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Seri Iskandar, Malaysia)

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis

ISSN: 1753-8270

Article publication date: 17 April 2023




The purpose of this study is to use a lifetime income measure to evaluate the long-run housing affordability for an understudied cohort of households in the literature – the millennials. The authors do this in the context of Malaysia, measuring long-run affordability for four housing types across geographic locations and income distributions.


This study calculates a long-run housing affordability index (HAI) using data on house prices and household incomes. Essentially a ratio of predicted lifetime incomes to house prices, the HAI is computed for four common housing types in Malaysia from 2005 to 2016 and for six states in the country. The HAI is also compared across four income percentiles.


The analysis reveals varying patterns of housing affordability among different states in Malaysia. Housing affordability has declined since 2010, with most housing types being unaffordable for millennial-led households with the lowest income. Housing is most affordable for those in the highest income bracket, although even here, there are pockets of unaffordable housing as well.

Practical implications

Based on the findings, this study proposes three targeted interventions to improve housing affordability for Malaysian millennials.


This study fills a gap in the literature by examining the long-run housing affordability of Malaysian millennial-led households based on both geographic location and income distribution. The millennial population is understudied in the housing affordability literature, making this study a valuable contribution to the field.



The authors dedicate this work to the late Dr Gary John Rangel who will be deeply missed and remembered as a close friend and colleague.

Funding: This work was supported by Malaysia’s Ministry of Higher Education’s Fundamental Research Grant Scheme under Grant number FRGS/1/2014/SS07/MUSM/03/2.


Rangel, G.J., Ng., J.W.J., Murugasu, T.T. and Poon, W.C. (2023), "Measuring long-run housing affordability for Malaysian millennial households: a geospatial and income distribution analysis", International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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