Malaysian property industry professionals saw their salaries grow by a third last year - outperforming their counterparts in China and Singapore, a survey shows.
Malaysian real estate professionals reported a year-on-year salary rise of 33 per cent, according to the annual Asia Rewards & Attitudes Survey, a study by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Macdonald & Company that measures salary growth. Second in the rankings was mainland China, where real estate professionals saw their salaries grow 10.5 per cent.
The markets surveyed were Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and mainland China.
But while Malaysia topped the growth stakes in the surveyed areas, it was helped by a low comparison base, with property professionals earning an average of only US$55,700 a year, the lowest in the region.
Their peers in neighbouring Singapore led East Asian rankings with average annual incomes of US$135,900. Property professionals earned an average of US$106,600 in mainland China and US$100,300 in Hong Kong.
Overall, industry salaries rose 10.6 per cent to an average of US$99,400 annually.
The survey showed that uncertainty over the economic outlook and property markets in the region continued, in a year that was characterised by swings in global and local sentiment.
The general consensus was that the uncertainty would continue. Overall confidence levels were down from the previous year, with only 40 per cent of respondents predicting an increase in economic activity in their sector during the next 12 months.
Malaysians were most optimistic, with 45 per cent anticipating an increase in economic activity, whereas Singaporeans were less so, with 32 per cent expecting an improved economy.
The survey shows there has been a significant change in attitudes towards changing jobs, with effectively 60 per cent of the respondents responding that they were "very or fairly likely" to change jobs in the next year, versus 50 per cent in the last survey.
Those in Singapore with a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors qualification earned the highest salaries on average, at US$144,800, followed by those working in mainland China (US$120,900), which now exceeds Hong Kong (US$107,900).