Paper on housing affordability won outstanding paper award

Dr Jeffrey Yap (left) receiving the award from Elvin Cheah, representative of Emerald Publishing

It was another proud moment for UTAR when Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) lecturer Ir Dr Jeffrey Yap Boon Hui was awarded Outstanding Paper 2019 by Emerald Publishing for his paper titled “Housing affordability in Malaysia: perception, price range, influencing factors and policies”.

The paper which was published in the International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis appraised the prevalent issues affecting housing affordability within the Malaysian housing market. The paper emphasised the issues of undersupply of affordable housing and mismatch of property price and income. The paper also highlighted the key reasons behind high housing affordability index. The significant influencing factors include low-income level, expensive property price, high land price and mismatch between demand and supply of affordable housing. The empirical findings reveal that housing affordability is a grave concern to average Malaysians, as the housing price rises faster than income. The paper provided numerous policies to ensure successful deliverability of affordable housing which eases the government to partner with the private sector to formulate a systematic framework for implementation of affordable housing programmes and schemes. The paper also highlighted the need for the government to pay more attention to the housing needs of middle- income groups. It is hoped that this paper will encourage positive debate and gain some attention from the policymakers, practitioners and researchers in Malaysia and beyond.

“I am truly thankful and humbled for winning the Outstanding Paper in the 2019 Emerald Literati Awards for Excellence. The paper was chosen by the editorial team as it was one of the most exceptional pieces of work the team has seen throughout 2018. Having worked in industrial and academic environments, I am very passionate about practical and transformational research that is of direct benefit to the construction as well as the real estate industry. Thus, it is especially significant to receive the recognition and international kudos for this scholarly research having impactful contributions to the Malaysian housing market,” said Dr Jeffrey Yap. He is also very thankful to Ng Xin Hua, his co-author, who is his student at the Department of Surveying, LKC FES for conducting excellent fieldwork.

Offering some tips to excel as a researcher he said, “In my opinion, the most important properties of a good researcher are enthusiasm, passion and diligence in conducting research, disseminating the findings and also enjoying the learning process. The quality of scholarly papers is gauged based on research excellence, rigour and relevance. However, the true benefit of academic research is about making significant societal impacts.”

He added, “Here in UTAR, the faculties receive strong research support from the university along with the opportunity to attend various continuous professional development training to further strengthen our research culture and improve publications performance.”

The paper has been made freely available for twelve months. Click here to see the paper.

Earlier this year, Dr Jeffrey Yap was also awarded Best Paper Award at 2019 International UNIMAS STEM 12th Engineering Conference (EnCon) held in Kuching, Sarawak for his paper titled “Investigating rework: Insights from the Malaysian construction industry”.

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