Mapex Property Showcase 2016 to kick off on May 11-15

The 2016 Mapex Property Showcase organised by the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Youth (Rehda Youth) will kick off on May 11-15 at the 1 Utama Shopping Centre from 10am to 10pm, the organisers announced in a press release today.

According to the organising chairperson, Carrie Fong Kah Wai, the main objective of the event is to provide an opportunity for Rehda Youth and Rehda members to showcase their properties to the public and to engage with them.

Mah Sing to launch well-connected yet green Cerrado

Mah Sing Group Bhd’s latest project, Cerrado Residential Suites, is in the Klang Valley and yet is surrounded by greenery, thanks in part to its location near the Bangi Forest Reserve. The project is within the developer’s largest township, Southville City, in Bangi.

“It is quite rare to find modern developments that are both well-connected and green. Cerrado embodies the concept of work, live and play, while being surrounded by lush greenery,” Ong Chou Wen, chief operating officer of Southville City, tells City & Country.

MCT to launch phase 3 of Cybersouth in Cyberjaya

MCT Bhd will be launching the third phase of Cybersouth – townhouses with built-up areas from 1,100 sq ft and indicative prices from RM400,000 – here soon, said the developer in a press release today.

Apart from that, in line with the Selangor Government's initiative to offer affordable homes to the rakyat, Cybersouth will be launching Rumah Selangorku homes in 2016.

Setia Eco Templer set for launch next month

Setia Eco Templer, S P Setia Bhd’s upcoming 194-acre township, is on track for its launch in two weeks’ time, as the company inked an agreement with AmBank (M) Bhd yesterday for banking facilities worth RM315mil for the development of the township.

AmBank has also granted RM200mil working capital term loan to S P Setia.

Eco World to bank on Iskandar’s attraction

Eco World Development Group Bhd is banking on the progress and development taking place in Iskandar Malaysia to attract buyers for its commercial and industrial development projects in south Johor.

Eco World’s Eco South divisional general manager Hoe Mee Ling opined Iskandar Malaysia’s close proximity with Singapore was an added advantage for the company to attract prospective buyers.

The Parque Residences first phase 30% sold before official launch

The first phase of The Parque Residences in Eco Sanctuary has seen 30% of its condominium units sold since the project opened for sale early this year, said Eco World Development Group Bhd (EcoWorld) general manager Ho Kwee Hong.

She told that sales were moving slowly but steadily and the company plans to officially launch phases one and two, either at the end of this year or early next year.

UEM Sunrise to unveil Melia Residences this weekend

UEM Sunrise Bhd will launch Melia Residences, the first freehold landed strata residential development in Gerbang Nusajaya, Iskandar Malaysia, this Saturday with selling prices from RM596,000 to RM1.5 million.

The company’s chief operating officer (commercial) Raymond Cheah said phase one of Melia Residences comprises 125 units of 2-storey terraced houses with built-up sizes ranging from 2,006 sq ft to 2,594 sq ft.

Half of overhang units are homes priced at RM300,000 and below

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong expects the Malaysian housing property market to further soften this year. He sees developers focusing on the more affordably-priced homes.

He is correct on both counts.

i-City property showcase to display homes below RM500,000 this weekend

The i-City property showcase, which will run from April 22 to 24, will showcase the integrated development’s properties priced below RM500,000 such as its Liberty Tower, Parisien Tower and Hyde Tower projects at the i-Gallery @ i-City in Shah Alam.

i-City is a 72-acre freehold project in Shah Alam developed by I-Bhd.

Prasarana to develop projects worth RM4bil

Prasarana Malaysia Bhd plans to develop seven property projects here and Selangor with a gross development value (GDV) of RM4bil in the next four years.

Chairman Tan Sri Ismail Adam said this was in line with the company’s mission to increase non-fare revenue contribution to 50% by 2020.

Bank Negara: Loan rejection rate lower

With the overall rate of housing loan rejections being reduced from about 30% in 2014 to about 20% in 2015, there is no reason to ease lending conditions, according to Bank Negara sources.

The source said housing loans are, in fact, “robust and growing at double digits”.

Fewer property launches seen due to softening market and bleak household sentiment

There will be fewer new property launches this year in light of the softening market and bleak household sentiment.

According to the National Property Information Centre’s (Napic) 2015 Property Market Report, the number of new launches fell to 70,273 units, down by 19.2% against 2014 (88,997 units).

More uncertainties expected in Malaysia property market

The residential property sub-sector is expected to experience further softening in 2016 in view of the various internal and external uncertainties, while issues on affordable housing and affordability of home purchasers will continue to top the national agenda this year, according to Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong.

In conjunction with the launch of 2015 Property Market Report by the National Property Information Centre (NAPIC) on Tuesday, he said the commercial sub-sector is anticipated to moderate, while the office market is expected to plateau in 2016.

Commercial property transactions down

Commercial property transactions were down in both value and volume last year compared to the previous year.

According to the National Property Information Centre’s (Napic) 2015 Property Market Report, a total of 31,776 transactions worth RM26.4bil were recorded in the commercial property segment last year.

Latitud 8 at Jalan Ampang to be unveiled by year-end

Crest Builder Holdings Bhd has enterd into a joint venture (JV) with Prasarana Malaysia Bhd and Detik Utuh Sdn Bhd to develop Latitud 8, a mixed-commercial development which has a total gross development value (GDV) of RM1.1 billion.

Crest Builder group managing director Eric Yong said the 43-storey single block mixed commercial development, which is located at the Dang Wangi LRT station at Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, will feature a lifestyle retail podium with business and convention facilities, office space, small office/flexible office (SoFo), small office/home office (SoHo) and duplexes, as well as a rooftop lounge and bar.

Napic: Overall property market slowed down in 2015

The overall property market slowed down marginally in 2015 from a year ago – with volume down by 5.7% to 362,105 transactions from 384,060 transactions and value down by 8% to RM149.9 billion from RM162.97 billion, said the National Property Information Centre (Napic) in its “Property Market Report 2015” released today.

The residential sub-sector still took up the largest share of the market, contributing 65.2% in volume and 49% in value.

Property sales recovery likely in H2

Property sales are expected to recover in the second half of 2016, driven by higher consumer confidence and improved economic outlook.

CIMB Research in a report said it is maintaining an “overweight” call on the local property sector, adding that the situation was “not as dire as initially thought.”

EcoWorld set to launch Eco Somerset in Eco Sanctuary

Eco World Development Group Bhd (EcoWorld) will be unveiling the first phase of its Eco Sanctuary City development – Eco Somerset lifestyle shop offices in the Eco Sanctuary township at the south of Kota Kemuning – on April 24, said Eco Sanctuary general manager Ho Kwee Hong.

Ho said the 62-acre Eco Sanctuary City is part of the integrated development in the 308-acre Eco Sanctuary township, and comprises wellness apartments, shop offices, office towers, a hotel and a convention centre.

Artistic touch to sales gallery

Sales galleries are no longer just simple venues to present the mock-ups and models of projects.

They are places for developers to strengthen their branding and express their vision to the public. Customers can gain an enjoyable experience of the lifestyle a development has to offer.

No new offices for KL in near future

The Ministry of Territories has tightened the approval for the construction of new office buildings in the face of an oversupply in the market.

Federal Territories Deputy Minister Datuk Loga Bala said new office building projects will not receive the green light from the ministry, the exception being the construction of corporate buildings for businesses’ own use.

MB: We will ensure prices of homes are affordable

The Johor government is committed to ensuring that the prices for affordable homes in the state remain within the means of the rakyat.

Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin said among all the states in the country, Johor ensured the rakyat would be able to afford to own a house with reasonable price.

Sime Darby Property to launch Cantara Residences in Ara Damansara this month

Sime Darby Property Bhd will launch its RM586.84 million transport-oriented development called Cantara Residences (pictured) in Ara Damansara said managing director Datuk Jauhari Hamidi.

Cantara Residences has a gross development value (GDV) of RM586.84 million and is slated to be launched this month.

Be aware of the prescribed by-laws for stratified homes

Strata living is the norm in land-scarce areas such as Kuala Lumpur and other cities in Malaysia. The concept of strata was introduced in Peninsular Malaysia in 1985 as a form of property ownership and development format that caters for the subdivision of buildings to ensure higher density and better efficiency of land utilisation.

In 2007, the format of strata development was expanded to cover the gated and guarded schemes with shared common property.

Melati Ehsan eyes commercial development in Selayang

Melati Ehsan Holdings Bhd plans to undertake a mixed development project on three parcels of land in Bandar Baru Selayang, Selangor, that it bought on Friday for RM77.74mil.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the turnkey contractor and property developer said its unit Bayu Melati Sdn Bhd (BMSB) had signed a conditional agreement to buy the commercial development land, with a combined area of 37,078 sq m, from Aturan Utama Sdn Bhd.

Selayang residents protest against condition of their condo

A group of 50 residents from Kepong Sentral Condominium turned up at Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) office to demonstrate their dissatisfaction over the sorry state of facilities at their condominium.

Leading the group was Kepong Sentral Condominium Residents Association president Johnny Khoo who said management company New Light Century Sdn Bhd (NLC) and MPS Commissioner of Buildings (COB) were dragging their feet over the forming of a joint management body.

WCT Holdings to launch first phase of OUG luxury condos in 2Q2016

WCT Holdings Bhd is set to launch the first phase of luxury condominium development The Waltz Residences at Paradigm Garden City, Overseas Union Garden (OUG), Kuala Lumpur in 2Q2016, said WCT Holdings managing director Taing Kim Hwa.

The Waltz Residences comprises two tower blocks and 419 units. Taing, however, declined to provide further details such as built-ups and prices of the condo units.

When your dream home becomes a nightmare

Victims of abandoned projects often feel like they are trapped in a nightmare and usually blame themselves.

That was how Christopher Rozario felt when he found out that the Selayang Springs Condominium in Selayang, Selangor which he had purchased in 2009 was declared an abandoned project in April 2014.

Astaka Holdings anticipates sales to spike in 2017

Despite the generally pessimistic outlook of Johor’s property market, Johor-based developer Astaka Holdings Ltd is confident things will look up next year as the market exits its “corrective phase” and embarks on another surge of activity prompted by the growth of Iskandar Malaysia’s core sectors.

Astaka Holdings CEO Datuk Zamani Kasim noted that many analysts have pointed out that Johor’s population of just over 3.5 million residents – coupled with a 2% annual growth – is not able to meet Iskandar’s goal of housing 3.5 million residents by 2025, let alone sustain the state’s aggressive residential developments over the past three years.

Johawaki Development to launch final phase of Avanti Residences

Johawaki Development Sdn Bhd is set to launch the third and final phase of its Avanti Residences in Saujana Permai U17, Shah Alam over two days starting May 7.

“The final phase [with 38 units of semi-detached houses] of the development will be the bigger units, with built-ups from 3,090 sq ft onwards. The gross development value (GDV) of the final phase is around RM40 million to RM50 million,” said Johawaki Development director Mohamad Akmal Datuk Johari at a media briefing today.

Developers rebuilding strategies

More developers are ramping up their marketing strategies to boost sales and counter the slowdown in the property industry, according to a report by AllianceDBS Research.

It said developers were introducing various innovative schemes to alleviate financing burden for home buyers.

Eco World to leverage on partnership to boost sales

Eco World Development Group Bhd will be leveraging on its partnership with Mitsui Fudosan to boost sales of the property developer’s budding 19.4-acre Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) project here.

Mitsui Fudosan, Japan’s largest real estate conglomerate, will take up a 50% stake in developing a 1.4 million sq ft retail mall in the integrated development, while BBCC will also be working with Zepp Hall Network Inc, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc to operate a concert hall right next to the retail mall.

Eco World confident of hitting RM4bil sales target

Eco World Development Group Bhd (EW Bhd) is confident of meeting its sales target of RM4bil for this financial year (FY) ending Oct 31, 2016.

The property developer, which recorded RM3bil in sales in FY15 and had maintained its sales target of RM4bil this year despite external headwinds, said in a statement that its confidence was based on strong year-to-date group sales of RM607.8mil achieved as at Feb 29 and positive reception to the recent unveiling of its strata offices at Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC).

Mah Sing targets homes costing below RM500,000

Mah Sing Group Bhd is targeting to launch RM2bil properties this year with 50% priced below RM500,000.

"In the next two years we are focusing On the affordable house segment to capture the current market demand," executive director Datuk Steven Ng told reporters at Invest Malaysia 2016.

EcoWorld to launch maiden project in BBCC within two months

Eco World Development Group Bhd (EcoWorld), which is confident of meeting its sales target of RM4 billion for the financial year ending Oct 31, 2016, said the maiden launch of its Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) mixed-use development here is expected to be within the next two months.

EcoWorld president and chief executive officer Datuk Chang Khim Wah (pictured) said it had already received positive responses from buyers to the 45-storey block with strata offices in BBCC, known as The Stride, which is targeted at small and medium enterprises.

Worst is over for Malaysian property market, says Mah Sing

Mah Sing Group Bhd sees the worst to be over for the Malaysian property market as various market indicators appear to have bottomed out with residential property transactions seen to be contracting at a slower pace, while growth in house prices moderates.

"If you look at the house price index, it has moderated to a more sustainable level, from 11.8% to now a single-digit growth of 5.8%, ever since the cooling measures were introduced in 2012.

L&G to officially launch Astoria this weekend

Land & General Bhd (L&G) will introduce a new buyer’s package for its serviced apartment project Astoria Ampang here which will be officially launched this weekend.

Astoria Ampang will come up on a 5.7-acre leasehold parcel on Jalan Ampang and is divided into two phases, with each comprising two 43-storey blocks.

Property market to remain weak throughout 2016, says AllianceDBS Research

Optimism from certain quarters about a recovery in the property market during the second half this year is likely to be misplaced as sentiment and fundamentals remain weak, said AllianceDBS Research in a note today.

The research house said that 2016 could be an even more challenging year for the sector in light of the tepid economic outlook and persistently poor consumer sentiment.

SP Setia wins Project of the Year award

S P Setia Bhd took home the Project of the Year prize at the Malaysia Landscape Architecture Awards (MLAA) 2015 for its Lepironia Gardens project at Setia Eco Glades in Cyberjaya.

The project also won the Excellence Award under the “Parks & The City” category.

Stop-work order for Section 17 project after construction mishap

A stop-work order has been issued to the developer of a mixed-development project in Section 17, after a part of the fixtures almost came tumbling down if not for the safety nets on Saturday.

Issued almost immediately by the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), the stop-work order is in effect until all safety aspects of the development are rectified.

Couple gets to own apartment for RM270k

For years, insurance officer Mohd Ridzuan Kamaruddin dreamt of getting an affordable house for his family of three.

Property prices in the Klang Valley had kept his dream on hold but Mohd Ridzuan, 30, received a pleasant surprise recently.

MK Land ready to help state govts on affordable housing projects

MK Land Holdings Bhd is ready to help any state government that wants to implement affordable housing projects, said its founder Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar.

He said they had also found a lot of land in several states that could be developed to carry out affordable housing projects in assisting home buyers to own houses.

Sime Darby Property confident of RM2.5b sales by June

Sime Darby Property, the property arm of Sime Darby Bhd, is confident of achieving its sales target of RM2.5 billion by its financial year ending June 30 this year.

“To date, we have transacted over 1,000 sales with a sales value of RM1 billion. We have 18 project launches in the pipeline this year, and we are very confident of achieving that target,” said Sime Darby Property managing director Datuk Jauhari Hamidi at the Sime Darby Property Lifestyle Collection 2016 campaign launch today.

MyDeposit to aid middle-income first-timers to buy homes

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (pictured) announced the launch of the First Home Financing Scheme (MyDeposit) as tabled in Budget 2016. He said the scheme is to help the middle 40% income bracket with household incomes of between RM3,000 and RM10,000. It involves a contribution of 10% of the sale price or a maximum of RM30,000, whichever is lower, to first-time house buyers to help them buy a house not more than RM500,000.

In order to encourage private developers to build houses costing below RM300,000, Najib said several incentives had been offered them, including the retention of deposits of RM200,000 from 3% of the estimated cost at present.

First property transaction value decline in six years

According to the latest preliminary Property Market Report released by National Property Information Centre (NAPIC), Malaysia’s property market transaction value fell by 8% to RM149.9bil in 2015.

MIDF Research gathers that is the first decline in six years as the last decline noticed was in the year 2009 when transaction value declined 8.3%. The negative growth in transaction value is consistent with the decline in lower transaction volume which slipped 5.7% to 362,105 units in 2015.

State roadshow to display development plans

Khaled (left) handing over the mock cheque to Johor Media Club president Mohd Fauzi Ishak while Johor Education, Information Entrepreneurial Development and Co-operative Committee chairman Md Jais Sarday looks on.

The Johor government will explain its development plans through a roadshow that will be held beginning next month in all 10 districts in the state.

Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin said Jelajah Johor Berkemajuan would give the rakyat a chance to learn about the government’s plans.

Maybank's Farid says loan rejection rate for affordable housing only 20%

Maybank group president and CEO Datuk Abdul Farid Alias said the overall rejection rate for housing loans in Malaysia last year was only 20.39%

Maybank has denied claims that the loan rejection rate for affordable housing in Malaysia was over 50%.

Quoting figures from the Association of Banks Malaysia (ABM), group president and CEO Datuk Abdul Farid Alias said the overall rejection rate for housing loans in Malaysia last year was only 20.39%.

MyDeposit a solution for first-time homebuyers

Mah Sing lauded the implementation of The First Home Deposit Funding Scheme (MyDeposit) as one of the key measures by the government to increase house ownership amongst Malaysians.

“The scheme is a very viable solution for first time homebuyers to start building their asset base and own the roof over their heads, as the eligible ceiling price is RM500,000, with household income capped at RM10,000.

Integrated developments set new trends

Scarcity of development land in Kuala Lumpur is resulting in newer developments with integrated concepts.

Titiwangsa is a thriving Malaysian hospital hub that brings together several medical institutions, highways and transportation infrastructure. However, new catalysts are expected to transform this neighbourhood.

Mapex offers smart financing scheme for home buyers

Malaysia’s most awaited and largest property exposition – Mapex is making its first appearance for the year from April 15 to 17 at Mid Valley Exhibition Centre (MVEC), Kuala Lumpur.

Mapex is honored to have Minister of Federal Territories Datuk Seri Utama Tengku Adnan bin Tengku Mansor to officiate the opening of the expo on Friday, April 15, at 3.30pm.

MyDeposit programme starts now

The MyDeposit scheme, which was announced in Budget 2016 to assist the middle-income group, was implemented yesterday, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (pictured).

Those interested can apply online via the urban wellbeing, housing and local government ministry’s website, Najib told reporters after a meeting with the National Housing Council.

Pay nothing for up to 12 months for selected IJM Land homes

IJM Land Bhd is allowing buyers of homes in selected schemes to pay nothing for up to 12 months upon vacant possession, as well as a zero-interest instalment scheme for up to 36 months under its Free Stay @ No Pay campaign, the group announced in a press release today.

The promotion will run from now until July 31, covering seven of its current development projects: The Bandar Rimbayu and Shah Alam 2 townships in Selangor, the Seremban 2 township and Seri Binjai in Negeri Sembilan, Pantai Sentral Park in Kuala Lumpur, Epic Residences in Johor and Riverine Diamond at Kuching Riverine Resort in Sarawak.

Desa Kudalari land has drawn interest from local and foreign buyers

Property consultancy CH Williams Talhar and Wong Sdn Bhd (WTW) has received a number of enquiries from local and foreign buyers – including investment funds and developers – to bid for the 7.35-acre Desa Kudalari condominium land for redevelopment purposes, said deputy managing director Danny Yeo.

“At the moment, there are some Singaporean developers who have expressed their interest. We believe there will be interest coming from Chinese, Japanese and Korean developers in the later stages,” Yeo said during a press conference on the en-masse sale briefing today.

Titijaya enhances profile with Ascott tie-up

(from left): Titijaya deputy group MD Lim Poh Yit and group MD Tan Sri Datuk Lim Soon Peng.

Titijaya Land’s latest tie-up with The Ascott Ltd will enable it to tap into the latter’s global presence and expansive network, said AmInvestment Bank.

Titijaya entered into an agreement with The Ascott Ltd for two of its upcoming developments in Shah Alam and Penang (combined GDV: RM4.1bil). The Shah Alam development - Emporia@Monfort - has an indicative GDV of RM2.6bil. While the Penang development, located in Batu Maung, has its GDV pegged at RM1.5bil.

Gabungan AQRS sells land for RM50.38mil

Gabungan AQRS Bhd has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Stratmont Development Sdn Bhd for the disposal of a piece of land for a total consideration of RM50.38mil.

The 7.98-acre land forms part of a larger piece of land in Petaling district, Selangor, and has a net book value of RM29.93mil as at Dec 31, 2015.

PR1MA, TNB in property tie-up

Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia has signed a definitive agreement with Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) to develop two blocks of apartments on 3.33 ha land owned by TNB in Kajang.

PR1MA chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Mutalib Alias said that under the development plan, which was expected to be completed by end-2019, one block would be given to TNB for its employees and the other would be sold by PR1MA.

Financial boost for developer

It was a momentous affair for property developer Sinerjuta Sdn Bhd, associate company of Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd, as it signed a collaboration with Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank) for its latest project, The Henge.

Maybank will be providing financial support in the form of a RM229mil bridging loan and RM400mil end-financing loan.

Property sector under continued pressure

A major concern was the escalating oversupply situation in both the residential and commercial space, while at the same time, sellers were struggling to secure sales due to the prevailing weak economic environment.

The prospect of prolonged headwinds in the property sector has prompted a research house to revise its rating for three companies, advising investors to trim their exposure following the recent strong rally in equities.

In a series of reports, RHB Research revised its rating on IOI Properties Group Bhd (IOI Prop) to “neutral” from a “trading buy” previously. Similarly, UOA Development Bhd’s stock rating was revised downwards to “neutral” from a “buy”, while UEM Sunrise Group Bhd now carries a “sell” rating from “neutral” previously.

Aset Kayamas goes full steam ahead with launches

Unperturbed by low profit margins in the affordable segment, Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd, a privately held property developer, is going full steam ahead with its launches this year as it banks on volume growth to improve its earnings.

“This volume game is our company’s strategy to focus on the affordable segment. Our properties are generally priced 20% to 30% lower than the market price,” its managing director Tan Sri Chai Kin Kong told reporters after a loan agreement signing ceremony between Aset Karyamas and Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) yesterday.

Good intentions could elevate household debt

Real estate developers have become more creative in luring prospective homebuyers into committing to a purchase, even as property price growth in the country moderates. It is a sign of the times.

Compared with the years immediately after the 2008/09 global financial crisis, the property market is now in a kind of lull. Data from the National Property Information Centre (Napic) shows property prices registering a compound annual growth rate of 8.44% from 2010 to 2014, based on its all-house price index. In the second quarter of 2015 (2Q2015), though, property price growth had slumped to 0.3% quarter on quarter.

Imbalanced property market may have negative repercussions

An undersupply of affordable housing, particularly in major urban areas, coupled with an oversupply of office and retail spaces, may lead to deeper imbalances in the property market, says Bank Negara Malaysia in its 2015 annual report, which was released recently. Despite a 35% increase in housing stock since 2005, the gap between the housing stock and the number of households widened from 2.1 million units in 2005 to 2.5 million in 2015. Annual housing completion has declined considerably in the past five years as the number of households continued to grow. There was an estimated average shortage of 85,911 housing units per year between 2011 and 2015.

Bank Negara says the most acute shortage has been in affordable housing. Half of Malaysian households earned RM4,585 per month and below in 2014. According to the Median Multiple, a methodology recommended by the World Bank and the United Nations to evaluate urban housing markets, a house is considered affordable if a household can finance it with less than three times its annual household income. This suggests that houses priced up to RM165,060 would be affordable to a median Malaysian household. Only 21% of new residential launches in 2014 were priced below RM250,000, says Bank Negara.

If can’t afford to buy, why not rent?

Dissatisfaction over expensive home prices has been escalating in Malaysia in recent years, with prices now reportedly beyond the reach of an average worker in key states like Kuala Lumpur and Penang. The situation, as many have lamented, is also not helped by the government’s move towards rationalising subsidies and the introduction of the goods and services tax last year.

An urban worker in such states, according to news reports citing Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), will need to work for five years — and spend on nothing at all — to be able to afford a home. Houses priced up to RM165,060 are considered affordable to a median Malaysian household with a monthly income of RM4,585 and below, according to BNM, but only 21% of new housing launches in Malaysia were priced below RM250,000 in 2014.

Shift to affordable sector may strain developers’ margins

The shift of focus to affordable housing below the RM500,000 per unit range, which has been seeing more resilient demand than higher-end properties, may strain the margins of developers, especially those who are not traditionally involved in this housing category, said Kenanga Investment Bank.

This is because the target market for the affordable segment faces one of the highest loan rejection rates — 28% — according to survey statistics from the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association Malaysia in the second half of 2015 (2H15), said the research house, noting that a 28% loan rejection rate was faced by buyers of properties priced between RM250,000 and RM500,000, and 30% for properties priced from RM500,000 to RM700,000. Higher-end properties priced between RM700,00 and RM1 million only saw about 16% rejection rate.

Johor Rehda to help buyers secure housing loans

Nice houses: Mohd Rafi (second from right), Hoe (right), Johor Rehda deputy chairman Wong Kuen Kong (second from left) and Rehda Johor organising chairman Simon Heng Kwang Hock at the launch of Johor Mapex 2016 in Johor Baru.

Members of the Johor Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) will continue engaging with the commercial banks to secure housing loans for eligible house buyers.

Johor Rehda branch chairman Hoe Mee Ling hoped the engagement between both parties would able to solve the issue of eligible house buyers who failed to get bank loans to finance their purchase.

No plans to increase affordable house prices

Era Universe Development director and chairman Zulkifli Jafar (left) briefing Mohamed Khaled (third from right) and other guests on the Bandar Alam Masai integrated township development project.

There are no immediate plans to review the current prices of low-cost, medium-cost and affordable houses in Johor despite the escalating cost in the construction industry.

Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the state government would ensure that the prices of houses in these three categories remained until 2020.

Houses with intelligent layout

Chen (right) and PanaHome Malaysia Sdn Bhd managing director Haruhiko Kuwano discussing the advantages of having the Puretech ventilation system installed in homes

Joint-venture company PanaHome MKH Malaysia Sdn Bhd has taken its first steps in introducing a new way of building homes in Malaysia.

The company, a subsidiary of PanaHome Corporation Japan, marks its first foray into the local housing business by developing 490 units of two-storey terrace houses in the Maple precinct of Hillpark Shah Alam North.

Evolve Concept Mall for sale

JAKS Resources looking to sell the property in bid to strengthen balance sheet

In a bid to strengthen its balance sheet, construction company JAKS Resources Bhd wants to fully divest its Evolve Concept Mall at Ara Damansara at Petaling Jaya.

“Yes. We do have the intention to divest our Evolve Concept Mall in Ara Damansara if the right buyer comes along,” Jaks’ chief executive officer Andy Ang tells StarBizWeek.

Get your home loans first, location second

In light of high loan rejection rates experienced by many homebuyers recently, Huttons One World Sdn Bhd real estate group executive director Daniel Goh said it is likely because youths may be focusing too much on getting their dream home in the perfect location when they should be focusing on getting their house loans approved first.

“Sometimes loan applications are rejected because they are applying for loans that exceed their repayment capabilities. They are too focused on getting houses that are beyond their financing capabilities,” Goh said after a briefing by on the one-stop property portal’s array of tools.

Tropicana Corp’s online property bidding campaign starts today

Tropicana Corp Bhd has launched its property bidding campaign, where the lowest unique bid wins, starting from a floor price of RM538,888 (for a Tropicana Metropark condominium).

Said to be Malaysia’s first online property bidding campaign, the Tropicana Just Bid It campaign, which runs from April 1 to May 20, features five Tropicana properties.

Opportunities in a soft market

The outlook for Malaysia’s property market may not be bright at the moment but JLL Property Services (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd country head and managing director YY Lau (pictured) thinks pockets of opportunities can be found if you know where to look.

“The property market is expected to continue to be subdued in the light of the weakened economy,” she says. “[However], many opportunities exist. For instance, one may arise because of the seller’s financial circumstances or need to relocate because of his job.