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HIGHLAND TOWERS TO BE DEMOLISHED BY JUNE 2019

The Highland Towers Condominium which has been left neglected for more than 25 years will be demolished by June 2019, according to the Malaysian Housing and Local Government Minister. The Highland Towers Redevelopment Committee has prepared a report regarding a study on the structure of the condominium and will decide on the relevant agency which will carry out demolition works, either the Public Works Department (JKR) or the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council. The developers of Highland Towers also stated that they would provide RM2 million for the demolition works. In August 2018, the Housing and Local Government Minister proposed that the Highland Towers area be re-developed as a recreational park, as the structure of the soil in the area was unsuitable for housing purposes.

(The Edge, 09/03/2019)


 

DBKL GETS ADDITIONAL RM205 MILLION AFTER RE-EVALUATING 23 UNDERVALUED LAND DEALS

City Hall (DBKL) has made an “extra RM205 million” after re-evaluating 23 undervalued land deals that were signed under the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration. According to the Federal Territories Minister, DBKL made RM149 million in cash, RM50 million for DBKL’s building infrastructure and RM6 million via corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.

(The Edge, 09/03/2019)


 

UNI WALL SECURES RM32.14 MILLION JOB FROM AZRB

Latest “LEAP Market” entrant, Uni Wall APS Bhd, which provides building façade services to property developers, has announced its second secured contract, which is a RM32.14 million sub-contract from Ahmad Zaki Resources Bhd. The contract is for the supply and installation of aluminium and glazing works for the Mass Rapid Transit 2 project, specifically for the construction and completion of elevated stations and other associated works at Serdang Raya (South), Seri Kembangan and UPM.

(The Edge, 09/03/2019)


 

LUXURY FURNITURE BRAND OPENS ITS FIRST MALAYSIAN FLAGSHIP STORE

Cellini officially opened its first Malaysian flagship store at Damansara Furnishing Centre in Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara, Petaling Jaya. The 10,000 sq. ft. flagship store covers a two-storey showroom and features two additional in-house brands which include Nightingale Silenite mattresses and Accents. Nightingale Silenite mattresses, which suit customers looking for spinal care. The “Cellini” brand originates from Singapore and offers designer sofa sets, dining tables, coffee tables, TV consoles and bed frames.

(The Star, 11/03/2019)


 

ECONPILE WINS RM68.8 MILLION PILING JOB IN PUTRAJAYA

Econpile Holdings Bhd’s wholly-owned Econpile (M) Sdn Bhd has secured an 18 month contract worth RM68.8 million involving piling, pilecap and basement works for the Terra Putrajaya Project in Precinct 3, Putrajaya, from Niaz Enterprises (M) Sdn Bhd. The Terra Putrajaya project is a mixed-use development which includes a shopping mall, serviced apartments and basement and elevated parking.

(The Edge & The Star, 09/03/2019)


 

E-COMMERCE DRIVING DEMAND FOR INDUSTRIAL PROPERTIES

Industrial properties will continue to be sought after due to the growth of e-commerce in the region. The burgeoning e-commerce segment has resulted in the development of mega distribution centres to handle the huge volume of products and transactions. This will continue to drive demand for warehouses in Malaysia. Recent major land transactions and tender awards point to a healthy landscape of high local and foreign investor interest in developing large logistics hubs and managed industrial parks. The demand for warehouses does not merely stem from the current set of logistics and e-commerce players, but also from large retail brands such as Tesco, IKEA and Decathlon, as they expand aggressively into online sales. For example, Nestlé has a national distribution centre (DC) at Axis Mega DC in Teluk Panglima Garang, Selangor, which covers 24.78 acres of leasehold industrial land. Other notable mega distribution centres include the IKEA Regional DC in Pulau Indah Industrial Park in Klang, the Lazada Regional DC in Sepang and the Continental Tyres Regional DC in Kuala Selangor.

(The Edge, 09/03/2019)


ROVIA TO BRING OVER 20,000 TOURISTS TO MALAYSIA

US-headquartered travel agency Rovia and DreamTrips vacation club aim to add US$20 million (RM98 million) to Malaysia’s tourism receipts in 2019 and is targeting to bring more than 20,000 tourists to Malaysia.

 (The Star, 11/03/2019)


 

HOUSING POLICY TO BE “ENHANCED”

The National Housing Policy 2.0, which targets to build one million affordable homes within 10 years for the bottom 40 group (B40), will be improved after feedback from industry players. The Housing and Local Government Minister denoted that the policy will be enhanced, by as early as April 2019. The National Affordable Housing Policy, which is a sub-policy of the National Housing Policy, is expected to be launched in April 2019. The housing policy’s aim to build one million affordable units instigated concerns among some industry players given the “overhanging” properties amid soft property market conditions. According to the Housing and Local Government Minister, initiatives to build affordable housing will be undertaken by the federal and state governments as well as private developers. The National Housing Policy 2018-2025 outlined five core focuses, 16 strategies and 57 action plans towards better housing facilities nationwide. These include improving accessibility and affordability, quality housing, cohesive neighbourhood, improving coordination between housing development and transportation and strengthening institutional relations for the policy.

(The Star, 11/03/2019)


 

PENANG AIMING FOR MORE RENT-TO-OWN SCHEMES

As the number of applicants for affordable homes keeps rising in Penang, the state authorities are planning to have more rent-to-own schemes. This is in light of all 999 housing units under the People’s Housing Project (PPR) scheme being recently “snapped up”. There will be more PPR units in the future, with several projects located in Jelutong, Balik Pulau on the island and Bukit Minyak on the mainland. This will alleviate the issue of there being 1,137 applicants on the “waiting list”.

(The Edge, 09/03/2019)


MIDA EYES MORE “ADVANCED TECH” INVESTMENTS FROM SOUTH KOREA

The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) is hoping to attract more investments from South Korea, especially in the “advanced technology” industry. This would likely be realised via the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between MIDA and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) on March 13, 2019. Malaysia is attracting foreign direct investments that fulfil the country’s aspirations of becoming a “knowledge and digital” economy. As South Korea is well known for its advanced technologies, particularly robotics, MIDA hopes to get more similar investments in these areas. As at September 2018, South Korea’s investments in Malaysia’s manufacturing sector stood at US$12.3 billion (RM41.3 billion), which involved 571 projects.

(The Sun, 13/03/2019)


 

NEW SMART SELANGOR ROUTE COVERS TAMAN EQUINE AND BUKIT SERDANG

The Smart Selangor free bus service has added a new route via the SJ05 bus, from Taman Equine to Bukit Serdang and ending at Taman Serdang Jaya. The new route started operations on February 1, 2019 due to high demand. A few new routes will also be added in Klang and Sepang by the end of 2019. The state had allocated RM30 million to maintain and operate all the Smart Selangor free buses. SJ05 will travel a 27km route with a frequency of 25 to 35 minutes between buses, from 6am to 10pm daily.

(The Star, 12/03/2019)


MALAYSIAN AIRPORTS’ PASSENGER TRAFFIC UP 5.4% TO 8.14 MILLION IN FEBRUARY 2019

Passenger traffic at the country’s 39 airports managed by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) grew 5.4% in February to 8.14 million, from 7.72 million a year ago. International traffic climbed 2.3% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 4.2 million passengers, while domestic traffic climbed 8.9% y-o-y to four million passengers. The Chinese New Year festive season which coincided with the one-week school holidays were cited as primary reasons for the boost in air passengers. Passenger traffic at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Main Terminal went up by 3.3% y-o-y to 2.22 million in February, from 2.15 million, while passenger traffic at klia2 grew by 2.7% to 2.59 million from 2.52 million. The last trailing 12 month passenger movements for the KLIA Main Terminal registered 28.2 million passengers and klia2 registered 32 million passengers.

 (The Edge, 12/03/2019)


DEVELOPER LAUNCHES NEW PHASE OF ENGLISH-INSPIRED HOMES

Setia Eco Park, one of the award-winning developments under SP Setia Bhd, recently commenced its long-awaited launch of “Emma Crest Phase 12C2”, which is a classic English-inspired two storey semi detached house comprising three different layouts and sizes. The unit types include Dingle, Ellington and Fernsworth. These houses cover a land size of between 3,411 sq. ft. to 5,317 sq. ft., with built-ups ranging from 2,698 sq. ft. to 3,098 sq. ft. The price for this individual title, freehold property, starts from RM1.8 million.

(The Star, 12/03/2019)


KIP TO OPEN THREE MORE MALLS IN NEXT THREE YEARS

KIP Group of Companies is planning to open three new shopping malls in Raub, Kuantan and Sungai Petani over the next three years, with a gross development cost of RM150 million, in order to cater to the demand of the middle mass market. KIP Reit’s portfolio now comprises one KIP shopping mall in Bangi and five KIP Marts in Tampoi, Kota Tinggi, Masai, Senawang and Malacca and it has also acquired Aeon Mall Kinta City in Ipoh for RM208 million. KIP Mall Desa Coalfield, Sungai Buloh, which will open in 4Q19, has already secured an 80% occupancy rate with tenants that include Econsave, Mr DIY, Watson, Metro Optical and KFC.

 (The Edge & The Sun, 12/03/2019)


MALAYSIA’S FIRST AND LARGEST KOREAN THEMED RETAIL ZONE OPENS IN 1 UTAMA

1 Utama Shopping Mall has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with four Korean retail brands and soft launched the first and biggest Korean-themed retail zone in Malaysia on March 13, 2019. Known as District K, it comprises a four-level new Korean-themed retail zone located at “1 Utama E”, which is a hip and trendy new wing in 1 Utama Shopping Centre that focuses on sports tourism, entertainment and F&B spanning over 80,000 sq. ft. Positioned as the first and biggest “Hallyu wave” (refers to the global popularity of South Korea’s cultural economy) in Malaysia to house K-Pop culture, District K features an authentic Korean street experience driven by K-pop and K-drama popularity, performance and hologram theatre, augmented entertainment, Korean restaurants, retail, skincare and beauty. District K is targeted for completion by the end of 2019 with an investment value of RM120 million. Phase one of 1 Utama E was opened in early 2018, with the opening of two sports tourism centres, “FlowRider” and “AirRider”.

(The Edge, 13/03/2019)


MALAYSIA PACIFIC CORP SELLS WISMA MPL FOR RM189 MILLION

Malaysia Pacific Corp Bhd (MPCB) is selling Wisma MPL sited on land measuring approximately 2.92 acres, on Jalan Raja Chulan in KL’s Golden Triangle to Asia New Venture Capital Holdings Sdn Bhd for RM189 million. Wisma MPL is a commercial development comprising a 23 storey office complex and a 19 storey office tower over a four-storey retail podium block developed by MPCB. The property development and investment firm denoted that the proposed sale is expected to be completed within 10 months, adding that the agreement is to dispose of the land along with units owned by MPCB and its wholly owned subsidiaries, which include ASA Enterprises Sdn Bhd (AESB) and Oriental Pearl City Properties Sdn Bhd (OPCP). MPCB owns 69 units which comprise 50 units at the Podium and 19 units at the office tower in Wisma MPL, AESB owns 25 units at the Podium in Wisma MPL, and OPCP owns one unit at the podium in Wisma MPL. The average occupancy rate for these units is 35.4%. MPCB noted in the agreement that the proposed land is to be used for “trade buildings”.

(The Star & The Edge, 12/03/2019)


 

CHINA-BASED VANKE GROUP LAUNCHES EXPERIENTIAL HALL IN KUALA LUMPUR

Vanke Group has officially launched the Vanke Experiential Hall (VEH) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Located in Menara IMC, in KL’s Golden Triangle, the VEH takes visitors through an engaging and educational gallery, showcasing the Group’s journey from its humble beginnings to its notable international success stories.

(The Star, 13/03/2019)


227 BUYERS SECURED GOVERNMENT-LINKED HOMES UNDER HOC AT MAPEX

A total of 227 buyers purchased government-linked homes under the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) at the recent Malaysia Property Expo (Mapex). The estimated sales value of RM70.8 million includes those from government agencies such as UDA Holdings, Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPNB) and Perumahan Rakyat 1Malaysia (PR1MA). The HOC was introduced in Budget 2019 to stimulate the take-up of properties in the current, stagnant housing market. The campaign, which will run for 6 months from January 1, 2019, features residential units in three price categories, namely: below RM300,000; RM300,001 to RM500,000; and above RM500,000. According to the Housing & Local Government Ministry, 1,044 visitors registered for the HOC at Mapex, while 242 made online applications via the National Home Management System (SPRN) for properties priced below RM300,000, under the MyHome scheme. In a survey, the ministry recorded that 67% out of 251 visitors did not own a home. Out of that, 40% or 100 respondents had household incomes between RM3,001 and RM6,000, while 57, or 23% had household earnings from RM1,000 to RM3,000. About 42.9% were keen to secure homes below the RM300,000 mark, while approximately 40% said that “RM300,000 to RM500,000 was within their affordability range.”

(The Edge, 12/03/2019)


 

GOVERNMENT MAY EXTEND HOUSING LOAN TENURE

In July 2013, lending and banking institutions capped the housing loan tenure at 35 years to help curb excessive household debt and to reinforce responsible lending practices. Prior to that, borrowers were offered mortgages with tenures as long as 45 years. A source denoted that the current 35 year tenure is more than sufficient and raising the tenure would just increase the borrower’s financing cost. Assuming a loan amount of RM400,000 at a financing rate of 4.9%, extending the tenure from 35 to 40 years would marginally lower the monthly repayment by RM68, but would raise financing by RM75,946 during the five-year extension period. The cost of financing for 35 years would be RM437,191 versus RM513,137 for a 40-year tenure. At 35 years, the monthly instalment would be RM1,993 versus RM1,902 for 40 years. All-in-all, it has been suggested that structural reforms should be executed in order for affordable housing issues to be expedited.

(The Star, 12/03/2019)


 

INVEST PENANG TO HELP LAID-OFF WORKERS

The economic slowdown has led to several companies in Penang downsizing their operations and workforce. Some of The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) Penang members have experienced a slowdown in their business over the past two to three months. FMM stated that most of them were small and medium enterprises involved in the food, electronic and metal component manufacturing businesses. The Director of Invest Penang denoted that it was working with companies to assist their laid-off workers in attaining new jobs. However, it was ascertained that Penang may not be greatly impacted because some companies are actually stepping up their recruitment drive. This is also an opportunity to re-allocate suitable talent from sectors that are negatively impacted by the downturn, towards sectors that are growing.

(NST, 13/03/2019)


 

SABAH’S FIRST SMART HOSPITAL READY BY 2021

The RM652 million federal-funded Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Teaching Hospital is moving towards becoming a full-fledged smart hospital, as it utilises technology to improve medical health treatment and services. Dubbed Borneo’s first smart hospital, construction works are scheduled for completion in 2021.

(NST, 13/03/2019)


TANJUNG MANIS AIRPORT CERTIFIED AS “INTERNATIONAL STANDARD”

Apart from being a centre of economic growth, the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), also features Tanjung Manis Airport, Mukah, which has been certified by the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM), based on international standards. The 250 acre “short take-off and landing” airport was opened in 2001 and is managed by the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation. Tanjung Manis was originally developed at a timber processing zone in 1990 to fulfil the needs of the timber industry, along Sungai Rajang in Sarawak’s Central Zone. The main objective of constructing the airport was to facilitate the management of logistics for investors within the area.

(The Sun & The Star, 12/03/2019)


KL AND JB AMONG TOP 20 ASIAN CITIES FOR QUALITY OF LIFE: SURVEY

Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru have retained their rankings for quality of life in Asia at 10th and 12th, respectively, according to a survey. This also denotes that KL is placed second in Southeast Asia behind Singapore, according to the Mercer Quality of Living City Ranking 2019 survey. On a global scale, KL is at No. 85 and Johor Bahru at No. 101. In Asia, Singapore (25) has the highest quality of living in the region, followed by the five Japanese cities which include Tokyo (49), Kobe (49), Yokohama (55), Osaka (58), and Nagoya (62), followed by Hong Kong (71) and Seoul (77).

(The Edge, 14/03/2019)


 

MALAYSIA ATTRACTS RM201.7 BILLION INVESTMENTS IN 2018

Malaysia attracted a total of RM201.7 billion worth of investments in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors in 2018, up 0.55% from RM200.6 billion approved in 2017. In 1H18, investments approved were valued at RM86.1 billion, while a total of RM115.6 billion investments were approved in 2H18. Petroleum products, including the petrochemicals industry with approved investments of RM32.9 billion, mainly contributed to the overall performance in the manufacturing sector. A notable project in this industry is Sarawak Petchem, which is part of the Sarawak state governments’ initiative to develop Bintulu as a petrochemical hub. This is in addition to investments by Pengerang Energy Complex and Petronas Chemicals Isononanol, which will be located in Johor. Other industries with high levels of approved investments include basic metal products, electrical and electronic products, chemicals and chemical products, and machinery and equipment.

 (The Sun & NST, 15/03/2019)


 

INVEST MALAYSIA 2019 TO KICK OFF ON MARCH 19, 2019

The annual Invest Malaysia Kuala Lumpur conference enters its 15th edition in 2019, which is to be co-hosted by Bursa Malaysia and Malayan Banking Bhd, from March 19, 2019, to March 20, 2019. The forum is the largest annual capital market event in Malaysia, which will showcase 63 of Malaysia’s listed companies, ranging from large to mid cap listed companies with a total market capitalisation of RM913 billion. Invest Malaysia 2019 is expected to attract over 1,000 local and regional fund managers from Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, the US and the UK, with total estimated assets under management of US$20.16 trillion (RM82.3 trillion). This year’s forum will discuss Malaysia’s ambition and purpose for the nation, and provide clarity on the programmes designed to deliver Malaysia’s new agenda for growth.

 (The Sun, The Edge & The Star, 14/03/2019)


 

ECONPILE SEEKS RM80.1 MILLION IN PROGRESS CLAIMS FROM ASM DEVELOPMENT

Econpile Holdings Bhd is seeking RM80.1 million in progress claims from ASM Development (KL) Sdn Bhd for a RM280 million mixed development, of which 80% of works have been completed. The piling and foundation specialist denoted that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Econpile (M) Sdn Bhd (EMSB), had issued a Notice of Determination to ASM on March 13, 2019, for foundation and substructure works for a mixed development in Kuala Lumpur, which includes seven blocks of serviced apartments.

(The Edge, 15/03/2019)


 

RBM OFFERS 104 UNITS OF HOMES TO MELAKA’S YOUTH

The first phase of the Melaka Youth Housing Scheme (RBM) in Durian Tunggal has offered 104 residential homes worth RM180,000 per unit to youths in the state, with the opening of applications commencing on March 22, 2019. Applications are opened to youths aged 18 to 35 years. Those eligible will enjoy a 10% purchase subsidy, while legal fees and stamp duties will be borne by the developer. Among other requirements for applicants to qualify include household monthly incomes of RM8,000 and below and they must be Melaka or permanent residents for five years and above.

(The Edge, 15/03/2019)


 

SINGAPORE-LISTED DEBAO VENTURES INTO KL’S LUXURY HIGH-RISE RESIDENTIAL MARKET WITH RM2.2 BILLION PROJECT

Kuala Lumpur will soon usher in a new skyscraper by Singapore-listed developer, Debao Property Development Ltd, with a twin-tower residential high-rise called “The Landmark@KL City”. It is being developed by Elite Starhill Sdn Bhd, which is a subsidiary of Debao. With an estimated gross development value of RM2.2 billion, “The Landmark@KL City” will come up on the 2.07-acre freehold former site of SJK (C) Imbi School at Jalan Horley, next to Berjaya Times Square. Upon completion in 2023, it could be the tallest twin tower residential building in the city, whereby one of the towers will reach heights of approximately 225m. “The Landmark@KL City” comprises the 72-storey North Tower and the 73-storey South Tower, sharing a 13-storey podium which will house the lobby, a multi-storey and mechanical car park and common facilities. The two towers will have a total of 1,338 serviced apartment units with built-ups from 558 sq. ft. to 1,150 sq ft. The project is expected to be launched by end of 2Q19 or early 3Q19, with 300 initial units to be open for sale at an average price of RM2,500 per sq. ft.  The project offers various layouts including studio, 1-bedroom, 2-bedrooms, 3-bedrooms, 3+1 bedrooms, 4+1 bedrooms and duplex units, to suit the needs of various types of buyers.

(The Edge, 15/03/2019)


 

PESONA METRO SECURES RM238.45 MILLION APARTMENT JOB IN CYBERJAYA

Pesona Metro Holdings Bhd has secured a RM238.45 million contract from MCT Bhd’s unit for the construction of three blocks of apartment in Cyberjaya, along with mechanical and electrical works. Pesona’s unit, Pesona Metro Sdn Bhd, accepted the Letter of Award from MCT’s unit, Lakefront Residence Sdn Bhd, who is the developer of the project. The project involves the construction of two blocks of buildings with 862 units, and a third block containing 449 units. It is expected to be completed in 27 months.

 (The Edge& The Star, 15/03/2019)


 

MBI KEDAH TO FACILITATE US$150 MILLION LANGKAWI PREMIUM OUTLET

Menteri Besar Kedah Incorporated (MBI Kedah), property developer Mega Excellent Properties Sdn Bhd and South Korean investors are pooling US$150 million to start off the Langkawi Premium Outlet project. The collaboration is with a South Korean consortium comprising three companies that include Raum Architects & Engineers Co Ltd, Bluebell Korea Ltd and Opus Design & Construction Co Ltd. Mega Excellent and Raum Architects & Engineers signed a memorandum of understanding for the Langkawi Premium Outlet, which is a mixed development over 36-acres of land owned by the Kedah state government, and is situated across the existing Langkawi International Airport. MBI Kedah’s role is to catalyse Langkawi’s development by facilitating “value-adding” investments that would create high skilled jobs for locals and draw in added tourist spending into the island. The South Korean consortium of investors, which will include established duty-free outlet operators such as The Shilla and Lotte, will lead this project on a “design, build and operate” basis. The groundbreaking ceremony is expected to occur by 4Q19.

 (NST, 14/03/2019)


PLATINUM VICTORY TO OFFER SPORTS-THEMED PROJECT IN OLD KLANG ROAD

Within 2Q19, Platinum Victory will be unveiling its first project in Old Klang Road, Kuala Lumpur, called Platinum Arena, with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM421 million. The 2.9-acre leasehold development which is adjacent to Sports Arena Sentosa will offer 728 units of serviced apartments housed in two 36-storey blocks and 36 shop offices housed within two floors. The serviced apartments will have built-up areas ranging between 650 sq. ft. and 1,008 sq. ft., and the average selling price is RM620 per sq. ft. Pilling works commenced in early 2019 and the project will take about three years to complete. The company also plans to roll out “PV9” in Setapak in 2H19. Located within walking distance to the Tunku Abdul Rahman College and Taman Melati LRT station, the 5.5-acre development will offer around 1,300 units housed within three blocks, with unit built-ups starting from 1,000 sq. ft. One of the blocks will be a RUMAWIP project while the others will comprise condominium units with an estimated selling price starting from RM560,000.

(The Edge, 15/03/2019)


 

UMMB SELLS FACTORY UNITS FOR RM13.5 MILLION

Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd (UMMB) has disposed of two adjoining semi-detached factories in Taman Shamelin Perkasa, Cheras for RM13.5 million, to a unit of Berjaya Sports Toto Bhd. UMMB’s wholly-owned unit, Utusan Publications & Distributors Sdn Bhd, entered into a sales and purchase agreement with Berjaya Sports Toto Bhd’s wholly owned unit, Magna Mahsuri Sdn Bhd, for said disposal.

 (The Edge& The Star, 15/03/2019)


 

REHDA SURVEY: OPTIMISM FOR 2H19 DESPITE CURRENT LOW TAKE-UP RATES

More developers are optimistic about the industry‘s performance and growth in 2H19 although take-up rates for new launches are expected to remain at 50% and below.  Though the market has been challenging, most industry players are holding a neutral stance as there is more optimism for 2H19. Based on the survey, the percentage of respondents who felt that the market will do better in 2H19 stood at 27%, while for 1H19, merely 6% are optimistic about the outlook of the market. But the percentage of respondents who are pessimistic also increased in 2H19 (from 28% for 1H19 to 35% in 2H19). This might be due to the fact that some respondents may have stock in less favourable locations. Nevertheless, the percentage of respondents who felt ‘very pessimistic’ and ‘neutral’ has declined to 2% and 36% in 2H19, respectively. Zooming in on the residential sector, respondents had similar sentiments and the property sub-sector is expected to experience better growth in 2H19. In the previous survey, 57% and 11% of respondents were neutral and optimistic about the residential sector in 1H19, respectively, whereas in 2H19, 43%, 17% and 1% of respondents were neutral, optimistic, and very optimistic.

Developers feel that there are currently more walk-in customers coming to their sales galleries, which they think gives them a better chance to close a deal, compared with six months ago when individuals hardly visited their sales galleries. However, with regards to sales performance, a majority of developers anticipate that sales will remain at 50% and below in 1H19 (similar to levels achieved in 2018). In 2019, 41% of respondents planned to launch 8,991 units in 1H19, but 78% of them anticipate sales to be 50% and below within that period.  According to the survey, about 13,233 and 11,463 units were launched in 1H18 and 2H18 respectively, of which 51% and 43% were taken up, respectively. The survey also found that the percentage of developers who had unsold units has been reduced to 62% in 2H18, which is the lowest since 2H15. End-financing is still the main reason for the unsold units as reported by 90% of respondents, while 54% mentioned that they experienced a rejection rate of more than 30% in 2H18. Until today, end-financing is still an issue, which could be attributed to various reasons including insufficient income and bad credit records.

 (The Edge& The Star, 15/03/2019)


RM285 MILLION WORTH OF HOMES BOOKED AT HOC 2019 EXPO KLCC

Approximately 496 units worth RM285 million were booked at the recent Home Ownership Campaign 2019 (HOC 2019) Expo held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from March 1 to 3, 2019. The expo also recorded a total of 43,000 visitors over the three day period. According to a HOC Expo visitors’ survey, 99% of the 1,747 respondents were Malaysian, with the majority (75%) aged 39 years and below. More than half of the visitors are married (54%). Half (50%) of the visitors were first-time home buyers who were mostly looking to buy a home for self-dwelling purposes (39%). In the survey, 62% of respondents were looking to buy property priced between RM201,000 and RM500,000, while 41% wished to purchase an apartment or condominium unit. The majority of respondents preferred units with built-up sizes of 1,001 sq. ft. to 1,500 sq. ft., and 3-bedroom 2-bathroom units. Only 1% chose studio or 1-bedroom units.  The survey also found that the top three preferred locations for home buyers in the Klang Valley were Petaling Jaya, Cheras and Wangsa Maju. The top five factors influencing the choice of locations were good transport networks, being in close proximity to commercial centres, the availability of public transport, close to family and friends, and close to the workplace.

(The Edge& The Star, 15/03/2019)


PENANG OWED RM18 MILLION IN OVERDUE PPR, FLAT RENT

The Penang state government is facing RM18 million in rent arrears from tenants in its people’s housing project (PPR) and other rented flats. The local government and housing development committee chairman denoted that the sum was the total owed by tenants in all PPR and rental units owned by the state in all five Penang districts

 (NST, 14/03/2019)


 

IKEA’S FIRST STORE IN NORTHERN PENINSULAR MALAYSIA A HIT AMONG SHOPPERS

IKEA, the Swedish-based furniture brand store, has opened its first outlet in northern Peninsular Malaysia at Batu Kawan, Penang, on March 14, 2019. It is the second largest IKEA store in the country at approximately 470,146 sq. ft. after their outlet in IKEA Tebrau, Johor Bahru, and is expected to cater for up to 6,000 visitors at a single time. The store is owned and operated by Ikano Group.

 (The Edge & NST, 15/03/2019)


 

PAN BORNEO HIGHWAY SABAH IS NOW 12.4% COMPLETE

The Pan Borneo Highway project in Sabah has reached 12.4% completion as at February 2019, whereby RM609 million has been spent. Phase 1 of the Sabah portion is divided into 35 work packages, involving a total length of 706km. To-date, 12 work packages have been awarded to contractors to begin construction works.

 (The Edge, 14/03/2019)


 

CAHYA MATA JV WINS RM466.68 MILLION BINTULU BRIDGE JOB

Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd’s consortium, PPES Works CCCC JV Sdn Bhd, has accepted a RM466.68 million contract for the proposed construction and completion of the Bintulu – Jepak bridge crossing Kuala Kemena. PPES Works CCCC is a joint venture between Cahya Mata’s 51%-owned subsidiary, PPES Works (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd and China Communications Construction Company (M) Sdn Bhd (CCCC). The remaining 49% equity interest in PPES Works is held by Sarawak Economic Development Corporation. The tenure of the contract is for 48 months, commencing April 3, 2019, with completion targeted for April 2, 2023. The agreement stipulates that the iconic bridge crossing Batang Kemena at Bintulu – Jepak will be approximately 1,048m long with a four-lane double carriageway, with a cable-stayed bridge complete with a flyover over Jalan Tun Ahmad Zaidi, Jalan Tun Razak and the Jalan Abang Galau traffic junction, with an approximate 4km connecting road.

 (The Sun, The Edge & The Star, 14/03/2019)


 

20 NEW INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS TO BE IMPLEMENTED IN 2019

The Works Ministry will implement 20 new infrastructure projects worth RM5.26 billion in 2019 that will help stimulate the country’s economy. This includes mega projects that had been long planned such as the Central Spine Road (CSR), the Pan Borneo Highway, and the Sarawak-Sabah link road projects. The minister denoted that road access linking rural and urban areas, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, would boost the tourism industry and assist in generating income for the locals.

 (NST & The Edge, 15/03/2019)


 

 

RICS

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