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Property News


The rise in China's foreign exchange reserves is bad news for global real estate


Key Chinese Residential Property Developers in Iskandar

Country Garden - Danga Bay and Forest City
Greenland Group - Danga Bay and Tebrau Bay
Guangzhou R&F Properties - Princess Cove
Hao Yuan Investment Pte Ltd - Danga Bay
Macrolink Group (Macrolink International Land (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd) - Medini
Zhuoda Real Estate Group (Zhuoyuan Iskandar) - Paradiso Medini
and more...
So, if some of these developers offer big special discounts plus lots of freebies to clear their balance units, will there be immediate takers??


Malaysia may raise minimum property prices for foreigners

PUBLISHED: 9:40 AM, MARCH 14, 2017UPDATED: 2:12 PM, MARCH 14, 2017

SIMPANG PERTANG (Negeri Sembilan) — Malaysia’s government plans to review and possibly revise its housing policy on foreigners purchasing local properties.

The move is meant to safeguard Malaysia’s interests and curb abuse, especially in view of the prevailing poor currency exchange rate.

Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Noh Omar on Monday (March 13) said a study has been conducted on the matter, and the federal government could consider two options — either to raise the floor price of RM1 million (S$318,187) per property, or switch the currency for the floor price from ringgit to US dollar, for all foreign property buyers.

Mr Noh was commenting on a report that the Penang state government plans to allow foreigners to purchase property on the island priced at RM800,000 and above, which it claims are not within the means of locals due to difficulties in securing financing from banks.

“If the state government pursues its intent to lower the mandated floor price (for foreign purchases), then it would have breached the housing policy set by the federal government.

“At the present foreign exchange rate (of RM4.45 to US$1), there shouldn’t be any problem maintaining the RM1 million floor price for foreigners,” he said, adding that priority should be given to local residents on the island. NEW STRAITS TIMES



the federal government could consider two options — either to raise the floor price of RM1 million (S$318,187) per property, or switch the currency for the floor price from ringgit to US dollar, for all foreign property buyers.
The above statement indicates that they don't even have confidence in their own Ringgit currency. Really a setback.


The above statement indicates that they don't even have confidence in their own Ringgit currency. Really a setback.
Which is unfortunately, quite true.


But any raise in the min price will be meant for future new launches, those already launched will not be affected, like the last RM1mil case.


Penang ups landed property threshold
Pauline Ng
Friday, Mar 17, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR - Foreigners looking to buy landed property on Penang Island will have to restrict themselves to those priced from RM3 million (S$951,600), the state government said on Thursday in a move to ostensibly safeguard the interests of locals.

State executive councillor for housing Jagdeep Singh Deo announced the threshold hike but noted that the foreign levy would be halved for properties priced at RM1-1.5 million. Such properties would attract a levy of 1.5 per cent from 3 per cent previously.

The floor price for apartments or strata titled properties on the island remains at RM1 million.

The previous threshold for landed property on the island was set at RM2 million in 2015 amid a boom in real estate in the preceding four to five years.

Although the property market has slowed since the end of 2015, Penang Island remains one of Malaysia's most popular spots with locals and foreigners. It ranks second only after Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley.

The 50 per cent threshold increase comes amid concerns that Malaysians, especially Penangnites, are being crowded out of the housing segment.

Also fuelling the unease has been the collapse of the ringgit against nearly every major currency.

This has led to imported inflation and also gave rise to the impression that Malaysian real estate is much more affordable for foreigners.

Consider the ringgit's performance over the past two years. From 3.70 to the greenback, it is now hovering at 4.45 or worth a fifth less. Against the Singapore dollar, the ringgit has shrunk by some 18 per cent, going from 2.68 to 3.16.

Its performance against the Japanese yen is even more feeble, plunging 30 per cent over the period. As Penang is one of the favourite locations for Japanese who take up residency under the country's second home programme, the shrinking ringgit is a bonus.

Another property segment which attracts foreign interest are the shophouses in or around Penang's heritage row.

"Interest is still there. It has more or less stabilised compared to the previous wave," a Penang-based developer said.

As prices are upwards of RM2,000 per square foot, a 2,000 sq ft plot would cost about RM4 million. When conducting restoration and renovation works, owners need to comply with strict heritage guidelines which can run up the budget significantly.

"However, rentals yields are not so great," the developer said, although he noted that yields tend to be secondary to most owners as they regard owning such properties as something special and unique.

Notwithstanding the small ringgit, the rush to acquire properties has not been obvious. "Who knows if the ringgit will fall even more?" the developer quipped.

The state government left the threshold for properties on the Penang mainland at RM1 million, ostensibly because of the greater availability of land.

[email protected]

- See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/business/penang-ups-landed-property-threshold#sthash.ml2SEVFJ.dpuf


Sultan Johor's dream homes: Submit your application online at 5pm

By Halim Said - March 22, 2017 @ 4:45pm

JOHOR BARU: A dedicated online application portal has been set up for applicants for the new affordable housing scheme spearheaded by the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar.

Online applications for the homes on www.yayasansultanibrahim.org.my will kick off at 5pm today.

A spokesman from the Johor Menteri Besar’s Office said that applicants could log on to the website and fill up the application form for a chance to own a home under the ‘Rumah Mampu Milik Bangsa Johor, Yayasan Sultan Ibrahim’.

Sultan Ibrahim had said that the housing scheme will offer more than 1,800 units of bungalows and semi-detached units in prime freehold areas in Johor Baru. Some of the units are priced below RM100,000.

The irresistible offer has sent folks in Johor into frenzy with many gathering at the launch venue, [email protected] shopping mall, since this morning.

The mall appears to be bursting at its seams as the crowd has taken to filling up every corner of the four-level mall.

Several roads such as Jalan Trus, Jalan Duke, Jalan Abdullah Ibrahim and Jalan Ungku Puan have also been closed to traffic since 1pm.

Johor Baru traffic police chief Superintendant Dzulkhairi Mukhtar said a total of 40 police personnel including traffic police from the Johor Baru Selatan station have been deployed to maintain order.

“We will monitor the condition on the roads to alleviate congestion from time to time,” he said.



THe bungalows and semi-ds for sale for token sum are at Bandar Dato' Onn, Bandar Baru Majidee and Jalan Yahya Awal.
Bandar Dato' Onn sound very familiar to me(CsLong)!!!, shall we ask Highflyer, CsLong and his ladyboys to present their thoughts about this and the their china pet projects! LOL...


Sultan of Johor’s dream home gift: 195,000 applications in 2 hours

JOHOR BARU — A total of 195,000 people registered for the ‘Rumah Impian Bangsa Johor’ housing scheme within the first two hours after applications were opened to the public on Wednesday (March 22) at 5pm.

Johor Corporation president and chief executive Kamaruzzaman Abu Kassim said the tally of applicants so far was based on the figures received at 7pm.

He said applicants could continue to register through the Sultan Ibrahim Foundation website at www.yayasansultanibrahim.org.my.

Mr Kamaruzzaman said the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar had decreed that he has been extremely touched by the overwhelming response from Johoreans during the pre-launch ceremony of the new housing scheme.

“The Sultan reminded the people to not believe in any quarters who claim that they could help them obtain a unit in the ‘Rumah Impian Bangsa Johor’ housing scheme, other than the online application method.

“The ruler decreed that only those who truly qualify and who have undergone the vetting process will own a unit in the housing scheme,” said Mr Kamaruzzaman.

Thousands of Johoreans attended the pre-launch ceremony at [email protected] earlier causing massive congestions on roads leading to the shopping mall.

The project, the brainchild of Sultan Ibrahim, is meant to help those in need to own a home, based on criteria set by the Sultan Ibrahim Foundation.

The project comprises more than 1,800 units of houses that will be built in Bandar Dato ‘Onn, Bandar Baru Majidee and Bukit Saujana, Johor Baru.

The first phase of the project will be in Bandar Dato’ Onn where each of the unit in project will be priced between RM80,000 (S$25,260) to RM420,000.

The Sultan Ibrahim Foundation, which was set up in July 14 last year is intended to address issues related to the welfare of Johoreans, especially in matters of housing. NEW STRAITS TIMES



Besides the Forest City with a super high percentage of Mainlanders buyers, the other development by Chinese developers also have quite high percentage.
Greenland at the Danga Bay is said to have about 70% Mainlander buyers while Princess Cove and Country Garden in Danga Bay should also have a high quota too.
So, the coming events due to the capital control in China should have some impact on all the development and how much impact will depend on how high is the Chinese buyers percentage in the particular project and how much had been paid to date by respective buyer.


Besides the Forest City with a super high percentage of Mainlanders buyers, the other development by Chinese developers also have quite high percentage.
Greenland at the Danga Bay is said to have about 70% Mainlander buyers while Princess Cove and Country Garden in Danga Bay should also have a high quota too.
So, the coming events due to the capital control in China should have some impact on all the development and how much impact will depend on how high is the Chinese buyers percentage in the particular project and how much had been paid to date by respective buyer.
Thank you.. I respect your views!


China investors prefer Malaysia over more expensive Australia and HK

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Chinese developers have increasingly made their presence felt especially in the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula where since the early 2010s, a number of them have bought land in Iskandar Malaysia, the country’s most established economic zone located in Johor.

PETALING JAYA: Mainland Chinese investors are now favouring Malaysia for real estate over more expensive Australia and Hong Kong, says the Financial Times (FT) in a report.

Chinese developers have increasingly made their presence felt especially in the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula where since the early 2010s, a number of them have bought land in Iskandar Malaysia, the country’s most established economic zone located in Johor.

One of the earliest, Guangzhou-based Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd, bought 57 acres in Danga Bay, a planned waterfront city, from Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH) for RM57mil in 2012. The company launched 9,000 units of condominiums in 2013 that will be completed over several phases. The RM18bil project will also include a mall and a bouvelard. IWH, Danga Bay’s master developer, counts Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo and Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor, the state investment arm, as shareholders.

According to FT, citing data from Real Capital Analytics, Chinese groups have invested more than US$2.1bil in Malaysian real estate over the past three years, compared with US$985mil invested by Singaporean companies between 2014 and 2016. These investments complement the other investments that Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, have drawn to Iskandar Malaysia. Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd and CapitaLand Ltd have projects in Iskandar Malaysia as well as Sydney-based Walker Group Holdings Pty Ltd.

Last year, the economic zone drew in investments totalling RM32.15bil. From 2006 up until last year, Iskandar Malaysia has seen RM222.44bil of investments, of which RM119.5bil or 54% has been realised.

Besides the Danga Bay project, Country Garden has embarked on an ambitious US$100bil project spanning 30 years called Forest City, which will be built on four artificial islands just across from Singapore. Other prominent Chinese companies who have invested in Iskandar Malaysia include Guangzhou-based R&F Properties Co Ltd and Shanghai-based state developer Greenland Holdings Group Ltd.

Many reports have noted that the Chinese who have flocked to Malaysia to buy homes especially in Johor have been attracted to the competitive property prices and the nearby amenities of Singapore while Chinese developers, facing stiffer competition and a saturated market, have been buying up real estate comprising both land and properties abroad, as part of strategies to diversify geographically.



Buy a PROPERTY while you can

Posted on March 5, 2017 | 12405 views | Topic : Featured, News & Articles, Property News, Special Focus.

By JONATHAN ROBERTS [email protected]

“IF YOUR grandfather did not do, your father forgot to do, you still do not want to do, your grandson will not know what to do,” joked MCT Bhd leasing director Teoh Eng Poh on the dilemma faced by property buyers.

In the recent inaugural Star-925, he suggested that properties in Malaysia are staring at a high possibility of a second wave of price hike, similar to the booming of house prices from 2009 to 2014, in which the compound annual growth rate stood at a whopping 10.1%.

“Two major boosters are going to affect the property prices. Firstly, Greater Kuala Lumpur is moving towards an infrastructural era with the upcoming mega transportation projects.

“Secondly, China’s One Belt One Road initiative will see Chinese investment pouring in our property market. Hence, a big wave is on its way,” Teoh said.

According to the latest data from JLL’s Global Capital Flows, China has hit a record of US$33bil (approximately RM146bil) in overseas commercial and residential property investment last year.

On top of that, Teoh touted Bandar Malaysia to be one of the main drivers for the property market in years to come, drawing comparisons to the success of Kuala Lumpur city centre (KLCC).

“Twenty years ago, KLCC was developed within a 100-acre land at RM400 per sq ft. Today, it is approximately RM3,000 per sq ft.

“Bandar Malaysia site covers a total area of 486 acres. The potential is huge,” he added.Teoh also said the property market slowdown in recent years was due to the mismatch in supply and demand.

“When we talk about supply and demand, there is a misconception. It is not a case of supply outstripping demand, but rather an oversupply of products not suited to the consumers’ demand,” he explained.

However, facing a soft market, property developers are now building more affordable houses, which opens the door for the younger generation to own a home.

“One who has the capacity to buy now should not wait till you miss out the opportunity of owning a home. The longer you wait, the tougher homeownership will become.

“In emerging markets like Malaysia, property remains an asset that can build wealth for multi-generations,” he said.

Teoh warned that in developed markets such as Hong Kong, where prices have shot through the roof, it can take generations to acquire a property.

The Property Market Outlook talk was jointly organised by Starproperty.my and the 925 movement. The Star-925 initiative is intended to help employees become more valuable at their workplace, which enables growth in their income stream. Thus, it will allow them to gain more leverage to build wealth through sustainable property ownership.

This initiative will run frequent events that bring together specialised speakers to benefit its members and the attendees.



Opportunities beckon in Malaysia residential properties

Brian Koh
Monday, Apr 3, 2017

Residential property investors on both sides of the Causeway did not enjoy the best of times in 2016. That was largely due to weak economic conditions and Malaysian government policies on residential property investments, which prevented prices from escalating. Hence, both domestic investors and Singapore capital seeking residential properties in Malaysia were affected.

Today, there are signs that the residential market of Malaysia is slowing (Chart 1). Although investors currently in the market might be disadvantaged, the various measures were generally welcomed, if long-term sustainability is to be maintained. The number of transactions and total value of transactions have dropped by 11.9 per cent and 16.4 per cent respectively year-on-year for the period Q1 - Q3 2016 (Chart 2 below).

In Greater Kuala Lumpur, the market was booming prior to the government's implementation of the cooling measures in late 2013, as competitive pricing supported by successful marketing campaigns and a low interest rate environment boosted sales. The market showed signs of stabilising after the implementation of the measures. Even though there is evidence of an oversupply, especially in the high-end residential segment, developers remained cautiously optimistic and are keen to kick-start new launches after adopting a wait-and-see approach for over a year since the implementation of the goods and services tax in Q1 2015.

Given current economic fundamentals and government intervention, residential prices are expected to fall. However, there is little indication of that happening at the moment. Despite the weaker secondary market, there is hardly any sign of distress sales, with a key barometer - the non-performing loans ratio - remaining low at 1.7 per cent. This is much lower as compared to the Asian financial crisis in 1998, when it rose to a double-digit high. The various state governments have also tightened the minimum residential price point for foreign ownership of Malaysia property. In general, this is around RM1 million (S$316,000), with slight variations among individual states, although it does not apply to certain areas, such as Medini in Iskandar Malaysia for example.

While it is generally not a buyers' market now, homeseekers can take advantage of the fact that completed but unsold units (which have been building up over the years especially with recent completions) have spurred developers to offer substantial discounts to reduce inventory.

Within the established central city locations, such as Kuala Lumpur City Centre, properties in the RM1-2 million range are generally a good choice and are considered resilient over the longer term. The smaller one to two- bedroom units tend to be popular among expatriates looking to rent. Expected yield in the short term is nevertheless rather low at around 3 to 4 per cent. Major redevelopments within the central locations present new opportunities, such as Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) and Tun Razak Exchange (TRX). These are comprehensive integrated developments with MRT linkages and will be internationally appealing.

The submarkets in Iskandar Malaysia and Penang reflect the general trend in Kuala Lumpur, although there is concern over Iskandar, with the presence of Chinese developers and their large-scale projects.

Iskandar Malaysia, the star destination for investors in recent years, had seen major price escalations until talk of emerging "ghost towns" put a brake on investors' sentiment from mid-

2016. In addition to the opportunity for price arbitrage, Iskandar Malaysia has always been an attractive destination for Singaporean buyers on both grounds of familiarity and proximity. Chinese buyers are the new addition to the equation. Pricing has started to show weakness and price discounts are starting to become prevalent, although the secondary market has not seen much activity.

Unfortunately, the success of the residential sector in Iskandar has outpaced its commercial and industrial counterparts, which were supposed to be the catalyst for job creation and population growth. So, owners of recently completed units may need to exercise patience for their investment to yield a decent rental return.

In Penang, home prices have traditionally been supported by land constraints on the island and its popularity as a second home for retirement or vacation. However, the recent downturn and consolidation within the electrical and electronics sector have dampened local demand. Even so, the situation is cyclical in nature and will not persist indefinitely. This year, the state government halved the approval fee of 3 per cent to 1.5 per cent for stratified residential properties on the island that cost between RM1 million and RM1.5 million, and this is likely to spur foreign demand. Prices in Penang are comparable to Kuala Lumpur, with high-end condominiums priced between RM1,000 and RM1,400 per sq ft.

The re-emergence of Penang as a regional holiday destination will to a certain degree support demand, especially with the attraction of resort apartments with sea views along its famous beach front stretching from Tanjung Bungah to Teluk Bahang. The rejuvenation of Gurney Drive along with the implementation of Gurney Wharf, a 60-acre public park, will also be a boost to the area. Nonetheless, the state government of Penang has recently raised the minimum price for foreign purchases of landed properties on Penang island from RM2 million to RM3 million, which will put a lid on any recovery in the landed market.

Moving forward, the decline of the ringgit has been generally in foreign buyers' favour, but with the volatility of the currency showing no sign of abating anytime soon, potential investors need to keep a keen eye on the situation as they could enter the market prematurely. For existing investors, any return on the asset will be drastically affected by potential currency exchange losses upon realisation of a sale. Ideally, the ringgit would recover to its fundamentals in the mid to longer term. If your existing assets show a positive cash flow and provide a reasonable return on investment, it is advisable to ride out any short-term losses and wait for the next upturn - which will invariably return. This will also be a good time to perform asset enhancement work to improve the property's rentability.

Talk about the pending election this year is not helpful to the market, as investors, both domestic and foreign, will require a clear sense of direction with regard to the country's future. To be successful, investors will need lots of patience, an eye for emerging bargains, and an appetite for risks on emerging locations.

- See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/busine...a-residential-properties#sthash.BRkR2ElD.dpuf


Is Singapore's property market headed for a quick upswing?

Leslie Shaffer CNBC
Sunday, Apr 9, 2017

After a long, plodding downtrend, Singapore's housing market may be gathering forces for a rebound. Sigrid Zialcita, managing director for Asia Pacific research at Cushman & Wakefield, told CNBC's "The Rundown" last week that she expected a turning point in prices "very soon."

She pointed to the government's recent move to ease some of its curbs on the sector as the reason for the market's changing fortunes.

"That actually boosted sentiment in the market. We've seen an increase in foot traffic and it's incentivizing a lot of buyers," she said.

Others also noted that the government's decision to loosen the reins may be spurring more property activity.

Hari Krishnan, CEO of website PropertyGuru, pointed to more optimism, with the number of property listings in the first quarter rising 2.0 per cent on-year and 2.4 per cent in March.

"These increases could be indicative of an uplift in seller sentiment," he said via email this week.

That hasn't been reflected in prices yet. In the first quarter, overall private home prices fell 0.5 per cent on-quarter, the 14th straight quarter of declines.

This time around, however, the bulk of the decline was in relatively small landed property segment, while non-landed prices were steady.

The city-state's housing prices surged more than 60 per cent from 2009 through 2013, propelled by rock-bottom global interest rates and quantitative easing in developed economies, even as the government enacted a series of cooling measures from 2011 to prevent a bubble from forming.

The measures, including an Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty which could add as much as an additional 15 per cent to the price, appeared to have eventually met with some success, with the property price index falling around 11 per cent from the peak in the third quarter of 2013 through the end of 2016, according to data from Deutsche Bank in January.

Now, the government may have a more sanguine view, taking moves in early March to scale back some of the curbs, including lowering the seller's stamp duty and shortening the minimum holding period to avoid it.

In a note late week, analysts at Citi also pointed to a sudden "sentiment uplift" after the policy easing, although it added that the "exuberance" might be overdone.

Indeed, the note indicated that while it would be more economically rational for potential buyers to wait for more substantial policy easing or for further discounts from developers running up against government-mandated sales deadlines, "the market sentiment in Singapore tends to work the other way - sidelined buyers rush back to the market at the first hint of easing, for fear of losing out."

Citi noted it was "impossible" to determine how much of an impact the move had on recent sales volume, but it pointed to one launch last week, of Park Place Residences, which sold its entire phase one, initially set at 40 per cent of the 429-unit total before being raised to 50 per cent, within a day.

To be sure, the development boasted a strong location and was arguably priced competitively. Other indicators also suggested the pickup in interest from potential buyers may pre-date the policy easing.

Data released by Singapore's central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, last week showed that consumer housing and bridging loans in February, before the rules were relaxed, rose 4.0 per cent on-year to 192.8 billion Singapore dollars, marking 12-straight months of on-month increases.

Property investor Alexander Karolik Shlaen, an economist and CEO of Panache Management, a luxury brands and investment adviser, said that while he'd noted sentiment toward the market had been improving for a while, he didn't expect the changes would affect most buyers.

But he noted that for a few buyers, specifically those who already hold a property and are looking to upgrade, only needing to wait three years, instead of four, to avoid the seller stamp duty may spur them into the market.

Shlaen also noted that while the easing could help individuals, the government had also moved to tighten loopholes allowing bulk-buyers of properties to side-step some taxes.

That could take those buyers out of the market, he said. It wasn't clear how much further any sentiment pickup could run.

Citi noted that buyers betting the government may further relax property-sector curbs could run up against a negative feedback loop: If the recent easing pushes up volumes and prices faster than economic fundamentals, that would dampen the chances of further policy easing.

- See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/busine...ket-headed-quick-upswing#sthash.Dsi92zQS.dpuf


Home prices rise for fifth straight month

Ann Williams

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2017

Resale prices of non-landed private homes rose for the fifth straight month in March to hit a 2½-year high, according to data out yesterday. Flash estimates put SRX Property's private resale index at 168.8 last month, the highest since September 2014.

In other bullish indicators, the number of units sold improved by over 50 per cent from February while buyers hiked their asking prices from below perceived market rates, where they had been languishing for many months.

Private resale prices climbed 0.5 per cent in March from April, easing though from the upwardly revised rise of 1.1 per cent in February. Prices rose 1 per cent in January, 0.3 per cent in December and 0.6 per cent in November last year.

Resale prices last month were 2.2 per cent higher than in March 2016, though still down by 5.5 per cent from their recent peak in January 2014.

Prices again increased across all locations, rising 0.4 per cent month on month in prime districts, 0.7 per cent on the city fringes and 0.4 per cent in outlying areas.

An estimated 1,058 units changed hands in March, up 51.8 per cent from the 697 units resold in February.

Resale volume last month was 77.5 per cent higher than the 596 units resold in March 2016 but still down 48.4 per cent from its peak of 2,050 units in April 2010.

This article by The Straits Times was published in The New Paper, a free newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.

- See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/business/home-prices-rise-fifth-straight-month#sthash.5AwEf2wb.dpuf