Kaygarn Tan No Comments

Penang gets nod to develop islands

GEORGE TOWN: The state government has secured approval for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report of the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) scheme near Teluk Kumbar.

It is learnt that the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry has given the green light, paving the way for the three man-made islands totalling 1,800ha to take shape off the southern coast of the island.The report incorporates 23 conditions proposed by the relevant government agencies and non-governmental organisations. It is prepared by project delivery partner SRS Consortium.

Among the key conditions are compensating more than 900 fishermen with low-cost houses in the Bayan Lepas area, planting artificial corals to sustain the marine ecosystem around the islands, and sourcing the sand for the reclamation from legitimate sites.

Sources told The Star that SRS Consortium would start reclaiming the first island measuring 930ha in the first quarter of 2020. It will take about three years to complete the first island. The cost to reclaim is about RM60 per square foot.

SRS Consortium will call for a tender to reclaim the three islands in the third quarter of this year.

Sources said the state government would sell some state land via an open tender exercise, while SRS Consortium will internally generate the seed funds to raise about RM2bil to start the reclamation of the first island.

The reclamation for the second and third island will commence when SRS has raised sufficient funds from the sale of the reclaimed land. For serving as the project delivery partner, SRS Consortium will be paid a 6% fee based on the RM46bil construction cost.

However, the state government is negotiating with SRS to reduce it.More than RM70bil is expected to be raised from the sale of the three man-made islands, enough to spearhead the state’s economic development for the next 30 years.

About 75% of the three islands are for sale via open tender.

Some RM46bil from the targeted revenue will be used for the construction of the RM9bil light rail transit (LRT) line, the RM9.6bil Pan Island Link 1 (PIL 1), and other supporting infrastructure projects under the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).

Presently, the price of industrial land on Penang island is around RM70psf-RM200psf, depen­ding on its status as leasehold or freehold land. However, as the industrial lots on the proposed man-made island are freehold land, the pricing is about RM200psf.

When the reclamation of the islands starts in 2020, there could be a 10% appreciation.

On the three islands – Island A (930ha), Island B (445ha) and Island C (323ha) – the plan is to construct a dam and three power plants for the islands and develop industrial, residential properties and state government administrative buildings.

Chow was earlier quoted as saying that Island A is seen as a conti­n­­­uation and expansion of the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone (FIZ) while Island B will be “a playground for city planners and architects to give their best design” with a tram system and green spaces.

Island C is meant for a mixed development project.

 

Source: The Star

Kaygarn Tan No Comments

Hong Kong folk do not mind living with ghosts, as long as they get a cheaper home

KUALA LUMPUR (June 25): Try selling a home in Malaysia which is supposed to be haunted or was the site of a gruesome death. Best of luck to you.

But in Hong Kong, many of people here do not mind living with “spirits” if they get a price discount on the property price.

According to a report by the South China Morning Post (SCMP), a survey by the Hong Kong Squarefoot online property portal showed that the many people in this ex-British territory said “they would consider living in a home which hides a tragic past” if the price was right.

And this is surprising as Hong Kongers are usually known to be very wary of Feng Shui elements and living with spirits which are still lingering in a property is a real no-no.

However, it looks like many people are throwing such concerns to the wind as Hong Kong property prices have rocketed to among the highest on the planet.

Alvin Cheung, associate director at Prudential Brokerage told the Hong Kong-based daily that: “If you asked these buyers whether they are afraid of ghosts, they probably are, more or less. But they are more afraid of sleeping on the street.”

“Before people think it is unlucky to stay in a haunted home, they think how lucky they are to find a home – whether it’s haunted or not is not the problem.

“Whether you have enough money to buy one is the key issue,” Cheung added.

“Normally people would not choose a haunted home, but the city’s housing prices are not in a normal range right now. Young people who would like to get a home have no choice when they do not have much savings,” Derek Chan, head of research at Ricacorp Properties told the publication.

In fact, Asif Ghafoor, founder and CEO of online property portal Spacious revealed to SCMP that “enquiries about discounted haunted homes have increased”.

Malaysians, especially in the urban areas of the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor Bahru – would you buy and live in a “haunted” home?

 

Source: Edge Prop

Kaygarn Tan No Comments

Property overhang can be resolved if MM2H is less stringent

KUALA LUMPUR: One way to resolve the property overhang is to stop being so strict over Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) applications from Chinese nationals, said a developer.

I understand that we are more stringent on the MM2H applications for the mainland Chinese,” said TA Global Bhds non-independent and non-executive director Datin Alicia Tiah said at a press conference after its AGM yesterday.

In a report by The Star today, Tiah said: “These are the people with money ready to spend. If the government would like to clear all these overhang stocks, they must not only look at local buyers but must also encourage foreigners to buy as well. One way to do this is to stop the restrictions in MM2H.”

I believe when anyone makes Malaysia its second home, chances are that they will buy a property. Once they buy a property, it means they will also buy white goods (big consumer items). They will also buy a vehicle and help the broader economy. This will stimulate (the economy) and clear excess stocks. These people can’t vote and I don’t see how they can affect the country,” Tiah opined.

Instead of the current restrictions, she proposed that the government could set up a quota for properties allowed for non-Malaysians in every state.

Source: Edge Prop

Kaygarn Tan No Comments

Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) 2019 extended by another 6 months! Here’s what homebuyers should know

Malaysians who are looking to buy a new residential property have until 31 December 2019 to take advantage of special property deals and purchase exemptions under the nation-wide campaign. 

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it is a wide-known fact that many young working adults in Malaysia are struggling to afford a residential property as they are priced way above the market. Homes are getting more expensive, especially in urban areas and the growth in household incomes is dismal, to say the least.

Thus, it is hardly surprising that there is a stunning amount of new-launch property units being left unsold. According to the Malaysian Property Market 2018 Report, which was recently released by the National Property Information Centre (NAPIC), the number of overhang units in 2018 rose by 30.7% to 32,313 units from the previous year.

‘Overhang property’ is defined as a completed residential unit which has remained unsold or has been on the market for at least nine months.

In light of this situation, the government has introduced the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) 2019, which was unveiled earlier this year as one of the housing initiatives under Budget 2019. The campaign was originally supposed to end on 30 June

# 1 What is the HOC 2019?

The HOC is a joint effort by the Housing and local government ministry (KPKT) and Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (REHDA) Malaysia.

The main focus of the HOC according to the Minister of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) YB Zuraida Kamaruddin, is to assist aspiring homeowners in getting a leg up on the property ladder. Besides that, it would also help alleviate the current glut of unsold properties in the market, thus killing two birds with one stone.

On June 30th, our Finance Minister, YB Lim Guan Eng announced that the government has approved REHDA’s appeal to extend the HOC for another six months from July 1, 2019 until December 31, 2019.

 

# 2 What are the HOC 2019’s terms & conditions?

(A) HOC 2019 only applies for properties sold between 1 January and 31 December 2019.

(B) It is open to all Malaysian purchasers, with no limit to the number of purchases.

(C) Only residential properties in the primary market (homes that have been launched or completed) – This means only new residential properties purchased directly from developers with APDL (Advertising Permit and Developer License).

(D) Homes in the secondary market, such as those purchased from a friend, family member or any other person that has previously bought the home from a developer, do not qualify.

(E) Properties for sale in:

  • Peninsular Malaysia, must be registered with REHDA Malaysia.
  • Sabah, must be registered with Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (SHAREDA)
  • Sarawak, must be registered with Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (SHEDA)

(F) Service apartments must be for residential use only and cannot be converted for commercial activities.

 

# 3 How does the HOC 2019 benefit you?

  • There is a stamp duty exemption (on the Memorandum of Transfer) for homes that are priced between RM300,001 and RM1 million. Homes that are valued at less than RM300,000 do not qualify for the exemption.
  • Properties that fall in the RM1million -RM2.5 million price range will be subject to a reduced stamp duty of 3%, where the 3% stamp duty will only be imposed on the balance amount after RM1 million. For instance, if the property price is RM1.5 million, the 3% fee is imposed only on RM500,000.
  • The 0.5% stamp duty charges on your loan agreement is also exempted – this applies for properties up to RM2.5 million.
  • Home buyers will get to enjoy a (minimum) additional 10% discount on the purchase price – This discount must be reflected in the Sales & Purchase Agreement (SPA). Property developers are required to offer at least a 10% discount for their residential projects in order to register their development(s) under the HOC.

NOTE: The discount is given based on approved APDL pricing. For properties where the APDL is no longer valid (for projects that have already obtained CCC), the 10% discount is based on selling price.

It’s pretty obvious that buying a home under the HOC will save you quite a bit of money. Previously, home buyers had to pay a stamp duty of 1% for the first RM100,000 on a home, 2% for the next RM100,001 to RM500,000 and 3% for the subsequent RM500,001 to RM1 million. At first glance, this might not seem like much.

However, let’s say you were to buy a home worth RM500,000, the stamp duty charges that you would have to pay amounts to:

= {(0.01 × 100k) + (0.02 × 400k) } + 0.5% of loan amount (90% of RM500k)
= RM1,000 + RM8,000 + RM2,250
= RM11,250

Let’s not forget about the 10% discount that developers are required to offer as well. Previously, if you were to buy the property you have your eye on, it would’ve cost you RM511,250 inclusive of stamp duties.

But with the HOC, you could get it for only RM450,000. You’re looking at savings of RM61,250. That’s more than enough to cover the cost of a brand new mid-range car! To put things in perspective, the 2019 Perodua Myvi (1.5L) is going for RM50,290.

 

 

# 4 What should I take note of?

(A) Under the previous campaign period (up to 30th June), those who purchase a property and sign the SPA by 30 June December 2019 but only get their SPA stamped in July 2019 (typically, the deadline for stamping the SPA is one month after it is signed) will still be eligible for the stamp duties exemptions on MOT & SPA and on Loan Agreement. This is provided that the developer registers the residential unit by Wednesday, 19 June 2019 and submits the necessary documents for certification by Monday, 15 July 2019.

As the HOC site has yet to be updated, we would assume that the same condition applies under the new campaign period – you would still be eligible for the stamp duty exemptions even if your SPA gets stamped in January 2020.

(B) It has been reported in the media that some of the projects being marketed under the HOC have yet to be launched – homebuyers should practise caution in identifying these as the 10% discount will then not apply for these projects.

(C) Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has said that the ministry would take action if it were to receive any report from developers on housing loan applications being rejected without strong justifications.

 

# 5 How do I purchase a house under the HOC?

In conjunction with the HOC, multiple expos have been held around the country for developers to showcase their residential properties under one roof. he flagship HOC expo for Klang Valley held in March 2019 attracted 43,000 visitors and recorded RM285 million in home bookings.

Upcoming expos in H2 2019 have yet to be announced – in the meantime, you can check out what are the available properties being marketed under the HOC in the respective states here and contact the developers yourself.

Some of the projects under the HOC banner include:

Since the campaign extension have been announced, it is anticipated that more developers will be coming on board to market their housing products under the HOC.

Prospective home buyers are encouraged to attend the upcoming expos to scout for potential homes. Do look out for news in the media for further updates on the campaign and happy home hunting!

 

Source: iproperty

Kaygarn Tan No Comments

MAHB to proceed with Penang International Airport expansion plan

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is ready to proceed with its plan to expand the Penang International Airport after getting the approval from the Ministry of Finance.

Group chief executive officer Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin said MAHB has been working on the expansion project over the past two years, bringing in consultants to draw up detailed construction plans after engaging with the Ministry of Transport (MoT), Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) and the Penang state government, including Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

“The plans are ready to be submitted by the end of July 2019 to obtain the planning approval from the Penang Island City Council (MBPP), after the project has received the necessary clearance from MAVCOM, MoT and the Department of Director-General of Lands and Mines (Federal) as the land owner,” said the airport operator in a statement today.

The statement was in response to a news report titled “Operating issue an obstacle to private initiative for airports” which quoted Chow as saying that certain issues have hampered the progress of the Penang International Airport’s expansion.

MAHB said it is currently in the midst of discussions with various parties on the options for investment and funding models.

The airport operator said it had submitted an application to fully fund the project under the proposed MAVCOM Regulated Asset Base (RAB) framework and is now waiting for approval.

It added that once the necessary plans have been approved by MBPP, construction should begin in the first quarter of next year. – Bernama

 

Source: The Star

Kaygarn Tan No Comments

Finance minister: Household debt down, banks please lend to new homebuyers

Malaysia’s Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng wants banks to provide greater access to financing to first-time homebuyers, as well as to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) considering the fact that the country’s household debt as a ratio to gross domestic product (GDP) has fallen to 83% in 2018 from 83.8% in 2017.

In a statement today, Lim said consumers have more room now to borrow for wealth accumulation purposes, either in saving schemes, or for non-speculative investments including acquisition of long-term assets.

“Household debt on average is sufficiently backed by assets. According to statistics from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the level of household financial assets is 2.1 times of household debt. This shows that households on average hold more assets than they hold debt, giving them the necessary buffer to face any financing contingencies,” he said.

He noted that BNM’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) May 7 decision to cut its Overnight Policy Rate by 25 basis points to 3% from 3.25% has also lowered the cost of borrowing and the reduction has been transmitted fully by the banks to consumers.

“The government has also requested BNM to remind all banks that business borrowers who are not facing loan defaults, but wish to improve their cash flow by restructuring and rescheduling (R&R) their loans for a longer tenure, should not have such R&R loans classified as non-performing loans,” Lim highlighted.

However, he noted that the government recognises that lower income households are vulnerable to shocks, and are in need of assistance to increase their financial strength.

“Thus, the government has successfully done so by improving its cash transfer programme Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH), introducing the free public health insurance scheme mySalam, and stabilising RON95 petrol and diesel retail prices,” said Lim.

He added that higher consumer confidence is reflected in the rise in retail sales by 6.3% to RM41.6 billion in April 2019 from RM39.1 billion a year ago based on data from the Department Of Statistics Malaysia.

“The overall wholesale and retail trade sales in April 2019 increased by 5.3% to RM105.1 billion from RM99.8 billion a year ago, indicating high consumer confidence,” he added.

In the statement, Lim also commented on the cement price hike issue.

“The government is determined to keep prices of basic items in check.

“The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) under the leadership of Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail has issued notices under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act to 19 cement producers throughout the country.

“Furthermore, the government will play its role as an effective regulator to ensure cement prices remain competitive and are not raised arbitrarily based on monopolistic factors,” Lim added.

 

Source: Edge Prop

Kaygarn Tan No Comments

Stamp duty exemption for HOC first-time homebuyers extended for 6 months until Dec 31

KUALA LUMPUR: Putrajaya as agreed to extend the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) for another six months from July 1, 2019 until Dec 31, 2019, the Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng announced in a statement today.

This means that the stamp duty exemption for HOC first-time homebuyers has also been extended to the same period.

“The Finance Ministry has accepted the KPKT Minister, YB Puan Hajah Zuraida Kamaruddin’s, request in support of REHDA’s (Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association) appeal to extend the HOC period for another six months,” Lim said in the statement.

“To encourage the increase in the level of home ownership among Malaysians and achieve the objective of reducing the number of unsold houses, the government has agreed to extend the HOC for another six months,” he added.

Lim explained “that HOC has received a positive reception from the public as the stamp duty exemption incentives and discounts of at least 10% were able to reduce the cost of home ownership especially for Malaysians who have never owned a house”.

The HOC combines government incentives in the form of stamp duty exemptions and incentives from housing developers of at least 10% discounts on purchase prices.

With the HOC, a home priced between RM300,000 and RM2.5 million (purchased from a developer registered with REHDA, [Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association] Shareda and [Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association] Sheda) enjoys a discount of 10% and a stamp duty exemption of 100% that is limited to the first RM1 million of the property’s price whle the remaining value is subject to a 3% rate. There is also a 100% stamp duty exemption on the loan agreement.

In addition to the HOC, the government also has other incentives for first-home purchases, both for purchases direct from a housing developer or on the secondary market. First-time homebuyers get stamp duty exemption on the memorandum of transfer and loan agreement for property purchases priced no more than RM300,000. For purchases of between RM300,001 and RM500,000, a similar stamp duty waiver is applicable (limited to only the first RM300,000 of the house price). They are applicable for sale and purchase agreements completed between Jan 1, 2019 and Dec 31, 2020.

“According to a report from the National Property Information Centre (NAPIC), the number of unsold residential properties in Malaysia had risen to 32,313 units valued at RM19.86 billion as at the fourth quarter or 2018.

“This reflects the long-standing issues of home ownership, as well as the mismatch between the supply and demand of houses in the market. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, this represents a 30.6% increase in the volume of residential units unsold and 27.0% increase in the value of residential units,” Lim added.

 

Source: Edge Prop

Kaygarn Tan No Comments

Penang bags RM8.8b investments in first quarter of 2019

GEORGE TOWN — Penang recorded RM8.8 billion in total investments for the first three months of the year, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow announced today.

Quoting figures from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), he said Penang secured 41 projects or 35 per cent of total approved investment in the country for the period.

“Penang’s achievement of RM8.85 billion in the first quarter of 2019 has already surpassed 2018’s full-year investment amount of RM5.78 billion,” he said in a press conference in his office today.

He said the sum of the approved investment is expected to create 10,073 new job opportunities in Penang.

Penang is also the key contributor to Malaysia’s foreign direct investment (FDI) as RM8.47 billion out of the total investments were FDI, Chow highlighted before adding that the figure represented 42 per cent of Malaysia’s total FDI.

“Regardless of whether the US and China could strike a deal on the trade agreements, corporates will have to strategise to diversify their manufacturing geographical footprint, to avoid being a victim of the two superpowers’ trade and technology fight, which could last for years,” he said.

He said the global supply chain is set for a shake-up so Penang must position itself to seize the opportunities arising from this upheaval.

Chow said the state must remain cautiously optimistic in the near term due to the trade war between the US and China.

“We acknowledge that the trade spat could have a negative impact on certain small medium enterprises and the broader economy,” he said.

Penang will keep monitoring the situation and work closely with the multinational and local companies to face coming challenges, Chow said.

“The superb first quarter investment figure may not repeat itself in the second or third quarter but Penang’s investment outlook is on the right track over the medium to longer term,” he said.

He said Penang, through InvestPenang, will continue to focus on bringing high-quality investment that could create high-value jobs and suit the state’s industry profile.

Kaygarn Tan No Comments

Malaysians spend more time looking at properties than going to the gym or reading

Malaysia is the most property obsessed country in the Southeast Asia and ranked at fourth place globally after the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Taiwan, according to HSBC Malaysia.

“Malaysians spend longer time viewing property than they do keeping fit at the gym, reading books, or reading and watching the news,” said country head for retail banking and wealth management Tara Latini.

She said on average, Malaysians spent 4.37 hours per week  viewing property than go to the gym, which is about one hour a week, or reading books (1.95 hours) or reading and watching the news (2.27 hours).

She pointed out that almost one out of five Malaysian was an extreme house hunter who spends more than 10 hours looking at property magazines every week.

“More than  26% of these Malaysian extreme property addicts spend between 7 and 9 hours searching for properties online,” she said.

Interestingly, Latini pointed out that property addicts were also more likely to delay important life stages as they save for the perfect home.

Globally, about 6.3% of people can be defined as an extreme house hunter and that the research reveals the quirks and irrationalities that have started to play a prominent role in their property searches, she adds.

“Globally, 19% of these property addicts have delayed having a child to get on the property ladder, twice the average person.

“Furthermore, extreme property addicts are twice as likely to delay marriage to save up for their next property purchase,” she said.

As for Malaysia, Latini said 25% of extreme property addicts have delayed having a baby by 7-8 years and another 25% have delayed having a baby by 5-6 years in order to purchase a property.

“The rest of the 50% Malaysian property addicts have delayed having a baby by less than two years to get on the property ladder,” she said.

In terms of property deal breaker, Latini said difficult neighbours would put off more than half of Malaysians.

She said almost half (46%) of Malaysians have made sacrifices by cutting back on bigger expenditures such as cars, holidays, and luxury items.

“Buying a property is often the biggest and most significant purchase we make but some home buyers may be taking their passion for the perfect home too far,” Latini said.

She said property magazines, TV programmes and websites were making it harder than ever before to have realistic expectations about what people can afford.

She suggested that it is essential to begin buying process by having an open discussion with partner, family or financial advisor to discuss their affordability.

“Many buyers are putting off important life stages in the quest to afford that perfect property,” Latini said.

Source: The Star

Kaygarn Tan No Comments

Malaysian property market: Wake up and smell the coffee

Much has been commented about the housing market overhang as well as oversupply the past week, mostly coming from the recently released Property Market Report 2018 by National Property Information Center (Napic).

This week’s article is more about revealing what was not widely reported and some commentary on the state of the Malaysian property market. Based on Napic data, despite the perceived glut faced by the market, the overall Malaysian House Price Index continued to climb in 2018, rising by 3.1% y-o-y to 193.3 pts and on average, a home in Malaysia now cost RM416,993 compared with RM404,643 a year ago. Key driver of price growth in 2018 was from terrace homes sub-segment, which rose by 6.4% y-o-y to RM387,474 while high-rise and detached homes declined by 1.2% and 1.8% y-o-y respectively. Semi detached homes too saw a rise in price, rising by 2% y-o-y. However, measured based on median prices, house prices in actual fact fell by 2% to 296,944 from RM303,000 in 2017.

Also, what was interesting is that after three consecutive years of annual drops in both total value and transaction volume, the Malaysian property market finally saw some light at the end of the tunnel with a rise of both in value and volume, although it was just a modest increase of 0.3% and 0.6% respectively.

As for inventory level, property developers don’t seem to learn or understand what’s happening in the market as the most overhang sub-sector, which is the service apartments sub-sector, saw a 101.4% increase in completion last year to 31,162 units while new planned supply rose by 42% y-o-y to 54,506 units in 2018.

Although the starts in this sub-sector declined by 20.4% in 2018 to 25,730 units, the planned supply seems to be worrying as it represents some 27.6% of the current existing stock level of 197,348 units as at end of 2018. Even the residential sub-sector, which is the largest sub-sector within the property market, saw a decline across the inventory levels as completion fell by 0.7% to 93,547 units while starts and new planned supply declined by 8.6% and 19.9% y-o-y to 122,065 units and 106,345 units respectively.

The release of the 2018 Property Market Report basically has given all stakeholders a snapshot of the current market condition in terms of price trends, locality and types of properties that are in excess of supply.

> What are key takeaways?

To the developer – It’s time to go back to the drawing board and re-focus the efforts in providing homes that are affordable to the mass market and more importantly, those that can sell. Stop planning homes that are not on the right location or homes that nobody wants and end up as part of national statistics as unsold inventory – be it completed, under construction or not constructed. Also, in certain location, it is understandable that a developer has no choice but to built high-rise due to land cost and or city centred location. However, looking at the Napic statistics, developers should move away from building service residences as there is just too much supply, not only from existing stock level, but also from planned supply. It will be for a while before we see some normality in this sub-sector.

In the office and retail sub-sector, despite a 30.8% and 62.2% decline y-o-y in total starts for 2018, what was alarming from Napic’s statistics too was the planned supply for these two categories where the expected total planned supply was at 340,861sq m and 532,731 sq m, an increase of 66.7% and 109.6% y-o-y respectively! Developers – do we still need more malls? As it is, based on latest count, some 40 malls are expected to be ready between now and 2020 in Greater Kuala Lumpur alone! How much can the market absorb? Do we need to built for the sake of building or are there really genuine demand? Judging from market’s feedback, developers really need to re-think their strategies going forward.

To the homebuyers – There are plenty of opportunity to pick the right bargains mainly due to the current market situation, more so, if the purchase is for own use and located at the right spot. With the incentives scheme thrown by the government under the Home Ownership Campaign, there is no better time to sign on the dotted line and get the roof over your head at a good price. Avoid developers who are stubborn in reducing prices as they will just remain part of inventory statistics or developers who are selling unwanted products like service apartments for reasons mentioned in previous paragraphs. With the recent cut in Overnight Policy Rate by 25bps, affordability too has been boosted and hence it is an opportune time to get out there and become a homeowner.

To the bankers – The Finance Minister has encouraged the banking sector to provide more funding and financing to home buyers and to ensure that qualified buyers are not bypassed by stringent criteria. However, the banks must be aware that certain market segment can have serious repercussion to the banking industry if lending to the sector is not controlled, especially in the office and retail sub-sector, which is seeing continuous rise in supply. A careful analysis, even after financing is approved is necessary as should we face deterioration in demand for spaces that the market is planning today, it can have serious repercussion to the banking sector and to the economy as a whole.

To the government – Statistics are speaking for themselves. Its important for the government to take heed of the current market situation and to ensure the market remains healthy for all stakeholders. The government, knowing that certain market segments are presently imbalance, need to ensure that supply is curtailed by playing the role of gatekeeper and not allowing developers to undertake projects which are deemed to be in excess supply or in wrong location. Until and unless these excesses are reduced, the Government has a duty to ensure the housing market remains healthy.

All in, the Napic report is not only another quarterly update on the state of property market in Malaysia but an important report card for all stakeholders to wake up and smell the coffee.

Source: The Star