Penang Property Outlook 2018

January 18th, 2018 No comments

As we walked down to the memory lane of 2017, it was obviously one of the slowest year in the decade for properties. There were only a handful of new projects launched throughout the year and some were delayed. Developers were very careful with what they were launching and many were sweetening their deals with freebies, discounts and rebates. Some bigger developers were even offering innovative financial assistance schemes.



The slowdown in 2017 was evidenced in the data published by NAPIC; with approximately 15% drop in property transaction from 2016. However, the data also shown that the property prices had rises despite slow market. The average residential property transacted prices in the island and mainland for first three quarters of 2017 had increased about 12% and 10% respectively compared to the same period in 2016.

We have waved goodbye to 2017, and welcomed 2018 with open arms. Many are anxiously hoping that the market slowdown is over and 2018 will promise a new bounce-back market. Being optimistic is encouraged however the year ahead is only pointing to a continuous market slowdown trend that’s unlikely to recover in short term. The housing affordability will continue to remain as a nagging issue among the average Penangites.

Housing affordability at the island city continues to be challenging

Under Budget 2018, the government has increased allocation to address rising cost of living and affordable housing issues among the lower to middle income group. This action will certainly be the only short-term measures with limited effect. The recent freeze on four components of the property market that include condominiums and serviced apartments priced RM1 million and above is a disruption to the high-end products, yet it does not get to the root to address the housing affordability issue.

While affordable homes are mushrooming across Penang targeting on affordable buyers, the current scheme appears to be inadequate to address varied demands and budget. Penang as a fast growing state is hunger for a more solid yet dynamic affordable housing scheme to assist the buyers in various aspects. Until we are fitted with a more extensive scheme, the year ahead will continue to be challenging for affordable housing buyers.

For those who have made a new year’s resolution to buy a new affordable home this year, do expect several more affordable housing to be launched this year at a few new locations such as Gelugor, Batu Ferringhi, Jelutong and Bukit Mertajam. Two new PR1MA projects are likely to be launched in the island this year. Most of these upcoming affordable projects will be priced within the range of RM300k.

Oversupply in South West district

The abundance supply of affordable and mid-range housing, priced within the range of RM500k in the South West district will continue to affect the house prices in those areas, which are unlikely to improve anytime soon. This is particularly true for the condominium in areas such as Bayan Lepas, Sungai Ara, and Teluk Kumbar.

As the year 2018 is wrapped with a market slowdown trend along with oversupply in the South West district, determined buyers and investors can still consider projects with unique offering situated at strategic location as these projects will continue to outperform. Other than the prime locations at northern side of Penang Island, projects at Sungai Nibong and Queensbay area also recorded a good take up rate and are expected to continue outshining in the southern part of Penang Island.

Teluk Kumbar, is an option for those who may have a more confined budget. You may be able to find a bigger house with the same budget. The completion of the flyover connecting Jalan Bayan Lepas to Jalan Teluk Kumbar will be a catalyst for more intensive development in that area, and ultimately opening up yet more choices.


Township development in mainland

For mainland, the prevailing trends in focusing on township development will continue. With comfort and lifestyle is being emphasized, developers with huge land banks has been constructing their plan to offer a better living solution – a comfortable home with good accessibility to workplaces and daily needs, and within a safe and fun community for your family.

With many exciting developments in progress at Batu Kawan, all eyes will be on this satellite township as several projects will be completing in stages over the next few years. The construction of IKEA is expected to complete by end of this year and is slated to open in January 2019. The Ship Campus (ALC College) and KDU University College are on-track to complete by 2018 and 2019 respectively.

In order not to be missed out, several MNCs and SMEs are also expanding their manufacturing operation in Batu Kawan, namely Flextronics, HP, Sandisk, Sunningdale Tech, Boston Scientific, Vitrox and a few others.

Batu Kawan will continue make a significant attraction and focus for Penang development and it will keep the ball rolling to the possibility of being the most talked about area in the northern region of Malaysia. The blooming of Batu Kawan township could only offer endless possibilities. With developers striving into providing a better living solution, not just a home to buyers, the prices of property in Batu Kawan is anticipated to inflate within the next five years.

Food for Thought

Property market will always go up and down, the economy will always fluctuate. However, there will always be right investments to make. Over the long term, placing money into properties in Penang is a sound strategy because land is the most precious commodity in the island state.

As new high-rise building is now built taller, denser and further, the best time to buy a property is always yesterday. And the day closest to yesterday is today. To make sure you make the smart choices, you must understand property is a long term investment and be crystal clear with your financial needs and goals.

– Ken Lim

Categories: Featured Articles, Property News Tags:

Taman Nuri Emas

January 17th, 2018 No comments


Taman Nuri Emas, an on-going mixed development by Asiabina Holdings Sdn. Bhd. at Nibong Tebal. Located next to Residensi Merbok, less than 500 meters away from Jawi toll plaza. It will only take 10 minutes to drive to Penang 2nd bridge.

This development comprises 90 units of semi-detached houses and 21 units of 2-3 storey shop offices.

Property Project : Taman Nuri Emas
Location : Nibong Tebal
Property Type : Semi-detached & shop offices
Tenure: Freehold
Total Units : 90 (semi-detached), 21 (shop office)
Indicative Price : (to be confirmed)
Developer : Asiabina Holdings Sdn. Bhd.

Register your interest here

(This information may be used by the developer or their appointed agent to initiate follow-up communications with you on the project.)

Location Map:

Center map



Penang property prices affected by signature dishes?

January 17th, 2018 No comments

penang-foodFound this interesting story by Henry Butcher Malaysia. Read on… :)

When one mentions Penang, two thoughts usually come to mind: char kway teow (and the island’s assortment of street food), and high property prices. For both, thefocus lies mainly on George

Town, the multicultural capital of the state, which is also home to a Unesco World Heritage Site.

“Penang has a population of about 1.8 million, with an estimated one million in the island proper. Looking at our records, prices are similar to Kuala Lumpur, where it is based on demand.

“On the island, only 54 per cent of our land is suitable and approved for building, while 46 per cent is hill land. So it’s not surprising to see condominiums coming up – there’s no choice.

“What’s interesting is that only five per cent of our transactions are from foreign purchasers; it’s still pretty much a local’s market. Currently, Penang landed properties have a compound annual growth rate of 7.5 per cent; condominiums have five per cent,” according to Henry Butcher Malaysia (Penang) senior vice-president, business strategy and marketing, Max Wong.

Seeing as property prices generally rise when within the vicinity of infrastructure or popular retail or commercial spots, this raises a question: in Penang’s context, does the presence of popular char kway teow stalls (or any other forms of street delicacies) affect property prices in the vicinity?

After speaking to Wong, the short answer is: no.

Long answer: there is one particular instance where it might work out.

Wong’s findings are summarised as such: property prices don’t increase in proximity to popular street food hawkers – they don’t fluctuate that wildly.

According to Wong and data from the team in Penang, “the overcrowded street food stalls like char kway teow and cendol are indeed tourist at tractions in Penang, but looking at property value over the years, the presence of these hawkers in the vicinity does not really help in raising the prices significantly”.

Unlike infrastructure, offices, or shopping malls, street food hawkers have a limited working lifespan, and the eventuality of their retirement makes them unreliable as attraction points when it comes to raising prices.

For example, we take a look at Sister’s Curry Mee in Air Itam, where a pair of aged sisters prepare curry noodles.

“They are retiring soon, and who knows, one day they might find themselves no longer being able to continue the business, and the place they are right now, it’s not helping to raise the property value,” says Wong.

For a more recent example, Siam Road’s char kway teow made its rounds in the media, and the operator took 10 days off, away from the increased attention and popularity. This illustrates the case that the hawker’s presence may not always be consistent enough to be a massive marketing point.

“If the operator isn’t around — recent interviews have him stating his plan to retire — then that’s an issue. Likewise, property prices have not gotten up because of his presence and popularity.”


He further adds, “These kinds of businesses have a deadline – the operators will retire eventually. We won’t deny that we will follow Singapore’s tracks one day, where hawkers will move into a proper centre. Not all the descendants will want to follow their parents’ footsteps either — they want to pursue other undertakings — so they have no choice but to bring in the foreigners. Add to that the prohibition of foreigners being involved in the cooking process, and you have a problem.”

That being said, as mentioned earlier, there is one specific instance where one can get higher prices: coffee shops and hawker centres where the vendors are well-known.

Wong calls this secret ingredient “goodwill” — the increased footfall and customers frequenting the establishment, compared to its neighbours.

“The goodwill of certain places — the price transacted for certain hawker centres — can be higher than comparable available units. For these popular hawker centres, you pay the average property value, plus the goodwill,” he elaborates.

In essence, you pay more, in the knowledge that you gain more in the long term.

“In view of the higher traffic, the price demanded is also higher than usual, because it is generating substantial income for the owners,” Wong says.

Wong looks at three examples that make his case.

“We look at Kheng Pin Cafe, at the junction of Penang Road and Sri Bahari Road. The cafe has been around for ages, and has lobak, char kway teow and chicken rice. It is a leasehold property, and the profit price per sq ft is not high. However, people are willing to pay double the property value because it is a famous place! The owner can then enjoy a higher rental rate, because it is covered, and it can generate higher income.”

The second example is a food court in Bukit Mertajam.

“It registered as having transacted double the average property value. From this, we can say that this is from the goodwill generated from the property itself. However, the surrounding properties in the neighbourhood only registered normal growth, following current trends.”

Thirdly, there is Genting coffee shop in Green Lane — with a stall popular for chee cheong fun.

“It was transacted way above market value because of the goodwill and income generated. The owner demolished and restored the facilities, and increased the rental to RM100 per stall a day — from RM30 previously. So far the hawkers are still smiling despite the increased rental, because it’s crowded!”

Wong further insists, “It has to be coffee shops — hawker stalls by themselves won’t add much value. Lorong Selamat char kway teow is basically a stall — a tricycle stall. It will definitely draw a crowd, but just imagine if the lady decides to close the stall — no crowd, no revenue. So I’m not seeing any jump in property prices.”

So far, it’s good news for these coffee shop owners.

“If you treat this as a core asset to generate income, then it’s good news and good value, unlike pre-war houses,” says Wong.

He adds: “If it’s just a stall or two, it won’t work. Hawker centres and cafes that serve several famous dishes will do well.”

Looking at how hawkers don’t affect property prices, and how coffee shops can bank on goodwill, surely one could generate a win-win scenario by gathering street food hawkers and placing them in a brick-and-mortar shop, no?

According to Wong, that will not work either.

“To people, ordering food from the street is a unique and authentic experience. Penangites don’t frequent roadside stalls that often, but tourists are willing to go to these crowded places. I don’t think ‘upgrading’ them – placing them in physical shops—will do well,” Wong states.

For street food stalls that have physical presence, Wong looks at the famous cendol along Penang Road.

“They have their own shop, but they still maintain the stall because people would rather stand and wait than sit comfortably in the shop. They are the only shop in the row that can generate that much rental.”

Wong further states that the cendol operator’s expansion efforts weren’t successful.

“It has a physical presence in Publika, but it is not doing well, and neither was its branch in Gurney Plaza, and neither was its previous endeavour in Komtar.”

To Wong, the appeal of street food is, in itself, the main point of attraction for tourists, which cannot be captured and retained.

“You see, they cannot move their unique character, and people are willing to queue for the cendol, but they lose interest and appeal when you get them to sit in a shop. Based on this and our observation, moving these street hawkers into a physical shop is a no-no. You

change that character, they become common.

We’ve seen some steamboat businesses try their hand at expansion, and it wasn’t fruitful — it has to be that particular spot.”

Aside from that, most of these hawkers are located within the designated Unesco Heritage Site, and there are very little new projects in this area — developers are not allowed to build anything higher than five storeys.

From Wong’s data, “all the properties around these stalls are just shophouses, they start at RM1,000 per sq ft and can go up to RM2,000 per sq ft, and there are hardly any listings because a lot of the owners are holding”.

With ageing street food sellers, a generation reluctant to take up the family business, and a lack of local talent willing to pick up the tricks of the trade, Penang’s street food scene is soon to undergo a period of change.

That being said, existing owners can rest assured that property prices around these spots will not rise and fall on the existence of these individuals.

Whether that’s good news or otherwise, that’s on you, the beholder.

Story courtesy of Henry Butcher Malaysia

Source: New Straits Times

Categories: Property News Tags:

AFFORDABLE: Teluk Kumbar / WHH Land

January 14th, 2018 No comments


Yet another proposed affordable housing by Definite Harmoney Development Sdn. Bhd. at Teluk Kumbar. Located along Jalan Teluk Kumbar, diagonally opposite Flat Taman Emas. It is only 500 meters away from The Lexis Suites and Sunway Aspera housing scheme.

This development will offer a mix of affordable housing and low medium cost units:

  • 68 units @ 850 sq.ft.
  • 17 units @ 750 sq.ft.
  • 129 units @ 700 sq.ft.

This project is still pending for approval, more details to be available upon official launch.

Property Project : (to be confirmed)
Location : Teluk Kumbar
Property Type : Affordable & LMC
Tenure: Freehold
Total Units : 214
Indicative Price : (to be confirmed)
Developer : Definite Harmony Development Sdn. Bhd. (WHH Land)

Register your interest here

(This information may be used by the developer or their appointed agent to initiate follow-up communications with you on the project.)

Location Map:

Center map


Penang Undersea Tunnel deal under investigation

January 11th, 2018 8 comments


The Malaysian-Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) probe into the controversial Penang undersea tunnel is focused on land swaps that were made for the feasibility and detailed design study which has yet to be completed.

Sources said investigators are scouring documents involving two plots of land – Lot 702 and Lot 713 in Bandar Tanjung Pinang – with a size of 1.48ha and 2.31ha respectively.

The value of Lot 702 is around RM135mil while Lot 713 is around RM160mil.

It is learnt that both parcels of land have since been mortgaged to banks to obtain financing. The state government has also authorised planning permission on both parcels of lands.

An artist’s impression showing where the tunnel project will start on the island.

An artist’s impression showing where the tunnel project will start on the island.

“It has become an issue on why the study cost was inflated so much when it should have been an estimated RM60mil,” sources said, adding that determining the inflation and the reason behind it were among the challenges faced by the investigating team.

The sources also said that the graft-busters have their sights targeted on “somebody” who has been enjoying kickbacks and entertainment from the deal.

The feasibility and detailed design study is for the 7.2km undersea tunnel connecting Gurney Drive on the island to Bagan Ajam in Seberang Perai.

It is part of the RM6.3bil mega project comprising a 10.53km North Coastal Paired Road (NCPR) from Tanjung Bungah to Teluk Bahang, the 5.7km Air Itam–Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway bypass and the 4.075km Gurney Drive–Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway bypass.

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