Demand from first-time buyers still strong

June 26th, 2016 No comments
Photo: My First Home Convention 2016 at Gurney Hotel

Photo: My First Home Convention 2016 at Gurney Hotel

Instead of blowing their cash on pricey gadgets, young Malaysians are saving up for their first home.

While most Gen Y shy away from owning property in developed countries and big cities, demand from millennials here is still holding, especially with parents assisting them with the downpayment, Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda) president Datuk Seri F.D. Iskandar said.

(Gen Y, also known as millennials, are commonly referred to those who are born in the early 1980s to 2000s. They are sometimes referred to as the strawberry generation).

Demand from first-time buyers, including the younger generation, remains strong although housing affordability is a challenge, said Bank Negara.

The central bank added that they accounted for 75% of 1.47 million borrowers.

Owning and investing in a house remains a priority for many Malay­sians.

This is reflected in the household borrowing trend where the buying of homes continues to be the fastest growing segment of household lending, with annual growth sustained at double-digit levels (11% as at end-March 2016), said Bank Negara in a statement.

Those who cannot afford it themselves, and do not have parents to help, turn to their friends.

In his 30s, Daryl Toh, and two of his college mates own a condominium in Penang; they pooled their resources to purchase the unit five years ago.

“It’s in a premium area and since we couldn’t afford a place on our own – at least not prime property, we became joint owners.”

Click here for a full list of Affordable Housing in Penang

Financial adviser Yap Ming Hui said it makes perfect sense to own.

“Of course the Gen Y here are still keen on buying. You pay the instalments and eventually own a home. Only those who can’t afford to buy are forced to rent.”

Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants in the Private Sector of Malaysia adviser Wong Kok Soo said property prices in Hong Kong have escalated beyond the purchasing power of the Gen Y but the trend hasn’t caught on here – yet.

Wong, who is also a consultant with the National House Buyers Association, however, said there were signs that the Gen Y could no longer afford to live in big cities like Kuala Lumpur, Penang Island, Johor Baru and Sabah.

“Parents are chipping in for the downpayment. And, commuting from the suburbs to the city centre is still an option.

“But when prices get inflated far beyond their means, the same will happen here (as in Hong Kong),” said Wong, who, however, felt that even if demand dropped, it would not be substantial.

Iskandar agreed, saying that although the property market was slow now, the drop was manageable.

“Like everything else, it’s cyclical.

“The property market goes up for years and after some time, begins falling before rising again.”

He said the market would pick up with the completion of infrastructure development and public tran­sportation facilities.

Rehda, he said, was working closely with the Government to find ways to facilitate home acquisition especially among first-time buyers.

“We proposed a review of the financing guidelines that have negatively impacted buyers’ ability to secure financing,” he said.


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Protect Penang’s Heritage buildings for the future generations

June 25th, 2016 No comments

penang-heritageby Charles Tan

One major reason why Penang looks majestic to many tourists is because it has lots of heritage buildings. Taking photos with these buildings meant a photo which may look like a postcard picture. Creative camera angles may even fool some friends into believing that we went overseas. Well, there were a few articles recently in the Malaysian media about the ownership of these old buildings. It seems many of them were being sold to foreigners, in this case Singaporeans. Many of these buildings were sold “by the rows.” As they were buying these buildings at a premium, once it has been spruced up, the new rental rates are said to be 500 percent the current rent.

According to my good friend Michael Geh, International Board Member at Fiabci has this to say, “When Locals Are Unable to Economicaly Restore & Adaptly Use their inheritance… Selling Out is A Natural cause Of Action.” Briefly, Michael is a passionate Penangite. As long as it is a development for the benefit of Penang, he would always be supporting it. However I think he would be much more passionate to protect Penang’s Heritage buildings if they belong to locals instead of foreigners. We should do our best to protest this status because this is one major catalyst for Georgetown to be a major city visited by tourists into ASIA.

We can adopt the suggestion from George Town Heritage Action co-founder Mark Lay which was lobbying for state laws to prevent heritage property owners from raising rentals by a huge percentage. Lay said that laws similar to the repealed Rent Control Act 1966 is now needed. Else, we are looking at inflation of heritage property rentals. Without this, Georgetown would soon be too expensive to live in. In fact Lay shared that old cities in Europe limited rental increases to 10% per year.

I do not think a rental of just RM1,700 for one whole two-storey or three-storey shophouse is fair to the owners. However, I do understand the cost of refurbishing these old buildings is exorbitant and many owners were unable to do it profitably. Perhaps this is where the state government can step in as the custodian of Penang’s UNESCO Heritage City status. They should connect these owners to experts who can help to refurbish these old buildings at a much lower cost that what was reported in the media. When costs are exorbitant, the easiest way out is just to sell and take profit. Let’s wait for custodian to announce some new measures to protect Penang’s Heritage City status.

>> This guest article comes courtesy of my friend, Charles, the founder of He is popular for sharing his thought on property investment mostly based on his own 13 years experience as well as from all the readings and conversations with property gurus in the industry. (Source)

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Marriott Residences

June 24th, 2016 4 comments


Marriott Residences, a proposed mixed development by BSG Property in Georgetown in Penang. It is located between the famous tourist belt of Gurney Drive and Kelawai Road, next to Evergreen Laurel Hotel.

The proposed development comprises a new 55-storey skyscraper, featuring a mixed of hotel rooms and condominium units:

  • Hotel (223 rooms)
  • Executive hotel (90 rooms)
  • Condominium (294 units)

Unit types:

  • 2 Bedroom (approx. 850 sqft)
  • 2 Bedroom (approx. 950 sqft)
  • 3 Bedroom (approx. 1,250 sqft)
  • Penthouse (approx. 2,500 sqft)

More details to be available upon project launch.

Property Project : Marriott Residences
Location : Gurney Drive, Penang
Property Type : Mixed development
Built-up Area: 850 – 2,500 (condo)
Total Units: 313 (hotel rooms), 294 (condo)
Developer : Taman Sri Bunga S.B. (BSG Property)

Register your interest here

Location Map:



Categories: Gurney Drive Tags: ,

Nautical Bay

June 23rd, 2016 12 comments


Nautical Bay, a completed, build-then-sell condominium by OHM Group at Butterworth. It is located next to Affina Bay Condominium, about 3km away from the upcoming Penang Sentral.

This development offers 28 residential units with gross built-up area of 2,152 sq.ft., and panoramic of Penang Island. There are only 2 units per floor. Indicative price starts from RM568,000 onward.

Property Project : Nautical Bay
Location : Kampung Gajah, Butterworth, Penang
Property Type : Condominium
Total Unit: 28
Built-up Area: 2,152 sq.ft.
Indicative Price: RM568,000 onward
Developer: OHM Group
Contact No.: 04-229 9559

Register your interest here

Location Map:



Categories: Butterworth Tags:

UPCOMING: Scotland Road / GL Semesta Corporation

June 22nd, 2016 No comments


An newly proposed residential development by GL Semesta Corporation Sdn. Bhd. near Penang Tuff Club. It is strategically located along Jalan Scotland, right next to Taman Harmoni Apartments.

This proposed development is only a stone’s throw away from Han Chiang College and SRJK Shang Wu, offering a 22-storey condominium with 89 residential units. Given this is a small ~1 acre land, an automated parking system is likely to be built.

This project is still pending for approval. More details to be available upon project launch.

Property Project: (Pending)
Location :
 Georgetown, Penang
Property Type : Condominium
Total Units: 89
Land Tenure : Freehold
Developer : GL Semesta Corporation Sdn. Bhd.

Register your interest here

Location Map:


Categories: Penang Turf Club Tags: ,