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Housing problems: ‘Affordable’ but beyond reach

August 17th, 2017 1 comment

bnmWhat passes for affordable housing in Malaysia is “not affordable”, said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim.

“Even the World Bank has characterised our houses as severely unaffordable.

“Last year, only 35% of the new housing supply in the market were affordable, and the year before that, the supply of affordable houses was 75%, and the remaining were residences costing above RM500,000,” he said.

Muhammad Ibrahim said housing problems were therefore not about access to credit.

“It is an issue of not having enough income and houses being too expensive.

“As accountants, we look at the problem in a dispassionate way. We look at data and see that the problem is not about access to credit and we must have the courage to say it loudly and clearly to the public,” he added.

Muhammad was speaking at the 2017 National Conference of Public Sector Accountants at a hotel here yesterday.

He told the 450 public sector accountants in the two-day conference to be bold and courageous as civil servants in responding to negative public issues raised by stakeholders.

He urged them to resist “pandering to popular opinion and short-termism”, a financial jargon defining an excessive focus on short-term results at the expense of long-term priorities.

BNM has taken a critical stance over the affordable housing market in recent months.

Last month, the central bank highlighted data from the National Property Information Centre showing that less than 30% of new housing launches in 2015-2016 were for those priced less than RM250,000, compared with 70% in 2008-2009.

Financial simulations in BNM’s 2016 Annual Report released in March showed that people earning less than RM3,000 could only finance a home worth RM176,000, those earning RM5,000 and below could afford up to RM283,000 and those earning RM10,000 and below, RM515,000.

The report stressed that almost three quarters of the current supply of houses for sale in the country were not affordable.



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New blueprint set to boost northern region GDP to RM300bil

August 14th, 2017 1 comment


A new blueprint for the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) is targeting 80 projects across four states that planners expect will boost gross domestic product (GDP) in the area to RM300bil by 2025.

It will also create 161,197 new jobs opportunities in Perak, Penang, Kedah and Perlis.

Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) chief executive Datuk Redza Rafiq told StarBiz that NCER Blueprint 2.0 would have seven catalytic growth node projects, 28 transcending border projects, and 45 localised high-impact projects.

The NCER Blueprint 2.0 will be launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak on Thursday at the Subterranean Penang International Convention and Exhibition (SPICE) Arena.

“The catalytic projects are aimed at creating significant economic multiplying effect, which will reduce regional imbalances by expanding development to priority areas,” he said.

Meanwhile, the transcending border projects, which will involve the collaboration between two or more states, will have diverse outcome in terms of economic and social growth.

The localised high-impact projects are aimed at producing specific outcomes to the state, Redza said.

These projects may require NCIA’s support in terms of funding, approval and other forms of facilitation.

“The seven catalytic growth node projects will be located in Perlis, Kedah, Perak and Penang,” he said.

In Batu Kawan, Penang, the projects will focus on manufacturing, property, logistics and tourism. For Kedah, the focus clusters are agro-science, advanced materials as well as information technology.

Redza added that there would be a Manjung-Aman Jaya Maritime City near Pulau Pangkor, which would include components such as manufacturing, fisheries and aquaculture, infrastructure, human resource and labour, agriculture, tourism, and halal hub.



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IKEA store to open in Penang on January 1, 2019

August 12th, 2017 No comments


The first IKEA store in the northern region will open in Penang on Jan 1, 2019, says Lim Guan Eng.

The Chief Minister said the store would help to put Penang at a high-level position.

“It is not easy to attract Ikano and we worked very hard,” Lim said in his speech before launching the press conference to announce the coming Penang Medical Expo and Malaysian Healthcare Policy Conference (PMEX 2017) at Setia SPICE Convention Centre Friday.

Ikano Pte Ltd, the owner of the IKEA franchise holder in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, has teamed up with Aspen Group in September 2014 to purchase 99ha of land from Penang Development Corp to develop the Aspen Vision City (AVC), where the IKEA store would be located.

About IKEA Penang

First announced in early 2014, IKEA Penang will be the forth IKEA store in Malaysia and the second one outside of Klang Valley after Johor Bahru. Ikano had teamed up with Aspen Group in September 2014 to purchase 245 acres of land in Batu Kawan from Penang Development Corp to develop the Aspen Vision City (AVC), where the IKEA store would be located.

The IKEA store will bring affordable range of functional home furnishings to the northern region, along with hundreds of job and economic spin-off opportunities for the local community. The construction of the new IKEA store has now started and scheduled to be completed by Q1 2019.


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Penang Property Convention 2017. Another successful event!

August 9th, 2017 1 comment


No questions were left unanswered at the recent Property Convention 2017-Penang Edition by GM Training Academy PLT (GM), in collaboration with Penang Property Talk. The event that took place on 29th July 2017 at Vistana Hotel Penang saw the attendance of first time home buyers and property investors from all over the country.

This year, the BLT team that consists of Miichael Yeoh (Bank), Chris Tan (Law) and Richard Oon (Tax), offered their expert’s take on purchasing property the right way and minimizing risk when purchasing properties. GM’s founder and CEO, Michael Yeoh kicked off the event with an introduction of the company and its journey in the property industry.

The introduction was then followed by a presentation by the Owner of Penang Property Talk website, Ken Lim, who gave the attendees a full overview of Penang’s unique demographic and hot spots, as well as the skinny on its future growth, accessibility and impending public transportation plans. During his presentation, Lim also pointed out some catalyst projects which influenced the current prices and transactions such as Seri Tanjung Penang (STP 2), Gurney, Gelugor (The Light City), Paya Terubang ( Sunway Valley City), Batu Maung (Areca Mixed Development) and Batu Kawan.


Penang’s very own real estate giant, New Bob Group also joined the rank this year to tackle the subject of affordable homes and green building. Dr Lee Ville, New Bob’ Group Director, spoke about the benefit of Green Building and how it can positively contribute to the increase in a building’s value (7.5%) and a decrease in overall electricity consumption (25%).

The final presentation of the day was by property investment coach, Kaygarn Tan who supplied the attendees with insights on Penang’s property transaction and house price index. In his talk, he also highlighted the two important pillars of property investment: choosing the right property and having the access to money.

The convention concluded with a forum where the experts discussed topics involving Penang properties; while KK Goh, an investor and a property expert from Singapore, took on the topics of investing in overseas properties, particularly Vietnam and Australia, as well as the opportunities that await ASEAN countries with the completion of the High Speed Rail (HSR).

This story was first shared in iPropertyFocus on 08 August, 2017.

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George Town, KL best cities to retire in Asia

August 9th, 2017 2 comments

penang-propertyGeorge Town and  Kuala Lumpur are the only two Asian cities to make the list in the Top 10 of The World’s Best Places to Retire in 2017 from Live and Invest Overseas (LIO), a much-respected international journal.

The list is quoted by Forbes magazine as having gone through a “seismic shake-up” too, because eight of the cities which made the list in 2016 were dropped.

The two Malaysian cities, ranked six (KL) and 10th (George Town), join six cities from Europe and two in Mexico into the esteemed annual list.

They are Algarve (Portugal, ranked 1 for the fourth year in a row), Valletta (Malta, 2 for second year), Mazatlán (Mexico, 3), Abruzzo (Italy, 4), Saint-Chinian (France, 5) Kuala Lumpur (6), Lisbon (Portugal, 7), Budapest (Hungary, 8), San Miguel de Allende (Mexico, 9) and George Town (10).

KL’s selling point, as home to more than seven million people, is that its “not quiet and remote, yet one of the world’s most affordable, exotic and comfortable places to retire”, according to LIO.

“Travel a bit out of the city and you’ll hit rural villages, where life is slower. Foreigners are welcome in Kuala Lumpur and almost everyone speaks “adequate English.”

On George Town, the capital of Penang state, LIO said it was “smaller and slower” compared with KL.

“However, the island has excellent medical care at reasonable prices and that locals communicate largely in English.

“ECA International called George Town the most livable city in Malaysia and a few years back, Lonely Planet dubbed Penang the top food destination in the world, with dining choices which include Chinese, Malay, Indian, Thai and more, going for about US$3 (RM13) a person,” LIO was reported to have said.

Forbes also noted that Malaysia, as well as Mexico, Malta and Portugal are the only countries which appear in more than one list on living, retiring and investing abroad.

According to Leif Simon, the investment editor of Live and Invest Overseas, many cities were dropped from the list because of rising costs.

“Part of it is that a lot of the areas we’ve talked about in Latin America, have become more expensive. And European destinations do so well on things like infrastructure,” he was quoted as saying by Forbes.

Source: FMT News

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