Archive for the ‘Property News’ Category

Ivory plans RM1.4bil projects, developing 80-acre land bank in Penang

June 24th, 2014 No comments

Ivory Properties Group Bhd plans to develop high-end residential properties with a gross development value (GDV) of RM1.4bil to RM2bil on its 80-acre land bank in Penang over the next couple of years.

Group chief executive officer Datuk Low Eng Hock said the new projects were planned for the group’s land bank in Tanjung Tokong, Batu Ferringhi, Jesselton and other parts of the Penang island.

“In Jesselton, we have 53 acres while some 17 acres are in the Tanjung Tokong and Batu Ferringhi, and the remainder in other parts of the island,” he said after Ivory AGM.

“In Jesselton, we plan to develop high-rise condominiums and boutique bungalows while in Tanjung Tokong and Batu Ferringhi, the plan is to build high-rise residential properties.”

For the fiscal year 2014, the group aims to generate about RM180mil in revenue from new and ongoing projects such as The Latitude, Taman Bukit Erskine, City Mall & City Residences, and The Wave on the island.

“About RM30mil will be generated from the sales of completed projects in Penang. The remaining RM150mil will be from new launches,” he added.

On the Plaza Rakyat development, Low said the company was in the process of procuring an extension for the conditional acquisition and rehabilitation agreement (ARA) with Plaza Rakyat Sdn Bhd to acquire the leases and development right of the project land.

“The last extension ends on June 4 and we need more time to meet the conditions precedent stated in the ARA.

“Our proposal to Datuk Bandar Kuala Lumpur has given special attention to the interest of the end purchasers, whose deposit money has been tied up by the project during their purchase from the previous developer and we hope to help solve their woes soon,” he said.

Moving forward, Low said the group would expand its business down south after successfully becoming a household name in the northern region, in particular in Penang.

“We are in discussions with several land owners in Kuala Lumpur and Johor and the outcome has been very positive. We will announce in due course once we reach a final conclusion. We are interested in joint-venture projects with the landowners,” he said.

On Tropicana Ivory Sdn Bhd, a joint-venture company between Ivory and Tropicana Corp Bhd, Low said it would roll out Phase 3A of the Penang WorldCity development by the end of the year, following the success of Phase 1A.

“We manage to achieve over 90% sales for Phase 1A, so we’ve decided to release the next phase to cater to the increasing market demand,” he said.


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More homes on the way

June 24th, 2014 3 comments

Seeing for themselves: Visitors checking out a show unit at the PDC sales gallery.

Penangites can now view the state government’s affordable housing units at the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) sales gallery in Bandar Cassia.

The first phase of 520 units at Batu Kawan has started and is expected to be ready in early 2017.

This is the first affordable housing project among the 10 planned on the island and the mainland by the state government.

“A total of 11,800 affordable units will be built on the 80.94ha of land which will be developed over 10 years by a Singapore-based developer,” said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng during his opening speech at the PDC sales gallery on Sunday.

He said the ‘Green E-Community’ project would be developed based on good quality, design and concept.

“This will be the first eco-friendly project in Penang that concentrates on green environment and community infrastructure,” he said.

Lim added that the 800sq ft and 1,000sq ft units would cost RM72,500 and RM220,000 respectively.

“The sales gallery will exhibit three different types of units,” he said.

Also present were state Town and Country Planning and Housing Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo, PDC general manager Datuk Rosli Jaafar, Batu Kawan MP P. Kasturi Patto and Jawi assemblyman Soon Lip Chee.

For details, call 04-5050001 or visit


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Crackdown on illegal real estate agents

June 24th, 2014 No comments

Homes available: Penang Town and Country Planning and Housing Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo (second left) checking out secondary property on sale at the exhibition. With him are Maspex organising chairman Michael Geh (right) and Siva.

THE Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) will be waging a war against the country’s illegal real estate agents and property negotiators.

Its president Siva Shanker said the crackdown with the theme ‘Is Your Real Estate Agent Real?’ was in line with the new ruling requiring real estate agents to wear their practising tags issued by the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Malaysia from tomorrow.

“Check whether your real estate agents are legitimate.

“Ask them to show their tags and if they refuse, don’t deal with them or you will risk being cheated or misrepresented.

“There is also a QR (quick response) code on each tag so customers can scan the code with their smartphones to find out the background of the agent such as his or her company and qualification,” he said.

Siva added that under the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Malaysia Act 1981, an individual was not allowed to sell property for a fee if they were not registered or working for a registered estate agent.

“So far, some 10,000 tags have been issued to registered agents. I estimate that there are approximately 20,000 illegal property brokers in the country.

“While we are bound to only take a maximum of three percent from transaction fees, these illegal brokers take up to six percent by marking up the property prices,” he told a press conference at Penang Times Square during the launch of the Malaysian Secondary Property Exhibition 2014 (Maspex).

According to Siva, anyone seeking to be registered as a real estate agent was required to study for three years and pass 12 papers before they were awarded a diploma.

Then, they have practise for two years under a registered real estate agent before he or she can obtain a practising certificate.


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Home prices under pressure

June 23rd, 2014 No comments

Bank Negara says there are signs of prices moderating

Malaysia is seeing signs of a possible moderation in overall house prices, data from the central bank show.

The growth in the Malaysian House Price Index (MHPI) declined to 9.6% in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared with 12.2% a year earlier, according to Bank Negara.

This was the first time since the third quarter of 2011 that the MHPI was below 10%, and the improvements were recorded across most states and most types of dwelling.

It said sales and new launches slowed in the last quarter of 2013, possibly due to the various measures imposed to cool down the housing sector since 2010.

“It’s possibly due to the wait-and-see attitude of some developers and buyers following the prohibition on developer interest-bearing schemes in November last year, further increases in real property gains tax in January this year, higher minimum purchase price for houses by foreigners, and uncertainties regarding the potential impact of the goods and services tax,” Bank Negara said.

The central bank pointed out that there was no conclusive evidence of a housing bubble in the country. It added that analysts, rating agencies and international organisations, such as the International Monetary Fund, had lauded the pre-emptive and concerted measures taken by the Government and Bank Negara since November 2010 to curb excessive speculative activities in the domestic property market and promote a sustainable housing market. (See table)

It also said that the bulk of home purchases continued to be for own occupation or medium to long-term investment.

“This was corroborated by data that showed 84% of home loan borrowers only had one outstanding housing loan account,” it said in an email response to StarBiz.

The central bank said borrowers were less inclined to dispose of their properties in response to a downward movement in property prices as their loan repayment capacities were not depend on the home equity value or expected capital gains. This was considering the medium to long-term nature of their ownership and investment horizon.

This scenario could limit the potential for a sharp increase in default incidences and credit losses to banks in the event of a price correction in the property market.

Based on a single factor sensitivity analysis on the housing loan portfolio of banks with a stressed probability of default (PD) of up to 10% (about four times the current PD) and adverse correction in house prices of 40%, banks’ excess capital buffers stood at more than five times the estimated expected losses.

Bank Negara said although the MHPI had expanded annually by between 10% and 12% since 2011, outpacing income and rental growth, the rate of growth in house prices remained significantly below those observed in some neighbouring economies.

It pointed out that while elements and pockets of speculative activities were present, the upward pressure on house prices was largely explained by structural factors.

“Demand continues to outpace new supply of houses by a large margin, particularly in the low to medium-priced segments and in major employment centres,” it said.

Demographic factors, given Malaysia’s relatively young population and labour force, increasing urbanisation, and general inclination to own a house, are expected to sustain strong demand for affordable residential properties in major urban centres, likely outstripping supply over the near and medium-term.

“Part of the mismatch in the market was due to rising land prices and construction costs that increased the incentive for developers to build high-end properties where the margins are higher,” the central bank said.

On the part of the Government, a number of schemes have been introduced to increase the supply of and access to financing for the purchase of affordable housing via PR1MA, MyHome and My First Home schemes.

In addition, the National Housing Council was set up in 2014 to develop strategies and action plans in a holistic manner, coordinate legal aspects and property price mechanism, and ensure provision of homes in a more efficient and expeditious manner.

Bank Negara said the earlier Government measures had also resulted in reduced credit-fuelled speculative purchases of residential properties where the annual growth in the number of borrowers with three or more outstanding housing loans has declined substantially to about 4%, from a peak of 15.8% prior to the implementation of the measures, to account for only 3% of housing loan borrowers.

There are also improvements in banks’ housing loan portfolio quality and underwriting standards with impaired housing loans remaining low and stable at 1.4% of total bank loans to households (2013: 1.5%; 2012: 1.9%; 2011: 2.3%).

A similar trend was observed in the gross amount of impaired housing loans, which declined further to RM4.7bil from RM5bil at end-2013 (2012: RM5.4bil; 2011: RM6bil).

It said the proportion of outstanding housing loans with loan-to-value (LTV) ratio above 70% tapered to 46.6% (2012: 50.1%), providing a comfortable buffer for banks against a decline in the value of the underlying collateral relative to the outstanding amount of a housing loan in the event of defaults.

Banks have also demonstrated an increased rigour in the assessment of factors which support property valuations, such as the level of development in a specific location, population density, status of overhang, existing and potential demand, and the number and value of turnover of properties within the surrounding areas.

It was also observed that the lower margin of financing was applied by banks on new housing loans for properties in locations where price increases have been stronger. In the more recent period, valuations used for this purpose have excluded values inflated by incentives offered by developers to house purchasers, which can increase house prices by between 10% and 30% above the intrinsic values.


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Expo offers 2,500 choices of secondary properties

June 18th, 2014 15 comments

MORE than 2,500 residential properties will be exhibited during the Malaysian Secondary Property Exhibition Penang (Maspex 2014) at the Penang Times Square this weekend.

Organising chairman Michael Geh said many of the properties, with prices ranging from RM300,000 to RM800,000, were in strategic locations.

“The prices are between 20% and 30% lower than the new properties sold by developers,” he said during a press conference yesterday.

State Town and Country, Planning, and Housing Executive Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh will launch Maspex 2014 which will be held from Friday to Sunday.

Geh said last year’s Maspex saw more than 7,000 people attending it with more than 500 leads for real estate agents.

“The secondary market is the biggest driver in the overall property sector in the country, taking up 70% of the market share,” he added.

Geh said there would also be property forums to disseminate information on what was happening in the housing industry in the country and in the region today.

“There will also be tips on interior design for affordable homes, property tax for the secondary property market, and the impact of the Goods and Services Tax on property,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jagdeep said the state government would also have a booth at the event to register first-time buyers of low medium-cost houses priced at RM72,000 and affordable housing projects, which are priced between RM200,000 and RM400,000.

“There are 10 affordable projects being developed in the state now. We expect to deliver 19,730 affordable units by 2018,” Jagdeep said.


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