Archive for the ‘Property News’ Category

Gradual rise in Penang property prices seen

April 11th, 2011 No comments

GEORGE TOWN: The rise in residential property prices in Penang will be a more gradual this year, according to real estate valuers.

Henry Butcher Malaysia (Penang) director Dr Teoh Poh Hua t said this was because residential property prices on the island increased phenomenally last ye ar by between 10% and 20%.

“The demand for residential properties from investors is expected to grow more gradually this year in view of the efforts by the central government to cool off speculation

such as the cap imposed on the loan value ratio for third property loan onwards. We expect more genuine buyers rather than speculators due to such efforts ,” he told StarBiz.

Teoh said condominiums on the island were now facing competition from overseas properties, where prices had dropped more significantly and a strong ringgit had made

acquisition of such properties more affordable.

“Large condominiums in particular are very difficult to rent out and are unable to generate attractive yields.

“The market demand will be more focused on smaller units that are competitively priced,” he said.

On Malaysia’s second home programme, Teoh said the country needed a strong and consistent branding strategy to reach out to those parts of the world with interest of investing in a second or retirement home in Malaysia.

“This is lacking although a lot of work has been done to promote Malaysia as a second home destination at the private and government levels,” he said.

Raine & Horne senior partner Michael Geh also said that residential property prices would rise more gradually this year co mpared with 2010.

“Last year developers were targeting their properties, priced from over RM300,000 to over RM4 00,000, at bulk-buyers, who are speculators willing to buy three to 10 units at one go.

“So far this year we can see that developers are trying to reach genuine home buyers who are queueing up to buy their properties.

“This is probably because there is anticipation that the interest rates for housing loan will increase soon,” he added.

Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association chairman Datuk Jerry Chan said residential properties prices were expected to rise this year again due to higher land and raw material costs.

“Land prices in prime areas such as Pulau Tikus and the Jesselton neighbourhood have increased to about RM400 per sq ft, while the land in Tanjung Tokong and Tanjung Bungah are now priced from RM300 per sq ft onwards.

These prices are 15% to 20% higher than a year ago.

“Cement price had also gone up by about 6% recently to RM16 in mid-March,” he said.

“Cement producers have also withdrawn rebates, which are normally given to customers for prompt and early payment.

“The cost to build a terraced unit on the island would increase by 6% to 10% to about RM500,000, depending on the location.”

Chan added that the rise in property prices last year took many people by surprise.

“They are now more discerning in their approach to buy properties,” he said.

Meanwhile, Wabina Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Loh Geok Beng said in order to stay competitive in the business, developers were now coming up with innovative designs for their housing projects.

“The southwest district still has vacant land which all ows developers to come out with innovative designs.

“For example, we are introducing the first high-end living condominium scheme, the Pavilon Tower, in the southwest district, which comes with a variety of life-style facilit ies,” Loh said.

SOURCE: The Star

Categories: Property News Tags:

The Rice Miller Hotel & Residences

April 9th, 2011 10 comments

The Rice Miller Hotel & Residences, a mixed real estate development in a UNESCO World Heritage Site in George Town. It consists of four adjoining parcels of freehold land on a 3-acre site by old Penang harbour — bounded by Beach Street on the west, the well-known “Banking Street” on the island and Weld Quay to the east. With just 99 units of private residences, The Rice Miller Hotel and Residence will be an urban oasis where life’s amenities are never more than a short walk away.

1. Rice Miller Residence I
2. Rice Miller Residence II
3. The Rice Miller Hotel
4. 1880s building to be conserved
5. Commercial block for banking & specialized services
6. Pier Market
7. Main Entrance & Security Check
8. Heritage Row 0 Event Centre with theatre facilities, Rice Miller Club, library, lifestyle pavillion
9. Landscaped courtyard

Property Project : The Rice Miller Hotel & Residences
Location : Georgetown, Penang
Built-up Area : 757 sq.ft – 3,473 sq.ft.
Units: 99 (Residence Units), 24 (Shop lots), 48 (Hotel rooms)
Developer : Asian Global Business Sdn. Bhd.
Indicative Price: RM 1,155/sq.ft. onwards

Categories: Georgetown, Property News Tags:

No reduction in property launches

April 9th, 2011 No comments

Should there be any softening of the broad property market, one of the first segments that may soften will be the high-end segment of the condominium market. The landed housing segment is still seeing strong demand, particularly in the Klang Valley and Penang, says OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd country chief risk officer Choo Yee Kwan.

“For the residential segment, no clear signs of any softening have been observed. As the ‘broad property market’ would cover commercial properties, we have observed that the applications for the financing of commercial properties have held up in March 2011,” Choo says in an e-mail.

He says the indication is that there will be an increase in housing loan applications in March this year, higher than the comparative volumes they saw during the preceding first two months of the year.

It was reported earlier that housing loan application totalled RM12.56bil in January and RM10.26bil in February, which prompted questions whether the drop in application will lead to a slowdown in the property sector.

Choo says the drop in housing applications from November to Febuary is not conclusive as the period was also subject to seasonal trends relating to the year-end holiday period and festive season during the beginning of the year. Typically, volumes tend to be lower during this period.

“It is useful to note that there has, indeed, been no reduction in housing launches since the beginning of this year, and that the take-up rate has been good, particularly of landed properties in the more affordable price ranges. New launches for both landed property and condominiums (particularly those in the affordable price ranges) are still being well received.

“However, for the high-end segment of the condominium market, there have been comparatively fewer launches which can also suggest that the demand for luxury high-rise units has somewhat waned.

“The bottom-line is that we still need to observe developments over a longer period before making any conclusive assertions in respect of this matter,” he says.

Choo says generally, the bank has observed that the loan quantum has been steadily increasing in line with upward price movements of residential properties, notably in the key areas of urban concentration such as the Klang Valley and Penang.

One of the factors that can affect the selling prices of houses is the underlying cost of the core building materials like cement, steel and timber. — By Thean Lee Cheng

SOURCE: The Star

Categories: Property News Tags:

Property market to continue strong growth

April 9th, 2011 No comments

Despite  the move by Bank Negara last November to introduce a maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 70% for the third and subsequent house financing facilities to curb speculation on property prices, property consultants and analysts are convinced that there will only be a temporary setback for the property and banking industry.

Hwang DBS Vickers Research, in its recent report, says the property market this year could still see 10%-15% growth, driven by scarcity of land and higher input costs.

“While we believe the 70% LTV cap managed to control speculative activities to a certain extent, the strong underlying demand from first-second home owners and upgraders continued to support property sales, even at new benchmark prices,” it says.

It adds that this can be seen with the recent launches that saw strong takeups such as Capers @ Sentul East condos where more than 90% of the units been booked at RM600 per sq ft and Sime’s USJ Heights Indigo zero-lot bungalows with 75% sold at RM2mil to RM3.3mil per unit.

“The others are Gamuda’s Ambang Botanic, Klang where semi-D and bungalows are sold more than 90% at RM1.5mil to RM1.8mil per unit and Glomac Damansara serviced apartments (70% sold at RM600 per sq ft),” it says, adding that this supports its view that property demand should remain resilient, supported by positive macro factors (young population, robust economy, inflation hedging, urbanisation, shrinking household size, accommodative bank lending).

The research house says another factor helping to boost property sales this year is the mass rapid transit (MRT) project.

“While MRT completion may still be a while away, in 2016-2020, property prices (especially land) tend to move ahead as developers scramble for projects near potential stations (given the typical 5-year lead time to negotiate, plan, obtain approvals, sell and construct). Developers such as SP Setia have started pricing in potential of MRT interchanges in their launches (KL Eco-City commands ~30% premium),” it says.

“While track record is important, we see owners of large land bank near potential MRT interchanges (or strong deal-makers) having an upper hand given scarcity of prime land in KL, and there should be no shortage of suitors to minimise execution risk. Strong overseas track record may give an added advantage in attracting foreign demand (e.g. YTL’s Sentosa Cove, Guocoland group’s following in Singapore and China). MRT and plot ratio expansion will strengthen the case to speed up development of raw landbank,” it says.

A property consultant tells StarBizWeek that generally, there will be some impact on the mid-level to high-end property market due to the LTV.

“Property developers may feel a slight impact on sales of mid-level to high-end property products as a result of the LTV. The impact can be expected as these markets (mid-level to high end property) are normally the playgrounds for investors and speculators. As LTV imposes those who are buying the third property, the Government is taking steps to curb the property price increase based on speculation. So, there will be less speculation in the property market,” he said.

Bank Negara in its Financial Stability and Payment Systems Report 2010 says house prices in selected locations within and surrounding urban areas have shot up to four times that of the national house price index.

It also says there have been incidents of applications for financing of multiple residential units within a single development project from a single borrower.

“To address this, the LTV ratio is aimed at promoting a stable and sustainable property market by deterring speculative activity through higher equity requirements for transactions of this nature,” the report says.

Maybank Investment Bank Research said in its recent report that housing loan applications had declined for the last three months on a month-on-month basis, partly due to recent measures to curb property lending.

“Loans applications for residential purchases fell 3.8% month-on-month from December 2010 to January 2011, 7.1% from November 2010 to December 2010 and 9.6% from October 2010 to November 2010,” it said.

However, analysts say they are optimistic the LTV will not hamper residential mortgage loans growth this year or even reduce residential property prices significantly.

“Residential home loans growth might see a slight slowdown as the measure by the regulator would curb speculative investment activities but it will

not be drastic, as up to 90% of banks’ mortgage loans are held by homeowners, who are not speculative investors but have purchased residential properties to live in,” an analyst says.

Another analyst says the decline in housing loan applications can be seasonal and can pick up as the year progresses.

“I still think it is early days to attribute the decline to the LTV imposition only. Generally, I do not see this new measure having much of an impact on residential housing loans growth this year,” he says

SOURCE: The Star

Categories: Property News Tags:

Focus on real home buyers

April 8th, 2011 No comments

GEORGE TOWN: Developers in Penang should focus on selling homes to genuine house buyers and not speculators, said Raine & Horne senior partner Michael Geh.

He said that due to speculation, house prices had increased beyond the affordability level of wage earners who made between RM3,000 and RM4,000 a month.

?In the property market today, affordability is the key issue and should be addressed by developers.

?Last year, developers were targeting bulk buyers for their property which are priced from more than RM300,000 to above RM400,000. These buyers are speculators willing to buy three to 10 units each,? Geh said during a talk yesterday on the state of property in Penang for this year at the i-Property Talk organised by the Red Tomato Penang Free Newspaper.

He said he had noticed efforts by developers to reach out to genuine home buyers since the beginning of this year.

On property prices for this year, Geh said the rise would be more gradual this year as last year?s appreciation in prices had been ?phenomenal?.

?There is anticipation that the interest rates for housing loan will increase soon,? he added.

Geh also said the present heritage guidelines for Penang island were too restrictive and not conducive for healthy development of the property sector.

?The guidelines are too concerned with density suppression.

SOURCE: The Star

Categories: Property News Tags:

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