Penang Sentral to open on Nov 22

November 14th, 2018 No comments

penang-sentral-openThe long wait will soon be over and commuters will finally get to use the new transport hub in Penang Sentral, Butterworth.

The transport hub on the mainland, which can take 3,000 to 4,000 passengers a day, will finally open its door to the public on Nov 22 after an 11-year wait.

The official opening, however, will be in December.

The project, which began in 2007, was hindered by land acquisition issues and construction of the hub was jump-started in 2015.

Passengers can head to level two of the new terminal for ticketing services.

Bus ticket counters, taxi terminal, the walkway to the ferry terminal and the Butterworth KTM station, information centre and surau are also at level two.

Level three will be the main lobby or drop-off zone for vehicle passengers. There are also an information counter, an auxiliary police office and a food court.

The parking management office is on level six whereas the parking area will be from level six to level nine.

For further information or enquiries, proceed to the information counters or contact the Penang Sentral management (04-3242762) or email pssb.marketing@mrcb.com.

The RM2.7bil development is modelled after Kuala Lumpur Sentral and is built on 12.8ha of land.

The centrepiece of the first phase is the 10-storey transport terminal overlooking George Town on the island.

There will be seven phases to the project which will be built over a period of 12 years until 2030.

The future phases would be considered only upon market demand. This involves serviced apartments, SOHO and commercial development.

Source: TheStar.com.my


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P2P financing will raise house prices, warns expert

November 14th, 2018 No comments

penang-housing-1A national research institute director says the peer-to-peer (P2P) financing scheme for housing announced in Budget 2019 benefits investors more than home owners, and has urged the government to review the scheme thoroughly.

“P2P finance is an investment scheme, there’s nothing to say that it’s an ownership scheme.

“With the scheme, you co-own with a number of investors who actually just want to make a capital appreciation.

“It is not something that will increase home ownership, it is only something that would increase house prices because what they want is for the prices to appreciate,” Suraya Ismail, director of Khazanah Research Institute said after a panel discussion at a Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association’s (Rehda) Budget 2019 event.

She argued that house prices needed to be affordable first, instead of using financing methods to make houses appear affordable, adding that the P2P scheme proposed by the government “can be improved”.

During the panel discussion earlier, Suraya pointed out that the P2P scheme is the first of its kind, saying: “Never before has the principles of ownership and investment be parked together, and it is as if you can divorce it later. This puts unnecessary risk on the owners.”

Meanwhile, she also said that property purchases for the purpose of asset accumulation, or investment, could not be included when assessing the overall housing market because this would distort the demand.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, in the 2019 Budget announcement had said the government would be approving private sector-driven “property crowdfunding” platforms to serve as an alternative source of financing for first-time house buyers.

The Securities Commission will regulate these platforms under the P2P financing framework.

Under the P2P financing framework, the buyer will be able to acquire a selected property by paying 20% of the price. They will be able to choose from a wide array of high-rise and landed homes of different prices and locations showcased on the website.

The remaining 80% will be borne by potential investors who fund the purchase in exchange for its potential appreciation in value over a particular period of time.

The House Buyers Association (HBA) has criticised the move, saying that it may open up floodgates for scams, unsold properties, and there are uncertainties as to how the mechanism would work.

Source: FMT News


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Don’t collect compliance fees for affordable homes

November 13th, 2018 1 comment

affordable-housesThe state government should exempt developers from paying compliance costs for all affordable housing units in the state, a backbencher told the state legislative assembly today.

Kebun Bunga assemblyman Ong Khan Lee said such exemptions would further reduce affordable home prices here.

He also urged Penang to apply big data analytics to its housing information system, saying this would reduce mismatches between buyers and available affordable homes.

It would also reduce the incidents of rich buyers exploiting loopholes to purchase low— and medium-cost homes with cash.

He suggested that the state government also appoint an independent party to audit the application process and approval for public housing, low-cost, medium-cost and affordable housing units.

Ong also spoke about road congestion on the island and proposed a fee for vehicles from out of state.

“This will encourage visitors to use the public transport to enter Penang and this special fee will reduce the number of vehicles entering Penang,” he said.

He said 10 years ago, Penang has about 300,000 vehicles on the road but now, it is flooded with one million vehicles.

Source: Malay Mail


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Only 1% of Malaysian property owned by foreigners

November 13th, 2018 2 comments

penang-propertiesForeigners do not own more than one percent of property in Malaysia, revealed Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin.

Zuraida said that in March 2014, the government had imposed a RM1 million minimum property purchase price for foreigners.

She noted that the state government has the right and power to add to the RM1 million property price purchase minimum, which led to non-homogeneity in the policy.

“Currently, from Perlis to Johor, the minimum price differs. Therefore, my ministry will review the quota for foreign ownership of property so that a detailed guideline can be implemented by the state governments,” she said at the Dewan Rakyat today.

She was answering a supplementary question from Dr Hasan Bahrom (PH-Amanah-Tampin) on the latest figure on Malaysian property ownership by foreigners.

In reply to a supplementary question from Che Alias Hamid (Pas-Kemaman) on the rationale behind the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme which purportedly affect Malaysians’ ability to buy property, Zuraida said that the programme set down several conditions by the Home Ministry.

“It is limited to foreigners aged 50 and above, and has tight guidelines which the applicants must comply with.

“Among criterias which we allow foreigners to apply for MM2H is that they are receiving medical treatment in Malaysia or they have children studying here.

“The period given to them to stay here is only 10 years and is subject to review from time to time, and the foreigners need to put down a RM3 million monetary deposit,” she said.

Source: NST Online


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Penang Transport Master Plan to go on

November 12th, 2018 2 comments

the-new-penangThe first phase of the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) will proceed as planned, the state legislative assembly heard today.

Datuk Keramat assemblyman Jagdeep Singh Deo said all infrastructure projects under Phase One of PTMP will proceed after obtaining the relevant approvals.

The state local government and housing development committee chairman said relevant assessments will be conducted including social impact assessment (SIA) before the projects are implemented.

“The SIA for PTMP will look into any social impacts and existing issues while recommending steps to mitigate these issues,” he said.

He said the state is committed to only implement the project once the SIA is approved.

“We will take steps to mitigate any social impacts caused by the project,” he said in response to an additional question by Opposition leader Muhamad Yusoff Mohd Noor (BN— Sungai Dua).

Muhamad Yusoff asked if the first phase would proceed if it is found to negatively affect areas surrounding the project such as schools and cemeteries.

The proposed alignment of the 10km PIL1 that consists of hill tunnels and elevated highways will affect nine schools along the highway.

Earlier, Jagdeep was replying to an oral question by Ong Khan Lee (PH — Kebun Bunga) on whether the state government will conduct SIA before implementing massive infrastructure projects including the PTMP.

Jagdeep said the state government will ensure that the PTMP fulfil all criteria and obtain the relevant approvals under the law before it was implemented.

“This includes complying with the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 which provides the compulsory preparation and submission of SIA,” he said.

Jagdeep said Phase One of the PTMP included the Bayan Lepas Light Raul Transit project, PIL1 and several main highways.

“SIA was already submitted for these projects by the relevant technical departments for approval,” he said.

He stressed that the state will comply with all laws and regulations in implementing the PTMP.

Source: Malay Mail


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