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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Investors adopt 'wait and see' approach in Penang

PROPERTY transactions in Penang appear to have come to a standstill as investors wait and see how the state's economic landscape will unfold.

"We have received many concerned calls from our foreign investors, counterparts and clients, who are anxious to get a better feel of the ground on the implications for the property market," Henry Butcher Malaysia (Penang) Sdn Bhd director Dr Teoh Toh Puat told Business Times yesterday.

He said that improving living conditions in Penang would help to attract foreign investment in properties and those looking for a second home.

"Attracting investments, tourism arrivals and residents, however, will be a greater challenge today in view of the growing Asia-Pacific real estate market offering alternative opportunities for investors in 2008," Teoh said.

Henry Butcher Malaysia (Seberang Prai) senior manager Fook Tone Huat expects investors to take a few months to observe the new political developments before making any decision to continue their investments.

"Right now, I believe they will wait and see before they decide on their next move, and this will definitely slow down investments.

"However, if the new state government implements the 'transparency and fair to all' administrative strategy, it may create more market confidence," Fook said.

He noted that the residential sector in Seberang Prai was expected to be the main player in the state's property market.

"The opening of the Jusco Mall at Bandar Perda in Bukit Mertajam will spell a new era for the retail sector in Seberang Prai.

"We also expect 2008 to see further consolidation if the development corridors and the projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan proceed as planned," Fook said.

The opening of the Butterworth Outer Ring Road is expected to have a positive impact on the property market in the surrounding areas of Bagan Lallang and Bagan Ajam.

"Other popular residential precincts in Seberang Prai are Juru, Bukit Tengah, Jalan Song Ban Kheng and Bukit Minyak."

By New Straits Times (by Marina Emmanuel)

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