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Friday, March 26, 2010

Expected growth in sales for Johor property market

JOHOR BARU: The Johor property market is expected to experience growth in sales this year due to the nation’s economic recovery.

Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) Johor branch chairman Lee Kim Chai said other factors include higher employment in various sectors compared to last year.

He said the higher employment rate led to stronger purchasing power for prospective buyers.

“Prospective buyers should take the opportunity to buy property in the state at this point of time.

“Interest rates for housing loans are also very low, and thus very attractive to buyers,” he told The Star here on Monday.

Lee said property prices in Johor were comparatively low to Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

“For example, double-storey terrace houses are priced between RM800,000 and RM900,000 in areas such as Damansara Utama.

“The properties in Johor are much cheaper and thus much more attractive to buyers,” he said.

Lee noted that the sales performance of Johor’s property market is peculiar as it is also affected by Singapore’s economic climate.

“We have a sizeable population of locals staying in Johor Baru who are employed in Singapore.

“If Singapore’s economy is doing well a lot of locals would be working over there,” he said.

He added that some Johoreans working in Singapore have plenty of purchasing power.

“It is good for them to buy properties here as the exchange rate is favourable.

“Most of such workers prefer to stay in neighbourhoods and townships near the Second Link as it is easier for them to get access into Singapore,” he said.

Besides Johoreans, Lee said that the Johor property market was also attractive to foreigners, especially Singaporeans.

“Certain townships attract foreigners especially in Horizon Hills or East Ledang, which is near the Second Link.

“The strategic locations coupled with much cheaper prices compared to landed properties in Singapore is an incentive for buyers.

“Landed properties in Singapore cost millions of dollars while it only cost few hundred thousand Ringgit here,” he said.

Lee said that the development of Iskandar Malaysia would contribute to the growth of property sales in the state as well.

“I believe that with more foreign investments coming in and other infrastructure projects underway, the boom will benefit the Johor property market,” he said.

By The Star

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