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Friday, December 3, 2010

Johor developers face future challenges

JOHOR BARU: Demand for residential properties is still good in Johor but developers will face challenges in the coming years due to labour shortage and a hike in building material prices.

Simon Heng .... ‘The take-up rate for new houses in Johor is still good despite the increase in prices.’

Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) Johor branch chairman Simon Heng said developers did not have much choice but to pass the additional cost to house buyers.

He said building materials costs had increased by 10% to 15% in the past two months, translating into higher selling prices for new houses, especially in Johor Baru.

The take-up rate for new houses in Johor is still good despite the increase in prices and hopefully the trend continues next year,'' Heng told StarBiz on Wednesday.

He said banks were still offering attractive home loans, including full-loan facility for first-time buyers with a monthly household income of less than RM3,000 as announced recently in Budget 2011.

He said developers should look at coming out with innovative packages, including gated-and-guarded precincts and high-speed broadband facilities, to attract buyers.

Heng said the construction industry was also facing labour shortage and had to depend on foreigners as locals were not interested to take up the job.

He said many Indonesians that had been working in the construction sector in Malaysia for more than five years had left home as the construction sector in the republic was booming.

He said despite having workers from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Vietnam, contractors still preferred Indonesians as they were more hardworking and easy to communicate with.

By The Star

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