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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

ETP projects to spur expatriate demand for high-end homes

KUALA LUMPUR: The Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) is expected to drive foreign direct investments (FDI) that would in turn spur expatriate demand for high-end houses.

The Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association Malaysia (Rehda) president Datuk Seri Michael Yam Kong Choy said expats now account for 4 per cent of the total housing stock of four million in Malaysia.

"While the figure looks small, it has been growing in the past few years. We are not an investment destination for foreigners, but we have been able to attract large groups from Europe and Asia Pacific," Yam said yesterday.

Yam said the ETP projects and the Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley development plan will raise Malaysia's profile.

"Hopefully the government will roll out ETP projects quickly, so that more expats will come in and buy the high-end properties. This will augur well for the property market and the economy," he said.

Meanwhile, RAM Holdings Bhd chief economist Dr Yeah Kim Leng said there is a need for a bold policy to stimulate private investment as there were complaints about the restrictive business operating environment.

He said that investment, though below expectation in the first half of 2011, is expected to increase in the second half of the year and in 2012 as a result of more focused efforts by the government.

"We expect monetary tightening to continue at a gradual pace despite easing consumer and asset price pressures, particularly for several property segments in selected locations and surplus liquidity in the financial system.

"Selective macro-prudential measures targeted at averting the build-up of credit and asset bubbles would continue at a prudent pace," Yeah said.

Yeah added that further tightening measures may be kept on hold for the rest of the year to brace for global uncertainties.

By Business Times (by Sharen Kaur)

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