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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Residential property prices likely to stay flat

PETALING JAYA: Property prices of the local residential sub-sector are expected to be flat in the next few months as fears of rising oil prices due to the political unrest in the Middle East may damper investor and buyer confidence.

Khong & Jaafar Sdn Bhd managing director Elvin Fernandez said the local residential sub-sector would not see “insane run-ups” in prices like last year due to both global and local factors.

“Stock markets in the region have not been on the run-up. The uncertainty in oil prices and measures taken by Bank Negara to curb rising property prices will see (prices) within the local residential property sector holding,” he said when contacted by StarBiz yesterday.

Fernandez said the local residential sub-sector experienced “insane run-ups” in prices towards the second half of 2010 but, in light of both local and foreign events, the run-up in prices “will be arrested.”

Henry Butcher Malaysia Sdn Bhd chief operating officer Tang Chee Meng said he expected prices of the residential sub-sector to be stable in the next three to six months.

“Property prices won't go up as crazily as it did last year,” he said.

There would still be interest for landed properties and high-rise developments would experience a bigger slowdown, he said, adding that if oil prices shot up, people might put off property investment.

In its report, DTZ said that to push sales, developers were now selling smaller units in line with market demand, especially aiming at the investment segment of the market which was still relatively strong.

“Capital values are stable in most locations with an average of RM599 per sq ft, but rental rates continue to experience deterioration as new completions add competitive pressures to existing projects,” it said.

Tang also said if oil prices shot up, people might put off property investment.

By The Star

SP Setia buys prime land in Cyberjaya

Property developer, S P Setia Bhd, has bought 108.5 hectares (268.11 acres) of prime freehold land in Cyberjaya's flagship zone for RM420.4 million from Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd.

The land will be developed as Setia Eco Glades project by Setia Eco Villa, a joint-venture company between S P Setia Bhd which holds 70 per cent and Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd 30 per cent.

S P Setia president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin said the project would be a mixed residential and commercial development.

By Bernama

Rehda: Demand for green buildings needs to be market driven

PETALING JAYA: The development of green buildings continues to gain momentum in Malaysia every year but the demand for it needs to be market-driven.

Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) president Datuk Michael Yam said local property players should not develop green buildings or incorporate energy-saving elements into their projects just because it was the “in thing” to do.

“Malaysia can pass laws (on green buildings) and developers can go into it voluntarily. But at the end of the day, if the market is not demanding it, than it's not practical.

“It needs to be market driven,” he said at a press conference prior to the Rehda Youth Green Tour yesterday.

Yam said while developing and living in green buildings made financial sense in the long term, not everyone might be ready to embrace this concept just yet.

“It costs more to go green and not everyone can afford it (purchasing green properties). Developers need to evaluate what the market wants.”

“You need to do it (offer green buildings) gradually and slowly induce the public on the benefits of going green. This will trigger off a green revolution among developers.”

Yam said awareness of the benefits of going green (other than the property sector) was growing in Malaysia, adding that media coverage of green-related issues was also becoming more common.

Yam said the awareness on the benefits of going green was still at its infancy stage in Malaysia and that the public needs to be educated about its advantages.

“If everyone is willing to subscribe to this higher cost, then (the prices of green buildings) will become more affordable because of the economies of scale,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Green Tour, which was hosted by Rehda Youth, yesterday organised tours to four environmental friendly developments in the Klang Valley.

The developments were 1First Avenue, Challis Damansara, GTower and Ken Bangsar. Held for the first time, the tour aims to educate the public on green buildings.

The tour was officiated by Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Wira Chor Chee Heung.

By The Star