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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

WCT unit in Ho Chi Minh City project

KUALA LUMPUR: WCT Bhd says its unit WCT (S) Pte Ltd will undertake the residential and commercial development project in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.

The project is located at the development corridor of Nguyen Van
Linh Expressway at the New Urban Development Area of Saigon South.

In a filling to the stock exchange yesterday, WCT said the project is earmarked for the development of mid-high-class residential apartments and commercial properties for the purposes of lease and/or sale.

“With a plot ratio of six, the project is planned for commercial shoplots and condominium units complete with a garden and full-fledged facilities for modern living,” the company added.

By Business Times

US rental demand lifts housing sector

WASHINGTON: Brian Keith is busier than ever as the architecture firm he works for rushes to wrap up work on a 300-unit apartment complex in Dallas.

The project is one of dozens the firm, JHP Architecture, has on its hands a surge of business driven by a rise in demand in the United States for rental properties.

The increased demand has forced JHP to expand, and it expects to keep hiring at least through the first quarter.

“We're seeing overall work come back and there's a backlog of contracts to go through,” said Keith, director of urban design and planning at JHP.

“There's strong interest in multi-family units and plenty of pent-up demand.”

With US unemployment at a lofty 8.6%, home foreclosures rising and property prices under pressure, more and more Americans have given up the dream of owning, opting instead to rent, a shift that is remaking the face of the US housing industry.

The percentage of Americans who own their home dropped from a peak of 69.2% in late 2004 to a 13-year low of 65.9% in the second quarter.

It edged up to 66.3% in the third quarter of this year.

On the flip side, the percentage of rental properties that are empty fell to 9.8% in the third quarter from 10.3% a year earlier.

In a recent report, Oliver Chang, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, dubbed 2012 “The Year of the Landlord.”

“Rents are rising, vacancies are falling, household formations are growing and rental supply is limited,” the Morgan Stanley report stated. “We believe the demand for rental properties will continue to grow.”

Groundbreaking for new housing jumped 9.3% in November to the highest level in 19 months, fuelling optimism that the battered housing market was regaining its footing.

The gains, however, were almost solely in multi-family housing. Groundbreaking for structures with five or more units shot up more than 30% from October to now stand at nearly double the year-ago level.

By Reuters

Buyers storm project site

BUYERS of the problematic Ukay Bistari mixed-development project took matter in their own hands and marched into the site office to get the keys to their units.

The property owners brought the steel barrier down and entered the compound to see their units, something they have been yearning to do for years.

About 100 protesters gathered to express their disappointment and anger against the developer of the project.

The protesters, who were also members of the Abandoned Property Owners Malaysia (Victims) Association, were promised keys to their units in Block A on Dec 27.

Losing patience: Barriers to the site were brought down by buyers.

However, Victims chairman Dr Mohamed Rafick Khan Abdul Rahman announced they would receive the letters of vacant possesion soon. The keys were then returned to the site office.

Dr Rafick said the developer had to ensure that the project was completed on time and not keep quiet about the matter.

“The buyers are desperate and 27 of them have to file for bankcruptcy. The developer has taken money from the people and they have to own up.

“It would seem the developer is not serious about keeping to their promise because there are only 80 workers left at the site from the 300 four months ago,” he said.

He added that the state government had not done much to help the victims of abandoned housing projects compared with the Housing and Local Government Ministry.

Self-employed Mohd Faizal Jaafar, 32, has been waiting to move into his own home since 2006 but it is still a dream.

Which is which?: Purchasers sorting out the keys to the units.

“I have gone through a divorce and remarried but I have yet to have my own place. I bought the unit in 2003 thinking this will be where I start my family.

“I am sad this has happened but as buyers we cannot just sit and wait. We have to do something. I hope the ministry will revoke the developer’s licence and get someone else to take over the project,” he said.

According to the developer’s spokesman, the letters of vacant possession were out as promised.

She said there was no need for the purchasers to behave in an uncivilised manner by taking the keys themselves.

“Their action is considered trespassing and they have even brought down the hoarding. If there is damage to the property, who is going to bear the cost?” she asked.

She added they had filed a police report on the incident.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung had said that 600 units from 1,172 apartment units would be handed over while the remaining would be handed in December and February next year. This involved Block A, E, and E.

Ukay Bistari in Ampang consists of 2,214 mixed-development units with double and two-and-a-half storey houses, low-cost apartments, service apartments as well as shops and office lots.

It was reported that the project was launched in August 2003 scheduled to be completed between August 2005 and June 2007.

A total of 353 double-storey houses were completed in October 2006 while another 103 units were completed in May 2008.

By The Star