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Monday, October 15, 2012

Iskandar properties will stay hot

Booming: Upgrading of existing roads and construction of new highways within Iskandar Malaysia in recent years have improved connectivity and accessibility within south Johor.

Improvement in connectivity and accessibility attracting more investments

JOHOR BARU: Developers can expect the “feel good factor” in the Iskandar Malaysia property market to continue in 2013, based on the number of transactions taking place this year.

KGV International Property Consultants (M) Sdn Bhd director Samuel Tan Wee Cheng said most new property launches in the area were well received by buyers.

He said completed but unsold properties or property overhang was no longer a dilemma faced by developers in south Johor unlike 10 to 15 years ago, and local developers had learnt their lesson well from the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis as they were caught unaware, resulting in many abandoned projects and unsold properties.

“Iskandar Malaysia will continue to drive the growth of the property market in south Johor in years to come,'' Tan told StarBiz.

From 2006 until end-June 2012, Iskandar Malaysia had recorded total cumulative committed investments of MR95.45bil in various sectors with 43% of the investments already realised.

Domestic investments constituted 62% (RM58.95bil) of the total investments of RM95.45bil, while the remaining 38% (RM36.50bil) were from foreigners.

Tan said Iskandar Malaysia was more viable compared with other economic growth corridors economic growth corridors in Malaysia, including the Northern Economic Region, East Coast Economic Region, Sabah Development Corridor and Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy.

Located in the southernmost part of Johor, Iskandar Malaysia covers 2,217 sq km and is three times bigger than Singapore.

Tan said as a government-backed economic growth corridor, Iskandar Malaysia had strong backing fin terms of funding for infrastructure development projects.

The Government had spent RM7.31bil on infrastructure in Iskandar Malaysia since 2006 on the upgrading and construction of new roads and highways, flood mitigation, river cleaning and public housing.

“Improvement in connectivity and accessibility makes most areas within the Iskandar Malaysia flagship zones attractive to house buyers,'' said Tan.

The completion of the New Coastal Highway, the Eastern Dispersal Link Expressway and the Southern Link would help to push demand for properties, Tan said, adding that among the areas benefiting from better road linkages were Bukit Indah, Perling, Sutera Utama, Nusa Bestari, Seri Alam, Kempas, Setia Tropika, Senai, Kulai, Nusajaya, Skudai and Tebrau.

He said one advantage about Iskandar Malaysia was that most the of roads and highways were toll-free unlike in the Klang Valley.

Tan said prior to the inception of Iskandar Malaysia, property prices in south Johor had not seen many changes but now the prices were on the upward trend. He said, for instance, the price tag for an intermediate double-story link house now ranged from RM200,000 to RM500,000 each while a bungalow was now selling at between RM1mil and RM5mil.

“We anticipate that the property prices in south Johor will continue to be on the upward trend due to several factors such as the Singapore factor,'' said Tan.

Johor Baru continued to be a prefJohor Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) branch chairman Koh Moo Hing concurred with Tan that the property market would remain positive next year.

He said Iskandar Malaysia would continue to contribute to the positive growth in the Johor Baru property market as it helped to boost demand for houses in south Johor.

With the completion of most flagship projects this and the next couple of years in Iskandar Malaysia, they would bring economic spills over to the property sector, Koh said, adding that the influx of domestic and foreign investors and the presence of new residents and workers in Iskandar Malaysia would create demand for residential properties as well as office spaces.

“Our Rehda members with projects in Iskandar Malaysia have reported good response for their new launches with no slowdown or property overhang,'' said Koh. He said statistics compiled from developers taking part in the Malaysia Property Expo (Mapex) Johor Baru in 2009, 2010, 2011 and up to May 2012, showed that they recorded better sales.

“The last four to five years were considered good for our members as they were able to keep the number of unsold properties to a minimum,'' he added.

Koh said while Tebrau and Skudai would remain the traditional hot spots for property development projects in Iskandar Malaysia, others areas were becoming popular with buyers.

By The Star

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