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Monday, February 20, 2012

Malaysia attractive for property ownership

KUALA LUMPUR: Low barriers and healthy prices makes Malaysia an attractive market for property ownership not only among locals but also foreigners, says iProperty Group Ltd chief executive officer Shaun Di Gregorio.

He said the main concern in the Malaysian property market today was that of rising prices.

"Other than price, buyers also expressed concern over home financing policies, interest rates, errant developers and finished quality," he said when revealing the findings of the Asia Property Market Sentiment Report 2012 here today.

A total of 3,459 respondents took part in the online survey conducted by Malaysia's number one property website.

Di Gregorio said in light of economic uncertainties in Europe and the United States, consumers could expect a slowdown in the high-end residential property sub-sector this year as potential buyers were likely to remain cautious.

"Despite this, properties in Malaysia were significantly cheaper in comparison with other markets in the region but were poised to appreciate over the next decade.

"The Malaysian survey participants were both upbeat about the property market and at the same time wary of a possible bubble, and with good reasons, given the state of the Malaysian economy going into 2012," he added.

By Bernama

UK envoy: Property sale should be sealed by year-end

KUALA LUMPUR: The British High Commission property along Jalan Ampang is yet to be put on the market. However, a deal should be concluded by the end of the year, says the British High Commissioner.

Simon Featherstone said they are still on the lookout for a new office building to move in to.

"Naturally, we would need a contract with a new place before we can put our property (British High Commission) on the market," he said.

Savills, Rahim & Co is representing the high commission on the relocation and sale of the property.

"We are positive we will find a place this year. There are a few purpose-built properties which have recently come into the market," Featherstone said without elaborating.

The sale of the property and the high commission's relocation to a purpose-built facility would help with managing costs as well as security issues.

In 2011, it was estimated that the chancery, which measures some 1.22ha, could fetch as high as RM1,500 per sq ft or RM196 million.

The property includes office, residences, a swimming pool and tennis courts.

The current British High Commission sits on land given to the British government in return for it giving up the Carcosa mansion in 1987.

The British government had until then used Carcosa as its diplomatic residence.

Two parcels of land were given to the British government then. The first, the land which currently houses the chancery, while the second is now the residence of the British High Commissioner.

Featherstone was quick to point out that his residence off Jalan Tun Razak is not up for sale.

According to sources, the high commission's neighbours which include Boustead Properties, IOI Group, HSC Healthcare and Sri Mersing Hotels Sdn Bhd, have expressed interest in the property.

Sri Mersing owns the vacant land at the corner of Jalan Ampang and Jalan Tun Razak.

The land measures 1.22ha and it is understood that Sri Mersing is linked to Malaysia's richest man Robert Kuok.

Boustead Properties has a project named 183 Ampang located behind the high commission.

By Business Times

Bent on tall buildings in Ipoh

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir is on a collision course with the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).

He is adamant that buildings over 85.3m above sea level or 17-storeys high be allowed in the centre of Ipoh against the department’s restriction.

Giving his executive talk to Ipoh City Council personnel at Stadium Indera Mulia recently, Dr Zambry said he had instructed Datuk Bandar Datuk Roshidi Hashim to approve tall buildings.

“The time has come for Ipoh to have skyscrapers like Penang, Selangor and Johor,” he said.

Dr Zambry was reported to have urged DCA to review its regulation that does not allow tall buildings to be built in the city.

The DCA, on the other hand, said the restriction on high buildings in Ipoh is based on the requirements set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha was reported to have said the requirements were imposed for safety reasons.

Dr Zambry said he failed to understand the logic used by DCA to stop the construction of tall buildings in Ipoh.

“I can understand if the ban is enforced around the airport area but for the department to give a blanket ban for the entire city just defies logic,” he added.

He said if the state followed the department’s ruling, there would be no skyscrapers in the city.

“We will have to be contended with the present height of buildings here,” he said.

Dr Zambry later announced a RM500 bonus for the city council personnel.

Later at a press conference, Roshidi confirmed that the council had received several applications to build tall buildings in the city.

“The council will do what it can to assist the developers,” he said.

On the bonus payment, Roshidi said it would benefit 2,500 of its personnel.

“It will cost us RM1.14mil and it will be payable in March,” he added.

By The Star