Malaysia Property News is a free resource website sharing Daily Property News & information about Property in Malaysia, which related to, Property Market, Property Investment, Commercial Property , Hot Properties Malaysia, Real Estate, Retail Shop, Business Park, Condominium Malaysia, Terraces & Apartment Malaysia, Houses, Residence, Resort and many more.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

40 hotels set for opening in Johor

Of the numbers, almost half are expected to be built within the next five years, prompting concerns of an oversupply.

A whopping 40 new hotels, predominantly within the three- and five-star categories, are slated for opening in Johor.

Of the numbers, almost half are expected to be built within the next five years, prompting concerns of an oversupply.

Chairman of the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Johor Chapter, Tengku Ahmad Faizal, said a right balance could be achieved if these openings are done in phases.

As Johor transforms itself into the amusement and theme park capital of Malaysia, there is a requirement for additional supply of hotel rooms.

Nevertheless, there is also a need for lower star-category hotels.

“Should all the hotels open according to schedule, with the opening of Legoland, followed by Hello Kitty Town, Little Big Club and LAT theme parks, room supply should be just nice.

“Looking at up to 2015, there will be sufficient rooms to cater to the expected increase in tourists,” Tengku Ahmad said.

It was reported that Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said by 2014 alone, Johor will have an additional supply of 3,000 new rooms.

“But what we need is all categories of accommodation.
We need lower-category rooms, below the three-star category to cater to the middle- and lower middle-income groups.

Serviced apartments for families are required as well,” he said.
Tengku Ahmad pointed out that all of these openings may not work in favour of the hotel operators if the rooms are not filled.

“With 40 hotel openings, and possibly more, everyone has to play their part in order to create awareness about Johor and to get the tourists to the state.

"We will surely need more international direct flights into the Senai International Airport. Otherwise, the perception that Johor is not easy to reach will remain," he said.

He added that Johor is always a difficult destination to sell, but with the new developments taking place, he hopes more travel agents will start promoting the state.

With the opening of international hotel brands like Traders Hotel, Sheraton and Aman, Tengku Ahmad expects Johor's visibility in the international scene will increase further.

However, he also said that while the hotel plans will create more jobs in the state, filling the openings and retaining staff can pose a challenge.

This is because hotel staff are easily persuaded to move to Singapore, or even from one hotel to another hotel for just an additional RM50 a month.

If there are insufficient numbers of arrivals to fill the available capacity, it will not be unusual for hotels to begin a rate war just so they can survive.

By Business Times

TTDI Grove Kajang to launch three-storey shop offices

TTDI Grove Square 2, the newly anticipated commercial development in TTDI Grove Kajang will be launched this weekend from 10am-6pm in the new TTDI Grove Sales Gallery in Kajang, Selangor.

Developed by Naza TTDI Sdn Bhd, this freehold commercial development is a three-storey dual frontage shop office. With a built-up of 473.5-912.1sq m (5,097-9817sq ft) and a lot size of 22' x 80', 29 units of this modern concept designed shop offices will be on sale this Saturday onwards. Fronting the Persiaran Kajang-Semenyih Bypass, the offices also has ample parking spaces.

In conjunction with the launch, there will also be attractive launch packages such as the special early bird rebate, free legal fee on Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) as well as a free stamp duty on the Memorandum of Transfer (MOT).

The development is 15 minutes away from Kajang town and has easy access to major highways such as the Kajang SILK Highway, LEKAS Highway, Kuala Lumpur (North) and Seremban (South) via Kajang-Semenyih Bypass. Added with mature residential communities and convenient amenities, TTDI Grove Kajang is set to be the new prime area in Kajang.

The TTDI Grove township is a freehold mixed development in Kajang. Spanning over 45.7ha (113 acres), it comprises double storey link houses, apartments as well as commercial properties. While all launched phases of the residential properties within Grove West have limited number of units left, commercial lots at TTDI Grove Square 1 are almost completely acquired.

Grove East, whereby Grove Square 2 is located, is a development that resides entirely on premium elevated ground. Differentiating itself from the other phases, Grove East has lower density and larger built-ups. As the road frontage units at Grove Square 1 were popular among buyers, TTDI Grove Square 2 is another opportunity for investors.

Those interested in attending the launch can come on April 28 & 29 (Saturday and Sunday) from 10am-6pm at TTDI Grove Sales Gallery, via Kajang-Semenyih Bypass, Persiaran TTDI Grove, Taman TTDI Grove, 43000 Kajang, Selangor. GPS coordinates: 2ᵒ 59’ 43.14’’ N 101ᵒ 48’ 57.34’’ E. For more information, log on to or call 03-2787 7921.

Also on the launch day, Acacia, the two-storey premium link homes will be opened for registration. This freehold residential property has a built-up from 232.1-314.4sq m (2,498-3,384sq ft) and a land area from 22’ x 75’. This phase of terrace homes in Grove East is due to be launched next month.

By The Star

Iskandar: 30 projects in Selangor without proper licences

STATE Housing, Building Management and Squatters committee chairman Iskandar Abdul Samad said there are at least 30 projects in Selangor that do not have proper building approvals or licences.

He said the cases were prevalent in Klang and Kuala Langat and that the state was in the midst of reviewing the projects.

“We are discussing whether these projects are viable or some modification are needed but with licensing, the onus is on the Housing and Local Government Ministry, who have the authority.

“Although the call by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan to have a more efficient model in approving construction permits is good, the one stop centre is already a simplified step.

“Many people find it difficult to get money for abandoned projects, especially when the ministry blacklists them, so when the developer wants to sell them, they can’t.

“We started with 141 abandon ed projects and later we discovered more but they cannot be resolved because there is no more money in the bank.

“Only 30% of the projects had white knights coming into the picture,” he said.

When asked about the effectiveness of the amendments to the Housing and Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 with regards to the Tribunal Court, Iskandar says it is a mere toothless tiger.

“Many people find it difficult to get money from the developer after it has gone to the Tribunal Court because there is a lack of enforcement or it is too limited.

“We are pushing for strata title type buildings to go to court but there only a few cases that do so.

“As far as the amendments to the Housing and Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 is concerned, it is good on paper but we will only be able to see it truly functioning once there is implementation.

“They say we can take the developers to jail. Well, we will have to wait and see it happen,” he said.

It was reported recently that the Housing and Local Government Ministry will revive 35 abandoned projects, involving 12,000 housing units, throughout the country this year.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung had said that their main Key Performance Index would focus on reviving the projects which mainly involved low-cost homes.

He said the Government had revived 84 abandoned housing projects since 2009 to help the lower income group own houses.

The HDA was initially known as the Housing Developers Act, which has seen several amendments over the years.

The last amendment was in 2011.

According to the ministry website, as of December last year, there were 235 problematic and delayed projects in Peninsular Malaysia, with Selangor leading the way with 86 and 15 projects respectively under the private housing sector.

In Kuala Lumpur, there were eight delayed and 11 problematic projects. As of February there were 16 abandoned housing projects identified for revival with new developers while 51 project were under revival either by the developer, rescuers or Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad.

By The Star

Legoland Malaysia to open on Sept 15

NUSAJAYA: Asia's first Legoland is set to open for business on Sept 15.

Legoland Malaysia General Manager Siegfried Boerst said the RM700 million theme park on a 76-acre land in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor, was 75 per cent complete.

He said that last month, the contractors began work on theming the park, and next month they would begin installing the 50 million Lego bricks and models.

"I'm pleased to announce that due to the hardwork of all our contractors, we will now be opening the park ahead of schedule by a number of months," he told reporters here today.

Legoland Malaysia here is the sixth Legoland theme park in the world and the first in Asia.

The park, with seven special themes namely Lego kingdom, imagination, land of adventure, lego technic, the beginning, lego city and miniland, is especially designed for families with children from two to 12 years of age.

Boerst said over 35,000 annual passes had been sold and 60 per cent of the buyers were Malaysians. The annual passes, priced at RM195 per adult and RM150 per child, are valid until end of 2013.

"The official park single-day tickets will go on sale online later this month and these tickets will be priced at a special introductory offer of RM96 for adults and RM70 for kids," he said.

Legoland Malaysia expects to attract one million visitors in its first year of operation.

Tickets are available online through the AirAsia RedTix and Legoland Malaysia websites.

Boerst said Legoland Malaysia was in talks with local tour operators to provide packages for visitors from the Klang Valley.

"We hope to provide more transportation for our visitors here and there are plans to set a up new route with the local authority for buses to be here," he said.

On accommodation, he said, Merlin Entertainments Group had signed a management agreement with LL Themed Hotel Sdn Bhd to develop and build the Legoland Hotel. The Legoland Hotel is expected to be ready in 2014.

Meantime, Legoland Malaysia is in talks with hotel operators in Johor to provide shuttle buses from their hotels to the park.

"We are in discussion with the hoteliers and we hope they can work together with us," he said.

Legoland Malaysia will feature more than 40 interactive rides, shows and attractions when it opens.

Other Legoland theme parks across the world are in Denmark, the United Kingdom, Germany and Florida and California in the USA.

It is the second after Legoland Billund park, Denmark, to house the Observation Tower, where visitors are lifted up 41 metres for an excellent view of the Legoland theme park as the tower revolves to make a complete circle in 50 seconds.

By Bernama

Legoland Hotel to open in Johor

KUALA LUMPUR: Asia's first Legoland Hotel is to open in Malaysia in 2014 next to a theme park dedicated to the popular children's building bricks, the developers said.

Groundwork for the hotel in southern Johor state the world's fourth Legoland hotel began last month, developer Merlin Entertainments Groups and LL Themed Hotel said in a statement yesterday.

The 31ha park, which will offer 40 rides, shows and displays featuring the Danish toy bricks, will be one of the main attractions of Iskandar Malaysia.


Developers eyeing former Unilever plant site in Bangsar

PETALING JAYA: A number of developers are said to have submitted their bids to undertake the development of a 8.09ha in Bangsar that used to house Unilever Malaysia's soap and margarine manufacturing plant. It has been left unoccupied since Unilever Malaysia moved out in 2003.

Among the interested bidders are Mah Sing Group Bhd and UEM Land Holdings Bhd.

Located at the intersection of Jalan Bangsar and Jalan Maarof in Kuala Lumpur, the land initially belonged to Perbadanan Aset Keretapi but has since changed hands to new owner Pelaburan Hartanah Bhd (PHB).

PHB is a subsidiary of Yayasan Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera, created under Budget 2006 with an initial capital of RM2bil, to promote bumiputra ownership of prime real estate.

An industry source said PHB had last year invited bids for the development of the land into an integrated high-end mixed commercial and residential development.

“The candidates have so far made two rounds of presentation on their proposed development plans to the PHB board and independent consultants.

“The criteria will be based on potential yields, project concept and design and traffic dispersal system, among others,” he added.

The successful candidate is expected to be announced in the first half of this year but a source said this might be postponed to after the general elections.

A property valuer said the land's location was very strategic and would be ideal for an integrated commercial cum residential development.

He said some 30% to 40% of the development ratio was likely to comprise residential units, and the rest would be office blocks, a hotel, shopping mall, and shop lots.

“The plot ratio will be between six and eight times, and the project is expected to generate a gross development value of RM4bil to RM5bil,” he said.

With regard the leasehold status of the land, the valuer said PHB would have to apply to the Federal Territory Land Office to have the land lease renewed to up to 99 years.

“The Valuation Department will decide on the additional premium to be paid for the lease to be extended,” he added.

By The Star

Katong project preserves landmark facade

SINGAPORE: Home buyers in a new Katong project will find it easy to direct taxi drivers and friends to where they live.

The development includes a famous landmark a fire-engine-red two-storey shophouse that once housed the well-known Katong Red House Bakery.

The East Coast Road project, which will be launched soon, has 42 residential units, shops, a heritage gallery and a bakery.

Developer Warees Investments, property arm of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), will not say for now if the bakery will take up the same space occupied by Katong Bakery. The latter, set up in 1931, was known as the Red House Bakery due to the building's distinctive facade.

That stand-out exterior is preserved in the new 99-year leasehold project, which also incorporates five shophouses adjacent to the Red House.

A residential block will be built behind the shophouses, with indicative prices from property agency HSR International Realtors starting from S$600,000 for a 448 sq ft one-bedroom apartment.

Katong Bakery's days of selling Swiss rolls and curry puffs ended in 2003 when the building was deemed unsafe and in need of repair. The tenants said they could not afford the post-renovation rent of S$15,000 a month, up from the old rent of just S$2,000. Rentals had been kept low by controls that were lifted in 2001.

The six shophouses are wakaf properties or religious bequests by Muslims, and managed by Muis.

They were put in trust in 1957 by Sherrifa Zain Alsharoff Mohamed Alsagoff, whose great-grandmother Hajjah Fatimah built Hajjah Fatimah Mosque in Beach Road.

She wanted rental income to be used to provide free medicine to people of all races and religions but rent controls meant there was not enough money to do so.

In its new form, the Red House should bring in more income. But SLP International Property Consultants research head Nicholas Mak cautions that the property's value would depend on how well conservation was carried out.

“Does it help the aesthetics of the building or does it hinder redevelopment?” he asked.

Warees Investments stresses that the project would be in keeping with the historic character of Katong. Designed for “heritage investors”, it would have the bakery as its main feature, said the developer's general manager (corporate) Muhd Haifan Usalli.

Along with its facade, the Red House's traditional floor tiles and pillars will be preserved.

By The Straits Times/Asia News Network

S’pore urban planners building reputations abroad

SINGAPORE: He started as an urban planner with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in 1991. But Leow Kim Guan, 49, had designs on more than Singapore. He now has his own booming company, building whole cities in China.

Leow, who set up SCP Consultants as a one-man company in 2004, now has 40 employees in its Singapore office and 230 in China, and has notched up 307 urban-planning projects.

He enthuses: “There are many developing countries looking to have properly planned cities or towns. The market for urban planners is so big.”

His is one of a number of Singaporean companies making their mark building cities abroad. Foreign governments and companies from South America to Russia, on the lookout for skilled urban planners, are beating a path to their doors.

It turns out that modern Singapore, with its 46 years of building a gleaming, efficient and eminently liveable city-state, with industrial and business parks and carefully planned suburban neighbourhoods, has been an ideal environment for urban planners to take that know-how and vision to the world.

Some urban planners, such as Leow, started out in their own backyard in Singapore working for government agencies such as the URA and Housing Board, planning suburban neighbourhoods. Others began in the planning units of private companies whose main business was in a related field.

Now, their achievements are being celebrated in an exhibition at the URA Centre in Maxwell Road until June 1.

Images and photographic panels of overseas projects by six local urban planning companies, including SCP Consultants, DP Architects and Jurong Consultants, are on display.

Djoko Prihanto, senior vice-president at Surbana Urban Planning Group, also one of the six companies, said having the Singapore stamp gave local companies an advantage on the international playing field.

He said: “Companies and governments who have come here see for themselves how the city is planned. They have strong confidence that we can pull it off successfully.”

Nina Yang, an executive director at CPG Consultants and the master planner for the eastern catchment of Singapore and the media park in one-north, said Singapore was a “textbook example” for other countries to see how their cities or towns could look like.

“For most of the planning work that we do overseas, Singapore offers wonderful built examples for study.”

She added that this made for a powerful selling tool that helped clients make informed decisions.

And with five billion people expected to live in cities by 2030, the need for urban planners particularly those with the coveted Singapore “branding” can only increase.

With the business of designing cities hitting new heights, Leow, for one, was hoping to expand his company.

The snag? He is having trouble finding Singaporean planners to join his team. “I want my planners to be familiar with Singapore's practices. But the planners' pool here is already so small that even if I want to expand, I may not be able to find the right person.”

Even a successful city has its limits, it seems.

By The Straits Times/Asia News Network

S’poreans forfeit option fee on mass market units as cold feet take over

SINGAPORE: Buyers of 107 new private homes had a change of heart last month and returned their units to developers.

The numbers, contained in a report from Goldman Sachs, show that even in a hot market, some people get cold feet. The same report also stated that 100 homes were returned the month before.

That means these buyers have paid an option fee but have chosen not to exercise the option and go ahead to complete the purchase.

When someone buys a new condominium, they put down an initial option fee of 5% to “reserve” the unit.

After that fee is paid, the developer of the project has 14 days or more to issue the sales and purchase documents as well as the title deed. From then, the buyer has three weeks to exercise the option to purchase the unit. In some cases, this whole process could take up to eight to nine weeks.

If the buyer chooses to back out, he forfeits a quarter of the option fee, or 1.25% of the purchase price.That could mean forfeiting S$12,500 on a S$1mil unit, or a S$75,000 for a high-end one costing S$6mil.

The 107 units returned in March could have been bought in either January or February.

Analysts were not surprised by the high number of options lapsing, as the number of options lapsing tends to correlate to the number of sales made. Buyers bought 4,289 units in the first two months of the year.

In March, most of the returned units came from the mass market, but this could be because more projects were launched in the sector.

The Straits Times looked at a sample of 15 upcoming projects and found, for instance, 11 units were returned at the 689-unit Parc Rosewood in Woodlands.

Apartments at the 99-year condominium were sold for a median per sq ft price of S$994.

Watertown, a 992-unit mixed-use development in Punggol, had 17 units returned. Units were sold for a median per sq ft of S$1,341.

Bartley Residences, with average prices of S$1,240 per sq ft after discounts, and The Hillier, priced at about S$1,289 per sq ft, both had nine units returned.

The luxury homes sector, which is in the doldrums, also saw some units being returned.

For example, Skyline@Orchard Boulevard, where an apartment recently went for S$4,442 per sq ft, had one unit returned.

Prices there could easily exceed S$6.5mil, as the smallest unit is 1,744 sq ft in size.

The Scotts Tower also faced one cancellation. Earlier this year, a unit there fetched S$3,567 per sq ft.

Likewise, PropNex chief executive Mohamed Ismail noted that no new cooling measures had been introduced in the market since last December, which meant many buyers could be pulling out because of personal reasons.

“It's a glaring number but there's nothing to worry about. It's common to have a handful of units being returned every month of each project,” he said.

Nicholas Mak, head of research at SLP International Property Consultancy, also noted that the projects with the most units returned Watertown, The Hillier and Parc Rosewood included shoebox units.

“Sometimes, people are under peer pressure' at crowded showflats... They go home and speak to more people and decide not to buy it. They'd rather forfeit the 1.25% than regret buying it,” he said.

Ong Kah Seng, director at R'ST Research, shared similar sentiments, adding that some may have bought in haste.

By The Straits Times/Asia News Network

Firms to discuss Medini Iskandar investment

The developer of catalytic projects in Iskandar Malaysia, Iskandar Investment Bhd, has entered into a collaboration agreement with the MCT Group, to discuss the latter's proposed investment into Medini Iskandar, Nusajaya.

Medini Iskandar is a urban development project located within the Nusajaya development zone.

Under the agreement, MCT intends to develop buildings comprising SOHO/studio units, a hotel and a boutique retail gallery.

Iskandar Investment President and Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim said MCT's presence would complement efforts in the transformation of Medini Iskandar into the central business district of Nusajaya.

"The projects and lifestyle developments proposed by MCT within Nusajaya will play a role in influencing the developments in Iskandar Malaysia," he said in a statement today.

MCT, a major local property developer, is involved in businesses related to power substations, transmission, distribution and engineering services.

By Bernama

UK property brings global prospects for E&O

PETALING JAYA: The acquisition of Princes House in Central London by Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) is an ideal opportunity for the Penang developer to market its hospitality and property offerings in Malaysia to a global audience.

E&O managing director Datuk Terry Tham Ka Hon said the company was considering plans to set up E&O's first London office at Princes House, and the acquisition might bring new prospects in the form of Malaysia My Second Home residents, hotel guests or other forms of investment flows, to Penang.

Tham says the acquisition of Princes House represents a low-risk entry into the prime Central London property sector.

“Our greater ambition for the E&O group has always been made known, that of extending E&O's presence and brand further afield, both regionally and internationally,” he told StarBiz via e-mail.

Tham said E&O was fortunate to have been considered in the purchase for Princes House. “E&O was not alone in our interest to own this very prime and attractive property,” he said.

On Monday, E&O had announced that it had agreed to acquire Princes House as its first major overseas property, which is a prime freehold office-cum-retail building in Central London, for £20.25mil or about RM100.91mil.

The vendor for Princes House is the Strathclyde Pension Fund.

Tham said the purchase price was arrived at after taking into consideration the independent market valuation report by Jones Lang LaSalle.

Princes House commands a prime position on the west side of Kingsway in the heart of London's Midtown.

Constructed in the early 1920s, the Princes House is a mixed-use building comprising about 46,087 sq ft of office and retail space.

Tham had said Princes House would continue to be let for office use but it also had redevelopment potential, subject to planning permission.

“This may include E&O-branded serviced suites or residential apartments which would find a ready rental and sale market, given its proximity to the University of London, London School of Economics as well as the Inns of Court where student accommodation and legal offices are always in demand,” he said.

Princes House London

Tham also pointed out that Princes House represented a low-risk entry into the prime Central London property sector, which provided an immediate avenue for leasing to generate rental income given its established location.

The purchase will be funded by internal funds and bank borrowings.

“This is by no means a burden to the balance sheet given that office rental income from Princes House is immediately forthcoming, and the potential for future conversion has ready demand in both rental and sale markets in this part of London that sees capital appreciation consistently outperforming all United Kingdom property indices,” said Tham.

According to Tham, based on the current mixed-used office and retail profile of the building, it would be reasonable to expect a yield of around 5.5% for the West End area where Princes House is located.

The ground floor of Princes House is currently occupied by leading British fashion designer Paul Smith on a lease expiring in 2017.

The upper first to eighth floor of the building is presently vacant, as the previous owner did not renew the tenant lease due to its intention to dispose of the property.

Tham reiterated that Princes House was located in the much sought-after London borough of Westminster.

“The London property market, particularly in the prestigious boroughs of Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster, being the most expensive in that order, shows a resilience that is supported by its international appeal.”

According to London-based broker Knight Frank LLP, luxury home prices in Central London rose the most in 10 months in March 2012.

Tham said London still led the world in financial services, “and it is where international elites and celebrities flock to buy homes, where middle-class parents aspire to send their children for top-rated education, and if affordability permits, to buy a more humble base, where tourists save to holiday and experience those instantly recognisable London icons, whether it is at the steps of Big Ben or Trafalgar Square, in the British Museum or Tate Gallery, catch a musical in the West End or shopping at Harrods. The lure of London is like no other.”

He highlighted a Jones Lang LaSalle report last week, where it was noted that buyers from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore accounted for 51% of new property purchases in Central London neighbourhoods that the broker handled, up from 47% a year ago.

“This puts E&O at a definite advantage, with our established brand recognised in Malaysia and increasingly across Asia, and our database, many of whom are repeat buyers, who fit the profile of those who would be keen to own a unit at Princes House once converted into residential apartments or serviced suites.”

According to the Jones Lang LaSalle Property Predictions 2012, the UK's gross domestic product is expected to rise 0.4% in 2012, a nascent recovery that will be led by the Central London economy due to its strong international links and its attractions as a safe haven.

The rebound in all-property capital values in the UK recorded since 2009 was supported by the office sector in Central London, which experienced appreciation of about 38%.

The recovery of the UK economy will in turn benefit commercial properties, particularly quality buildings in prime locations.

Meanwhile, Tham pointed out that the company's Seri Tanjung Pinang Phase II development in Penang was progressing on track at the stage of environmental and technical impact assessments as well as masterplan conceptualisation.

“Given that it represents the last sizeable prime tract in land-scarce George Town, and based on our very successful track record in transforming an abandoned area into what is now the vibrant community of Seri Tanjung Pinang Phase I, we are confident that future reclamation and development will attract the necessary partners and funding, from sources both locally and overseas,” he said.

By The Star