Category: Property (26)

THERE is a paradigm shift taking place if you did not notice. This has influenced lifestyles, which in turn have led to changes in the run of the mill. The normal and conventional way things were once done are pretty much bowing out, welcoming a newness that has also found its way into the real estate scene across the globe.

The root cause behind these changes according to a report on "Global Cities by Frank Knight", are said to basically stem from:

>> the era of low to negative interest rates which has reduced investors' expectations on what constitutes an acceptable return;

>> the avalanche of technological innovation which has seen over 60% of Earth's citizens owning a smartphone; andour current "innovation economy" where supply is not keeping pace with demand in both commercial and residential real estate, causing tech and creative firms to rely on pre-let deals to accommodate growth while their young employees struggle to find affordable homes.

In a nutshell, the report informs of the rising of technology firms and creative workers around the globe that are attracting talents and high-value professionals at the top of the recruitment wanted list, hence inciting the rapid growth of "global cities".

Rise of global cities

States the report: "The urban economy is increasingly people-centric. Whether a city is driven by finance, aerospace, commodities, defence or manufacturing, the most important asset is a large pool of educated and creative workers." In this new era, these creative talents of the new age workforce are considered highly-prized commodity. And global cities are expected to thrive or sink on their ability to attract this key demographic. This in turn, has caused real estate to increasingly become a business that seeks to build an environment that attracts and retains such people, something that is already taking place around the globe.

To slowly take us into this newness of things, let us first look at some terminology which has become quite the rage where property is concerned. We have been hearing a lot of terms and catchy phrases such as "live-work-play environments", "mixed-use developments and integrated spaces", as well as "buildings with beds" among other modern day buzzwords. Scrutinise these phrases of the times and notice how they all point toward lifestyles.
With that, let us first explore the catchy phrases and fascinating terminology associated with the sprouting of such cities across the globe.

'Live-Work-Play' environments

Some consider a ubiquitous phrase deemed founded simply by the root of the very demand for a "live-work-play" (LWP) lifestyle. Apparently, it was not coined up by developers
or those in urban planning, and has increasingly become a standard by which "mixed-use" developments are measured. The concept has been known to have some link with "Maslow's hierarchy of needs" - much of which today's generation feel that a more apt name would be "live-work-play-eat-shop" (LWPES).

'Mixed-Use' developments

There are a variety of descriptions to mixed-use developments. However, a more generic depiction would be "a pedestrian-friendly urban development that consists of a mix of residential, commercial, cultural, institutional/industrial spaces that blend, and physically and functionally integrate. The concept also known as "integrated developments" can be accomplished via a building, a housing area/district/community, or even a township/city.

'Buildings with Beds'

Considering the demographic shift that is leaning towards the:

 younger workforce comprising millennials who lead quick-paced lifestyles and are almost always on-the-go, interacting with a global pool of networks;

 not forgetting the international influx of foreign/global higher education students;

 plus senior living and healthcare as there is a large ageing population that is growing – according to UN projections, a 12% increase in the number of people above age 75 between 2015 and 2020; and

 an increase in the number of global jet-setters including those who travel for work and leisure – IATA forecasts suggesting global passenger numbers rising around 5% per year for the next five years.

With modernisation and a society that is "pressed for time" and more "connected" on-line than in reality – mobile work spaces and inner-city living are moving also towards "buildings with beds" – homes that offer a roof over one's head that basically provide a place to sleep. Demographics are said to favour investment in housing for people at the beginning and end of their adult life. "Residential investment is moving into the mainstream through growth in the private, rented sector as demographics and globalisation support demand for hotels, student housing, senior living and healthcare," reported an article by Knight Frank head of data analytics Mark Clacy-Jones.

Exemplar cities

Along with changes in technology that has affected the way companies are born and how they function, thus the evolution of society, hence, flux in lifestyles, the way the masses engage, network and integrate. With this mega shift, property investors – landlords and leasers across the real estate spectrum must be "in the know" about where "creation" is taking place and limit their exposure to where there is "destruction". [creation – areas and regions generating hype activity that are drawing the pool of today's talents and businesses; destruction – areas and regions that are inflexible, refuse to advance with the evolved times, including cities that prefer to remain with the "old" unaccommodating ways of doing things]

Citing an excerpt from an article by James Roberts called Super Cities – "The industries that drive the modern Global City are not dependent on machinery or commodities, but people, delivering economic flexibility ... The most flexible cities command the highest real estate rents and lowest yields, and that will continue as they cope best with rapid change.

With the current trend established founded on – speed and agility, fluid and motile – the common challenge for landlords according to Roberts is how to assess firms (tenants) that do not even have a three-year record of existence but are clearly "the future". The answer he says, is that both landlord and tenant need to approach real estate deals with flexibility – "The landlord giving ground on lease terms and financial track records, and the tenant, compensating the landlord for the increased risk via a higher rent".

Emerging market cities

With the rapid changes that have been taking place and the constant global evolution among the masses, Roberts reminds that countries once booming just a few years ago due to rising commodity prices are now adapting to slower growth. Those that were dismissed as "busted flushes in 2009 due to high exposure to financial services", and adapted to changes in technology adopting fresh innovation in the their businesses, are now thriving as innovation centres.

Such "emerging market cities" are those that have repositioned themselves away from manufacturing and moved toward creative services, many of which present "a new challenge to the western global cities". A perfect example would have to be Shanghai, claims Roberts, "now seeing rapid expansion of its tech and creative services".

While emerging markets develop into global cities, they adapt to win over the right talents and high-skilled workers for the workforce by spreading "benefits". These include improving job security and the quality of life to attract and retain the right demographic of younger generation talents, who have already become central to the economy of a country.

The global market cycle

According to Knight Frank head of commercial research Dr Lee Elliott, there are mixed signals market observers have picked up eight years post the financial crisis.

These include:

 the complex intersection of the economic cycle locked in a rhythm of low growth;

 the business cycle which is highly variable evident in corporate cautiousness and selective investment by businesses which has fuelled demand in global real estate markets;

 a property cycle relating to real estate supply and demand; and

 a property cycle relating to capital flows and their impact on pricing.

"On the whole, there is confusion and uncertainty in the market with so much change taking place. However, there seems to be a drive in rental growth as the cycle moves forward. This appeals to global real estate investors who are already attracted to the relative out-performance of real estate assets in a low interest rate and low yielding economic environment," Elliott states in his article. His overall view: "There is road to run in 2017".

On the whole, lifestyles are changing, quick is getting quicker, markets are exciting in areas that attract the key demographic of creatively skilled talent deemed "highly-prized commodity". Where there is this pool of people, there is population growth which leads to the mushrooming of global cities. Infrastructure also has a role to play where global cities are concerned as "they act as the lines that join up the real estate dots" reads an article in the Knight Frank report. And with the lifestyle of the modern millennial, living in an all-comprehensive "cubicle within a tower – live-work-play/mixed-use development/buildings with beds" isn't such a fantasy anymore as all one's wants and needs are basically a "screen-touch and hop, skip and jump" away.

Follow our column next week with more insights on global cities and lifestyle trends altering the real estate industry.





  • MIP Properties Sdn Bhd创办人与总裁Alan Kuan
  • KGV International Property Consultants执行董事Anthony Chua
  • CBD Properties (KD) Sdn Bhd执行董事Daphne Chan
  • Nawawi Tie Leung Real Estate Consultants Sdn Bhd董事经理Eddy Wong
  • Hartamas Real Estate Sdn Bhd集团董事经理Eric Lim
  • 大马房地产经纪协会(MIEA)主席与Mapleland Properties Sdn Bhd 总裁Erick Kho
  • CBRE|WTW董事经理Foo Gee Jen
  • VPC Alliance Property Consultants董事经理James Wong
  • PA International Property Consultants (KL) Sdn Bhd董事经理Jerome Hong
  • Oregeon Property Consultancy Sdn Bhd董事Joean Lee
  • Reapfield Group营运总监Jonathan Lee
  • MacReal International Sdn Bhd创办人Michael Kong
  • Knight Frank Malaysia董事经理Sarkunan Subramaniam
  • Metro Homes董事See Kok Loong
  • PPC International董事经理Datuk Siders Sittampalam
  • LaurelCap Sdn Bhd执行董事Stanley Toh
  • The One Property International执行董事Stephen Yew
  • Henry Butcher Real Estate Sdn Bhd营运总监Tang Chee Meng
  • One Sunterra Properties Sdn Bhd仲介主管Terence Yap
  • JLL Property Services (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd董事经理YY Lau

1. 焦点重移隆市和Mont’Kiara

建议地点:KLCC、Ampang KL、Mont’Kiara、KL Metropolis、Bandar Malaysia和TRX

有关隆新高铁(HSR)开跑、TRX、Bandar Malaysia及KL Metropolis发展的报道,将市场焦点再度转移至吉隆坡市中心。

2. 已经成熟城镇应关注

建议地点:Cheras、Kepong、Sentul、Jalan Kuching、Jalan Ipoh、Selayang 和Old Klang Road



3. 继续南移

建议地点:Kajang、Semenyih、Sepang、Kota Warisan、Cyberjaya、Putrajaya和Bangi

随着越来越多高速公路的提升与建设,巴生谷或大吉隆坡的南部地区已不再是离吉隆坡市中心或Petaling Jaya很遥远的偏僻地区。


4. 紧跟MRT或LRT路线

建议地点:Ara Damansara、Tropicana、Kota Damansara、Mutiara Damansara、Bandar Utama和Kwasa Damansara



建议地点:Klang、Shah Alam、Teluk Panglima Garang、Bukit Jalil、Ijok、Rawang和Kundang


ACCORDING to the CBRE / WTW 2017 Real Estate Market Outlook report, the property market dipped further in Q3 2016. It revealed that transaction activity dropped; agricultural land remained the second most active, after residential properties; the commercial sector fell to third place; followed by development land. City wise, Selangor made it as the most active, followed by Johor. Additionally, the National Property Information Centre (Napic) reported that 57% of residential property transactions in Q3 2016 were priced below RM250,000 while 43% were recorded between RM250,001 and RM1 million.

Following is the gist of the property scene in major sectors across Malaysia.

Klang Valley

On the whole, the 2016 property market performance was reported as “subdued”. No signs of improvement is forecast for 2017. With new supply of various property types that include offices, retail, hotels and condominiums nearing completion in significant quantities within the next year, in contrast to the slowdown in economic growth, there are concerns of a large market supply situation across property sectors.

However, as travelling becomes more affordable and the momentum picks up on tourist arrivals, the market sentiments remain buoyant. Moreover, 2017 expects to see landed residential prices stabilising with minimal growth and more new developments within the “affordable” housing category.

A press conference by JLL recently also hinted on InvestKL’s plans to attract multi-national corporations and foreign companies to invest in Kuala Lumpur’s appealing office market – especially looking at the exciting infrastructure developments that will be opening up new areas in and around KL.

Similarly, in the industrial sector, there is keen interest reported from foreign investors
for our local industrial projects, especially our industrial parks.

This has led developers to take notice of the stable industrial property demand, which will consequently lead to employment opportunities and spin-off to
more housing and commercial property demand.


Likewise, the property market in Penang last year was also reported to be subdued. Overall, market activity showed a downtrend compared to that in 2015. According to Napic’s report, property transactions dropped across residential, commercial and industrial sectors, but in terms of value, the industrial sector recorded a hike. Reasons for the glum market – high loan application rejections, smaller growth in income, rising living costs, dampened business and consumer sentiments after the announcement of Budget 2017, the depreciating ringgit value against major currencies and other global political occurrences.

However, the market slowdown was not applicable across the board as landed property in prime locations maintained, and some, appreciated marginally in value. For major events involving land and property developments in Penang for 2016, refer to the CBRE/WTW Real Estate Market Outlook 2017 report.

Projects and proposals that may aid in a more positive outlook in 2017 include:
»more dense affordable housing developments priced at RM300,000 and below;
»a memorandum of understanding was signed for urban renewal works (which preserve heritage values) that will take place in four areas around Butterworth; and
»the “Gurney Wharf” master plan.


Iskandar Malaysia’s comprehensive development plan is already in its second half of its 20-year framework (2006 to 2025). The region has so far recorded a cumulative investment of RM208 billion with 60% said to come from local investors. Of the total investment, 51% is realised on the ground – the largest contributor to the committed investments coming from retail/mixed development, followed by manufacturing, then residential.

While the Iskandar Malaysia market was slow in 2016 (due to the overall global market), Napic recorded RM10.57 billion worth of transactions.

The year was reported exciting for the office sector with the market witnessing four office building transactions valued at RM1.24 billion. Rentals for purpose-built offices set a new benchmark in Iskandar Puteri.

The hotel sector was said to have picked up pace due to rapid development of the Iskandar Malaysia economic corridor, additional direct flights connecting Johor to Asian countries, as well as more property developments promoted internationally. The weakening ringgit was also noted to have encourgaed more tourism activities there.

On the whole, Johor experienced a general slowdown in terms of transaction activities and new high-end development products, particularly in residential sub-sectors. This has caused developers to diversify their plans to offer more affordable products to meet market needs.

In the industrial sector, some MNC companies are reported to be still exploring and expanding their investments in Iskandar Malaysia.


Generally a lacklustre market in Sabah for 2016 with a slowdown in transaction activities. Reasons being softer market sentiments and continued strict lending measures imposed by the Central Bank and financial institutions. Still, prices of properties, even those in attractive locations have remained and not declined.

Fewer property launches we recorded compared to 2015 – dominating the market were new mid-market segment condominium launches. Forecast for 2017 in this sector is predicted to have little change given the expected challenging economic conditions and other reasons.


Property in 2016 was sluggish for Sarawak, rather flat with fewer launches on the whole except for certain sub-sectors of stratified housing launched as part of a mixed development retail-residential concept. Construction activities also saw a general slowdown with the market struggling to finish completing off launched units.

Properties in prime and attractive locations were reported to be still in demand despite the softer market. Prices have also generally remained and not dipped. With the slowdown, affordable housing is and has as before, been in demand, and will do well given reasonable locations and suitable house types.

The recent approval by the Sarawak Planning Authority to increase development density there from eight to 10 units for landed housing and 24 to 30 units for stratified housing, is expected to set the pathway for private developers to build more affordable housing developments.

The general outlook for 2017 is reported to be stormy and unpredictable, with a generally overbuilt environment, slower absorption rate, increased household debt, more stringent financing situations and increased costs of businesses and living. Reduced consumer spending is expected to crimp demand and affect the construction and retail sectors negatively.

However, exceptional areas like Bintulu and Mukah, earmarked under the 10th and 11th Malaysia Plan, are expected to spearhead growth in Sarawak due to the implementation of mega projects.

Overall view

For the chart on the recent past and future market outlook across major property sub-sectors and regional areas in Malaysia, contact CBRE / WTW for its research on the Asia Pacific Real Estate Market Outlook.
VALENTINE'S Day, like any celebration of old, has a history that is as complicated as some relationships. While some say it is the commemoration of the death of St Valentine (who was a martyr that secretly married Christian couples and helped them escape during the reign of Emperor Claudius II), others believe it was the church that popularised Valentine’s Day as a way to downplay “Lupercalia”, a fertility festival (which was dedicated to the Roman god of agriculture Faunus and the Roman founders Romulus and Remus). On the other hand, there are some who simply believe that Feb 14 is a day marking the start of bird mating season (no pun intended)!

Though St Valentine’s Day is not widely celebrated in Malaysia (especially these days), we still see stores primmed and preened in pinks and reds to commemorate the “Day of Romance”. No doubt we should love and appreciate our loved ones every day of the year but we do not. So, take this day as a cue to shower those close to your heart with an extra dose of love – be it your spouse, children, parents, family or friends.

And what better way to fan the flames of romance than to dress interiors accordingly and ignite that loving feeling.


Still not over Christmas yet? Luckily, because Valentine’s wreaths are an actual thing! Make your own wreath in the traditional circular shape or the more romantic heart shape. Use fake flowers, felt flowers, paper flowers or pom-poms in colours of red, pink and white.

Flamingo Toes blogger Beverly McCullough made a vintage-style Valentine’s Day wreath using a foam wreath, then covering it in white, pastel pink and blue yarn. Afterwards, she added a garland of felt hearts, a felt bow and yarn pom-poms, finishing it off with a pair of lovebirds sitting on a tiny branch. Just looking at it makes hearts go aflutter!


In keeping to the theme of “Christmas in Valentine’s Day”, swap the bouquets of flowers and go rustic with a long vase of twigs with little ornaments hanging from them.

Imitate the blooming of flowers in spring by attaching paper hearts along the branches in varying sizes and colours. For an added rustic touch, use a water pitcher as a vase. The branches can also be wrapped in yarn to add a feel of warmth and cosiness to it.

For a more modern take, paint the branches white and substitute the red and pink flowers for black, white, silver and gold hearts instead. If you still want to keep with tradition and stick to the usual colours, sprinkle half of the paper hearts with gold glitter, such as The House That Lars Built founder Brittany Watson Jepsen did in her “Valentine’s Day Branch Tree” tutorial. Jepsen used scrapbook papers of pink, red, white and glitter to make 3D hearts. Little clip-on birds were added for extra colour and personality.

Alternatively, make simple paper roses out of circles of paper and stick them onto the branches. Others have made hearts out of felt and hung them on the tree.


Garlands seem to be a favourite decor piece on Valentine’s Day! In other countries, garlands are commonly hung across the fireplace under the mantel. In Malaysia, we can adapt and string them just about anywhere – cupboards, walls, staircases or shelves.

Instead of stringing together the usual plain paper hearts, look for heart-shaped doilies, make felt hearts, crochet some yarn hearts or make pom-pom balls and put those unused playing cards to work or even conversation hearts made out of paper.

Clean Scentsible founder Jenn Lifford reworked a burlap heart banner she found at a discount store retailer. Taking it apart, she then took French script ribbons and made a ruffled line before sewing the burlap pieces and heart shapes onto the line. The rustic piece fitted in perfectly against the backdrop of her modern-styled kitchen cabinet. In the piano room, she made paper banners out of colourful scrapbook paper and stuck on family photographs. Garlands and banners make great festive decor pieces. They can also be wrapped up and kept easily until the next round of celebrations.


There are so many ways to decorate walls for Valentine’s Day! Classic in Gray founder Jessica Hirsche made a neutral-toned heart no-weave-wall hanging using just rods and yarns as material. The wall hanging basically comprises three rods holding varying lengths of white and grey yarn placed on top of each other in descending lengths. This DIY is great for those with Scandinavian-styled homes.

However, if you are keen on keeping with the trend of geometric shapes, then try Jeran McConnel of Oleander and Palm’s tutorial for a giant geometric wall heart. The wall art piece uses just sheets of scrapbook paper in two shades of pink and gold. Cut the sheets into triangles, arrange them into a heart shape and then stick it on! (This can also be done on a smaller scale for a framed piece.)

Another geometric heart DIY project is by Jess of Make and Do crew. Using lots of popsicle sticks, Jess stacks the popsicle sticks on top of each another to create a wall piece of three intertwined hearts. A template is provided on the blog for better guidance with the shape.


If you are looking for more functional pieces (or a cuddle partner), then dress your pillows up for the occasion. Find a simple magenta-coloured pillow case and stencil on common Valentine’s Day phrases such as “XOXO” or “LOVE”, etc. To add more personality to the room, turn a plain white pillowcase into a colourful one with polka dots or hearts.

For a more muted tone, try cross-stitching a heart onto a grey pillow case. Sew-on felt pieces also seem to be a popular choice. You can channel a more modern luxury style using black and white pillow covers with gold scallop trimmings. Sarah Hearts founder Sarah Khandjian used gold pleather (imitation leather made from polyurethane) to give her pillows a more luxurious touch. On a white cover, she used gold pleather cut into scalloped trimming while on a black with white polka dot cover, she cut a big heart out of the pleather and sewed it on.

With St Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we hope these suggestions will help you add hints of romance to interiors to inspire love. Spark love within your homes and make your Valentine’s Day a lot more colourful and fun by focusing on the amusing and enjoyable aspects of these DIY decorations ...better still, done together with your loved ones.
HAVING over the past two weeks written on the global and regional real estate outlook, this week we feature CBRE / WTW’s overview of 2016 and what can be expected in 2017.

2016 overview

Fundamentally, you could say that the property industry runs alongside the economy of the country. As reported in CBRE / WTW’s report, domestic consumption rose, driven by spending in areas that include F&B, transportation and communication. Government consumption also grew (according to year-on-year basis) – with expenditure owing to infrastructure.

Net exports saw mixed results – slower demand from China and reduced exports from the US but the weakening ringgit enticing and increasing Malaysian exports even further. The weak ringgit also opened opportunities for foreign investment.

Other than the global rout in oil prices that has led to a significant number of layoffs in the oil and gas sector, the weakening business sentiment and slowdown in the overall trading is also expected to be more apparent, but in the short term.
Looking positive was the growth rate of retail sales which remained buoyant despite softer consumer spending and the rising costs of living. According to the report, strong support was seen from tourists in retail spending from shopping. The weakening ringgit is expected to encourage tourists’ spending.

2017 outlook

In the Year of the Rooster, the country’s economic growth is expected to be slower due to the challenging global economic and financial landscape. Domestic demand is said to be the key driver of growth, sustained primarily by economic activity from the private sector. Due to the well diversified nature of our country’s exports, positive growth is projected into the year. However, inflation is expected to remain flat although pressured by increase of several price-administered items and the weak ringgit exchange rate.

The impact of these cost factors on inflation is expected to be mitigated by continued low global energy prices, generally subdued global inflation and more moderate domestic demand. Supportive fiscal and monetary policies are also expected to help steady the ship for economic growth. GST will strengthen the government’s revenue source to accommodate its fiscal measures.

With the overall weakening ringgit, low crude oil prices coupled with worldwide geo-political issues will continue to plague the economy in 2017. No doubt, the year will be a challenging one, but Malaysia’s economy is anticipated to remain stable with GDP growth estimated at 4.2%.

Real estate market outlook in Malaysia

As uncertainties and concerns over the large market supply remains unabated, loan growth is expected to slow further as the weak credit cycle continues.

Apart from the stringent loan requirements from financial institutions that are said to have caused the drop in the number of property transactions, the increasing cost of living and economic uncertainties have led to an upswing in worries about job security, resulting in more cautious consumer spending. These and more will have led the market to consist of more genuine purchasers with speculative sentiments not as strong as during the boom period.

As such, supply has remained resilient with greater activity in larger cities. The proposal to boost public servants’ housing loan eligibility proposed by the government, may stimulate some residential sales, apart from other plans to increase the number of units of low and medium cost, affordable housing. No doubt residential development will continue to be active beyond the KL fringe, especially supported by the rapid infrastructure development.


Looking at the real estate outlook in the Klang Valley for 2017 (refer boons and banes), key drivers to a positive year are expected to come from infrastructure – HSR, MRT and LRT additional lines and stations, new highways and expressways. While Johor and Seremban are expected to gain from the “spillover” effected from new infrastructure, residential hotspots to take note of include – Selangor Vision City, Nilai/Pajam, Semenyih/Kajang, Putrajaya/Cyberjaya, Rawang/Ijok/Kuang, Sungai Buloh and Kuala Selangor.

Key drivers that will push these areas are scarcity of land in the city centre, high land costs in the city as well as the improved connectivity in view of new infrastructure.

In his message at the launch of the 2016/2017 report, CBRE / WTW managing director Foo Gee Jen shared that on-ground consensus among practitioners throughout all its branches across Malaysia is that market conditions have become much more challenging in 2016 and that 2017 will not get any better.

Transaction activity is down in many urban centres, especially in the residential sector, which Foo said is a common barometer to gauge the overall property market. However, although figures in CBRE /WTW’s outlook report are discouraging, there is still a glimmer of hope for the year to correct itself once the mass rapid transportation system in Kuala Lumpur and other similar transport systems are up and running.


Foo’s view on the whole: “Another flattish period pulled down by mostly low commodity prices, continued slow economic growth in most major countries, especially with political uncertainties like Brexit, Trump’s presidency and other referendums in Europe.”

His advice: “Reduce portfolios of non-strategic assets to reduce loan gearing and be aware of liquidity needs if and when credit tightens. Investors and developers should focus on taking calculated risks where markets are strong, pursue developments in strong, supply-constrained markets and bid on strategic long-hold assets that are most likely able to withstand a downturn.”

Information and charts/graphs were retrieved from the CBRE / WTW 2017 Malaysia Real Estate Market Outlook. Follow our column next week on interior design, followed by office space in KL and market direction across various regions in Malaysia.

»Property investment will remain one of the safest forms of investment.
»The demand for affordable housing is likely to become acute.
»Genuine demand will lead the market.
»The market is expected to cool down with prices becoming more negotiable.
»Areas with good transportation connectivity (near MRT I & II, HSR, highways) will continue to be hotspots.
»Demographic forces will continue to drive underlying demand for residential properties.

»On-going concerns on the overall weak ringgit, low crude oil prices and worldwide geo-political issues will continue to plague the economy.
»Challenging year for developers.
»More savvy home buyers.
WHILE last week we published views on the global outlook, this week we explore the market in various regions as well as the local scene.

It's a new year and looking at how the property market and our local currency fared in 2016, many are sceptical. With that, we have compiled views and comments from various industry specialists and market professionals for a better idea of what can be expected in the Year of the Rooster.

Regional overview

According to JLL's forecast for 2017 delivered by its global capital markets research director, David Green-Morgan, the amount of capital targeting real estate across the world will remain constant, with volumes expected to exceed slightly. However, political and market uncertainty will likely perpetuate into the year.

Green-Morgan shares that performance in two of the region's biggest markets, Australia and Japan, was down by 17% and 1% respectively, with China recording a 19% increase.

Over in the UK, it was a rollercoaster with Brexit, which saw a decline in currency terms and overall volume, yet the English managed to battle it out and end the year with just a 11% drop. Outperformers for the year were Germany (up by 11%) and Central and Eastern Europe (up by 70%) – notably Poland and the Czech Republic.

In the Americas, the market ended 9% lower than the previous year with Canada slightly outperforming the rest of the region by ending the year just 3% below its figures for 2015.

Local landscape

According to property experts at a forum conducted by PropertyGuru, as rising living costs and smaller income growth are still concerns that are being carried into the new year, these will likely cause affordability issues and high loan application rejection rates to persist, which will, if not already, lead to falling property prices. Moreover, with oversupply in some segments of high-rise residences – this will likely cause a drop in the selling price of property, especially for those who do not have holding power and may need to liquidate their properties.

With many in the oil and gas and banking industries who have been given the pink slip (especially foreigners/expats), renters will be spoiled for choice, even more, as the number of vacant leased homes/properties increase, causing landlords to drop rates. Then again, depending on which "side of the fence you're on", there will be losers and gainers unless one has had the foresight and considered a long-term investment plan beforehand.

Hotspots and mantle plumes

The effect from rejected bank loans and those needing to cash out on their properties will most likely see a rise in the number of rentals, especially those situated in strategic locations, facilitated with good public transportation or located in easily connected/accessible areas.

Areas to take note of are the Transit Oriented Developments (TODs) – property development projects that are connected or located in close proximity to MRT, LRT or monorail stations. And with Prasarana's seven additional TOD projects (in Selangor alone) expected to be completed within the next four years, plus construction of the High Speed Rail scheduled in 2018, not forgetting the MRT line that will soon connect the north and south sectors of Greater Kuala Lumpur – the property scene here is expected to be bustling.

Bane for some, boon for others Ultimately, the general consensus on the property outlook for 2017 is interesting. Apart from all the excitement that will come about from the above mentioned, as prices slump, more so with the Selangor Housing and Property Board (LPHS) implementing a price cap on Sohos, Sofos and Sovos, plus serviced apartments –the local market will become even more attractive to foreigners (considering the fate of our currency).

Our neighbours in Singapore are expected to have a field day buying their second/third homes, weekend getaway haunts or properties for investment. As it is, word has it that the Chinese and Indonesians, apart from other foreign nationals have already secured their property purchases and looking to invest in more. Bottomline – tenants and landlords will have "their days" and cash-rich investors are expected to be the biggest beneficiaries, bargain hunting and negotiating for the best rock-bottom deals in the most advantageous locations.

Follow our column next week on a more in-depth outlook of our local property market.

Comments and views from the public

>> With the amendment to the Stamp and Strata Title Act, there will be fundamental changes to the way property dealings are done.

>> It is a good time for developers with strong and stable standing, as well as foreigners looking to purchase/invest in Malaysian properties.

>> Optimistic view on 2017 especially with a few known deals signed between China and Malaysia, which will influence and set off a chain of events.

>> A lot of good deals are expected with the fine-tuning of primary markets and competitive sub-sales.

>> Make use of the many government and public/private house-owning schemes made available like PR1MA for example.

>> A good time to hone your negotiation skills to get the best property deals.

>> For the local buyer with cash, it's your market; for the local seller, best lease/rent to the foreigner.

>> The market is expected to be soft and challenging, looking at the slow economic growth and high cost of living.

>> Expect a subdued market on the whole but anticipate more sales activity from mid-year on, especially in commercial and investment properties.

>> Looking at the global economic uncertainty and the weak ringgit, it's going to be a challenging year for property developers. A renters market with the increase in vacated leases/rentals and a buyers' market for those who are able to negotiate good deals.
M RESIDENCE stands for a unique blend of affordability and attractive modernity amidst a luxury lifestyle concept. The freehold development is built on a 226 acres of land located in Rawang, and is easily accessible via the New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) and LATAR Highway.

From the moment visitors arrive at the entrance driveway, they will be wowed by the majestic landscape to the residential precincts. The main entrance driveway is flanked by a village square to the left and a modern commercial centre to the right. Adjacent to the entrance into the residential zones is an ultra-modern clubhouse.

The clubhouse is designed to look like a transparent glass box that is fused to the outdoor landscaping. Facilities include a swimming pool, landscape pond, children’s playground, BBQ area, multipurpose hall, meeting room, gym and more.

The development is a guarded community that features resort-style country home living accentuated by scenic landscape parks befitting its location within the lush Rantau Panjang forest reserve.

Various parks with different amenities including a pavilion, multi-purpose court, swimming pools, tree houses and more are located at various parts of the development.

To complement an active lifestyle, avid runners can use the parks as running paths and cyclists can enjoy a ride at designated bicycle lanes.

M Residence comprises 1,012 units of 2-storey super link homes, Corus 68 (2-storey semi-D homes), Canal Link (2½-storey link home) and M Galleria (2- and 3-storey shop offices) with more upcoming developments.

This latest phase of M Residence is Canal Link, which is slated for completion this year. Canal Link has a total of 56 exclusive units of 2 ½-storey link homes (22ft x 80ft) with spacious and functional built up space of 3,168sq ft. Residents of Canal Link will get to enjoy a serene surrounding of lush greeneries.

Canal Link is suitable for families and home upgraders. With the layout of 5+1 rooms and 6 bathrooms, the residential unit can cater for multi-generation living. The price of Canal Link starts from RM949,800 onwards.

M Residence was recently voted by the public and a panel of judges with property background as the Central Best Development of the Year – Residential Landed (Platinum award) at the Noble Excellence Awards 2016.

For more information and enquiries, kindly contact 03-9212 0188 or drop an email to m.residence@
ONE of Johor's finest freehold developments, Aster @ Seri Austin North, sits within the vicinity of Iskandar development region, a gateway to the bustling Seri Austin Township with an abundance of amenities.

With a landscape filled with lush greenery, lovely hills and Effective Microorganism (EM) lake designed in alignment with Feng Shui elements, Seri Austin promotes a tranquil and calm living while being conveniently connected to plenty of lifestyle amenities.

The multiple award-winning township recognised as the 1st Smart Healthy City and Communities Township in Iskandar Malaysia was recently awarded the National Best

Development of the Year at the Noble Excellence Awards 2016. Developed by Dynasty View Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of UMLand, the township emphasises healthy outdoor lifestyle facilities focused at its community with beautiful lakes and parks, recreational areas, jogging tracks and bicycle lanes – some of its many distinctive features.

It is close to international schools, colleges, shopping malls, a hypermarket, a golf resort, a water park, and easily accessible from the North-South Highway, Pasir Gudang Highway, Tebrau Highway, and the Kempas Corridor.

Sprawled across 7.9 acres of land, Aster 1 consists of 84 units of double-storey clusters with a built-up area of 2,601sq ft and 14 units of double-storey semi-detached houses with a built-up of 2,802sq ft. Each modern tropical designed home comes with 4+1 bedrooms and 4+1 bathrooms, perfect for its target market of matured families and the middle-aged group.

The luxurious and highly secured homes are fitted with a burglar alarm system, internal CCTV wiring and CCTV at the perimeter fencing while being safely ensconced in a gated and guarded community. No unsightly overhead electric cables can be seen and fibre optic telephone cables come installed within the houses.

Other unique selling points for the residents’ comfort include a wider staircase, a wider car porch with tiles, full-height wall tiles for all bathrooms, quality fl oor tiles, air-conditioning systems in the bedrooms and living room, kitchen cabinets that come complete with a hob and hood, and a rainwater harvesting tank.

“Seri Austin emphasises on the lifestyle concept of ‘We build, We care, We love’ as we believe in ‘Every Single Life is Precious’. We prioritise the community fi rst by providing an attractive lifestyle to our residents through building innovative homes with modern layouts and quality design architectures as well as beautiful parks and bicycle lanes for a healthy lifestyle,” said UMLand Seri Austin CEO, KK Wong.

“By adhering to this spirit, we are proud and honoured to be accorded the highest score by the judges and public in winning the Platinum award, not just in the southern region but overall regions for our project, Aster Luxury Cluster & Semi-D Homes in the category of National Best Development of the Year – Residential Landed,” he added.

The project has a GDV of RM100 million. Priced from RM1,126,307 to RM1,825,067, home owners will be greeted by a wide family area with good lighting, master bedrooms with luxury space for wardrobe and master bath, and bigger bathrooms with quality fittings from Johnson Suisse. Also, the homes’ covered car porch can easily accommodate two cars parked side by side.

Protecting and sustaining the environment is part of UMLand’s Corporate Social Responsibility in its continuous Green Living campaign. Seri Austin is the first township in Johor Baru to implement the EM programme, and is also the first to implement designated neighbourhood bicycle lanes. This is the developer’s pledge and commitment to their customers, the society and environment.

Both cluster and semi-detached homes go by four initiatives to achieve the Integrated Green Building design. First, the homes generate renewable energy through the solar hot water system. Second, the homes establish Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) performance to enhance indoor air quality thus contributing to the comfort and well-being of its occupants. The homes meet requirements of outdoor air ventilation rate at 5% of the openings. Third, to control indoor pollutants, Nippon Low VOC bond paint is used and fourth, the homes are water efficient through the harvesting tank.

Additionally, to control indoor pollutants, the homes only apply ultra low VOC and antiformaldehyde paint and coating which complies with the requirements as specifi ed in international labelling schemes recognised by the Green Building Index (GBI). Low VOC waterproofing products are used for water tanks, concrete roofs and other areas that may be exposed to water, while low VOC carpeting or flooring are used throughout the homes.

UMLand continues to not only provide homes, but a complete living for its residents to experience a fulfilling lifestyle concept. The need for state-of-the-art telecommunication infrastructure and high-speed internet services will be a pull factor for buyers, and Seri Austin is proud to be the first in Johor Baru to implement high-speed broadband UniFi access.

UniFi is offered as a triple-play service comprising high-speed internet, Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service, HyppTV, and voice with speeds from 5Mbps up to 20Mbps via fibre technology. With this facility, home buyers will get immediate connectivity upon moving into their homes which they can enjoy free for a maximum of two years.

By providing not just a house but a Smart Home, residents can enjoy all the facilities at their fingertips. This is in line with the developer’s belief in building homes that enhance its residents’ quality of life while catering to current needs, complete with amenities that suit today’s lifestyle.

“I always believe we need passion, commitment and teamwork to build a recognised and sustainable township with good designs and quality for the buyers/residents to enjoy living in. We don’t only build houses, but create healthy communities and giving back to society through CSR activities,” Wong said.
SPRAWLED across 5,233 acres of freehold land west of Negeri Sembilan, Bandar Sri Sendayan is envisioned to be a tranquil, tropical nature-inspired sanctuary.

The exciting new township brings together residential, commercial, institutional, high-tech industrial, and leisure elements to exemplify its vision of “Nurturing Environments, Enriching Lives”.

Developed by BSS Development Sdn Bhd, a member of Matrix Concepts Holdings Berhad, the premier integrated development was awarded the National Best Township Development of the Year at the Noble Excellence Awards 2016.

It is set to be a vibrant hub for self-sustainable community living, where families will find an oasis of fulfilment and businesses – a world of promising opportunities.

“We anticipate demand for our properties to remain encouraging because our focus is on providing affordable houses. The average price of houses is RM200 per sq ft, while those in surrounding developments with comparable quality are priced between RM250 to RM300 per sq ft,” said a representative from Matrix Concepts Holdings Berhad.

Given rising property prices in the Klang Valley, more property purchasers have begun looking down south for more affordable options. In 2013, Bandar Sri Sendayan had less than 40% of its purchasers coming from Klang Valley. In 2016 and this year, the number has increased significantly to 60%.

With a Gross Development Value (GDV) of RM5.5 billion, Bandar Sri Sendayan comprises five main development components – residential and recreational, commercial and institutional, Sendayan TechValley, TUDM Academia and Training City, and Orchard.

The first-class township currently consists of a 30,000 strong population, and the number is expected to grow to 120,000 upon completion of the development in 2020. By that time, it is hoped to be the pride of Seremban where community members can live, work and play in harmony.

Contributing to this growth is its strategic location within this integrated township, which is a conurbation initiative by the federal government to extend the Klang Valley into the south up to Seremban.

Bandar Sri Sendayan is easily accessible from major highways. It is approximately 7km to the NorthSouth Expressway Southern Route (E2) exit at the Seremban-Labu toll and 20km to the Kajang-Seremban LEKAS Expressway (E21) exit at Setul. It is also connected to the Seremban-Port Dickson Highway (E29), which links to Port Dickson.

The new Paroi-Senawang-KLIA Expressway leading to Sendayan TechValley, which is currently under construction, will further enhance connectivity in the area.

On top of that, the proposed High-Speed Rail (HSR) link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore will have a station at Labu, a mere 5km away from Bandar Sri Sendayan. There will also be a connecting road to the proposed link highway to KLIA via Sendayan TechValley, adding to the township’s efficient arterial road system.

The township’s impressive network of connection supports the commercial convenience featured in components such as Sendayan Merchant Square. The 100-acre lifestyle commercial development comprises d’Tempat Country Club, Matrix Global Schools, shop offices, retail outlets and an upcoming 4H (Hypermarket, Hardware, Household, Home improvement) Centre.

The 380,000sq ft floor area of d’Tempat Country Club comes with a host of amenities, including an Olympic-size swimming pool, badminton, tennis, squash, and table tennis courts, a 10-lane bowling alley, gymnasium, aqua gym, children water play station, game room, restaurants and cafes, retail outlets, and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions) facilities.

Under the institutional banner of this hub is Matrix Global Schools, a private national and international school campus which caters to the demand for quality education in the area. Sendayan TechValley, an international high-tech industrial park, will also prove central to the growth of the area.

It has been steadily raking in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in sectors including automotive, aircraft and engine systems, metal, construction, rubber and medical devices.

Supported by the excellent location and connectivity and transportation network, the eco-friendly industrial park will be a hub for several supporting industries anticipated to generate job opportunities for a highly productive workforce. Residents can rest, relax, or get active at the 26-acre Sendayan GreenPark, which is fitted with skating, football, jogging and Tai Chi facilities. There is also a playground, reflexology path, fitness station, pond, and amphitheatre for the community to utilise.

Moreover, ideally located next to the Sendayan GreenPark is d’Sora Boutique Business Hotel, the fi rst hotel development and hospitality by Matrix Concepts in Bandar Sri Sendayan. With 72 guest rooms across four categories – Deluxe Twin, Queen, Deluxe Queen and Deluxe King. The hotel can cater to various crowds, whether guests are staying for business, leisure or a silent retreat.

All these facilities naturally contribute to the booming residential component of Bandar Sri Sendayan. In the heart of the township is Sendayan IconPark, a 116 acre town centre modelled after Bandar Utama in Petaling Jaya. It features a hospital, shopping mall, convention centre, commercial units, offices and condominiums.

Public infrastructure in Bandar Sri Sendayan is enhanced with street lights along Persiaran Bandar Sri Sendayan and an upgrade of the tunnel along Persiaran Bandar Sri SendayanMambau in collaboration with the state government, which will undoubtedly step up connectivity and safety for all.

In keeping with the theme of nature, the developers are committed to beautifying the landscape on all connecting roads for more pleasant driving experiences.

With 6,200 completed residential units, 2,000 more under construction and 2,295 launching in the near future, Bandar Sri Sendayan is shaping into a community and commercial hub worth looking out for in the south.

For more information, call 1800 88 2688 or visit
IT is said that giving is better than receiving, and a company that clearly embodies this spirit is Ideal Property Group. A leading property developer in Malaysia, that focuses its modus operandi in Penang, it has completed many successful construction projects over the years.

In fact, it has been making such an impact in the “Pearl of the Orient” that the company was dubbed the “Penang Condo King” recently. Among the reasons why they were awarded this moniker, their incredible performance in delivering a high number of condominium units in Penang stand out.

To-date, it has built over 7,000 units of high-rise condominiums, with another 6,000 units under construction and 10,000 more being planned for upcoming projects. Moreover, Ideal is renowned for its creative development concepts too.

From the Greek-inspired I-Santorini to the nature-influenced Forest Ville, as well as the Slow City concept seen in Ideal Vision Park and the theme park resort home of Imperial Park, it always builds its projects in imaginative ways.

Besides its creative spirit promises, the company is steadfast and firm in its vows to construct quality homes. Ideal has steadily established significant developments across the landed, high-rise and commercial industries with projects ranging from One Residence, One Imperial, Fiera Vista, I-Avenue and The One.


More than just another company with illustrious achievements, Ideal is one that incorporates philanthropy in its day-to-day running. As it is a strong believer in giving back to society, the company is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) enthusiast.

Whether it is building schools, surau, temples or market, Ideal has actively participated in every endeavour. In Bayan Lepas alone, Ideal has been involved with three schools: Straits International School, SMJK Heng Ee Bayan Baru branch, and SRJK(C) Shih Chung.

For Straits International School, Ideal fully sponsored and constructed a new six-storey campus. Their rationale is to uplift the education level in the Penang South West District by offering the community an additional educational choice besides the local government school.

Meanwhile, the first batch of 186 students reported to SMJK Heng Ee Bayan Baru branch on Jan 2. The school land, measuring 3.24ha, was contributed by Ideal Property with the total construction cost amounting to RM50 million. With the new branch of SMJK Heng Ee in Bayan Baru, Ideal is also assisting the relocation of Heng Ee Primary School from George Town to South West District, so that students can continue to pursue their studies under the same school from primary to secondary.

On the other hand, Ideal is helping SRJK(C) Shih Chung to relocate to the Penang South West District. A historical primary school of over 100 years, it has gradually shrunk to only 24 students and 11 teachers. Hence, the relocation is to assist the district growing population and to maintain the school’s legacy.

Ideal’s generosity in the education field extends to children with intellectual disability too. It donated a school land to SJK(C) Aik Hua, located in Relau. This school is the only primary school in Penang that provides special needs children education – the relocation helps to sustain the school growth and caters to this special group. More than that, Ideal also fully sponsored an administrative building. The construction is expected to commence in June 2017 and is targeted to be completed by year 2018.

Additionally, it provided a plot of land valued at approximately RM15 million to build a new branch of the School For Mentally Retarded Children which is located at Relau. Since the school had reached its maximum capacity in its original location, this new one will benefit 200 special-needs children. The two-storey building comprises a multipurpose hall, 15 classrooms, an exercise room, a garden and other facilities to provide a comfortable learning environment for the kids.

Besides the contribution towards education, Ideal makes every effort to maintain local culture and practices of the community. The company also sponsored construction cost for a surau, contributed buildings to temples, and developed a modern market complex out of its goodwill.


Proving that success is possible on all fronts, the Penang Condo King cements its capabilities when its project, Tree Sparina, won the Noble Excellence Awards 2016 Northern Best Development of the Year – Residential High Rise (Platinum) Award.

Located in Bayan Lepas, Tree Sparina is made up of three towers with 548 units and is created for an ideal, futuristic living. The intention was to create a country home living in a modern setting that allows residents to enjoy the tranquillity and relaxation through the green and low carbon environment. Hence, residential, dining, shopping, recreation and sport facilities are all available in this one-of-a-kind township.

A perfectly planned and well-executed project, it is easy to see why Ideal and Tree Sparina are worthy of the given accolade. Continuing on from this positive momentum, the company has many exciting projects planned in the pipeline. From mixed development to high-rise residential to mixed-used development, these projects will cover areas in Bayan Lepas, Sungai Ara and Tanjung Tokong.

For a company with a motto of “Creating Legacy”, the Penang Condo King has indeed cashed in on its promise. Its track records show that Ideal has developed innovative and excellent properties across Penang that will benefit society. Equally important, the company is also impacting the community in a deeply positive manner through its CSR projects. Therefore, it is fair to say that Ideal is certainly living up to its reputation and goal.