Penang airport expansion likely delayed by a year

May 29th, 2020 No comments

PIA Expansion delayed

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow says the planned expansion of the Penang International Airport (PIA) might be delayed by six months to a year due to the Covid-19 outbreak and faltering airline industry.

Speaking in a press conference at the airport, he said the expansion work was supposed to begin next month.

“The project has received approval from the relevant local authorities, but I think this is not the right time to carry it out because if the Covid-19 spread prolongs, the airport will not operate efficiently.

“So the operators must consider if the airport expansion would bring benefit or otherwise. I am told they will take six months to a year to decide on this – it’s back to the drawing board for the decision-makers,” he added.

According to data by airport operator Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), PIA is the third busiest airport in the country after KLIA and the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

The RM800 million expansion project for PIA was announced by MAHB last December. It was meant to be completed in four phases by 2024.

Under the project, the airport’s capacity was supposed to be expanded to 12 million passengers per year compared to its current 6.5 million passengers per year.

It was expanded to its present capacity in 2012.

PIA recorded eight million passengers in December, a figure which was expected to hit 9.5 million this year.

Source: FMT News


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Government likely to reintroduce HOC

May 28th, 2020 No comments


The government is expected to bring back the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) as part of the country’s economic recovery plan in the second half of the year.

The proposal to reintroduce the HOC was made following meetings involving the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT), the Ministry of Finance (MOF), the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) Malaysia and the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA), according to a property industry source.

“The government seems interested in reintroducing the HOC as the campaign had achieved good results last year. The government is expected to make an announcement in June or July,” said the source.

If implemented, he expects the length of the proposed HOC to be over a six-month period until the end of the year. However, looking at the challenging market conditions, he said it will be more viable for the government to extend the HOC to 18 months – until end of 2021.

When contacted by EdgeProp.my, Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) Malaysia president Datuk Soam Heng Choon (pictured) confirmed that there’s a high possibility that the government will launch HOC 2020 to spur homebuyers’ interest.

“The announcement will most probably be made by the Prime Minister on June 5. In the meantime, we are continuing with our discussions with the government to fine-tune [the details],” he said.

Besides the HOC, Rehda has made several other proposals to stimulate the property market including a review of the Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT), lowering and standardising the minimum threshold price for foreigner property buyers and to review the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio cap for third home purchase.

Meanwhile, market researcher Dr Foo Chee Hung said the HOC could be the best option for now as it offers a platform for genuine homebuyers who are looking for good deals while helping developers to reduce their current inventories.

“With economic uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, poor market sentiments will remain until end-2020 before markets gradually rebound in 2021. While looking at ways to encourage homeownership, the government must see how it can spur market demand while preventing house prices from rising,” said Foo, who is also MKH Bhd manager of product research & development.

However, he expects banks to have tighter lending policies and homebuyers in sectors impacted by the Covid-19 might face difficulties in getting their desired borrowing margin.

Developers who participated in HOC 2019 had offered 10% discounts but Foo said a double-digit discount this time around, if the HOC is implemented this year, “will hurt the bottomline of developers”.

Nevertheless, property purchasers could expect more innovative homeownership packages offered by developers, he added.

In a survey conducted by Rehda, members have wished for an extension of the HOC as it provided a win-win situation for developers and genuine homebuyers.

The year-long HOC 2019 had generated a total sale of RM23.2 billion, surpassing the initial target of RM17 billion.

Selangor Rehda members achieved sales of RM16 billion from 24,000 residential transactions during HOC 2019. The figure was excluding transactions of properties priced RM300,000 and below.

Overall, many believe the HOC had contributed to the Malaysian property market’s improved performance in 2019 compared with the previous year. Transaction volume grew 4.8% to 328,647 units while transaction value grew 0.8% to RM141.40 billion.

Source: EdgeProp.my


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The Penang Bay International Ideas Competition to be held by September

May 28th, 2020 1 comment


The Penang Bay International Ideas Competition will proceed and is scheduled to be held by September this year.

Penang Local Government, Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the date of the competition was shifted due to the Covid-19 crisis.

“Nevertheless, the competition will go on. This project is part of our plans to revitalise George Town and Butterworth.

“The project has a projected GDV of about US$ 4 billion. The Penang Bay project was also one of the nine projects shortlisted (from 100 projects globally) for the World Urban Forum 10 (WUF10) in Abu Dhabi, which was held from Feb 8 to 13 this year.

“The Penang Bay project is a huge project that would take between 10 and 20 years to complete,” he told a press conference in Komtar today.

It is to be developed by the George Town Conservation and Development Corporation (GTCDC) – a partnership between the Penang government and Think City. The project stitches together several existing or proposed transport and urban revitalisation projects in the bay.

The Penang Bay project incorporates Gurney Wharf, the George Town north and east seafront projects, Jelutong landfill, waterfront re-development in Butterworth, and environmental initiatives to clean up the Penang Straits, Sungai Perai and Sungai Pinang.

GTCDC director Hamdan Abdul Majid said the aim of the project was to create a new, seamless, city core between Butterworth and George Town.

“The competition is an invitation to local and global innovators to generate inspiring ideas and concepts to help re-imagine the way the people of Penang leverage their water-based assets.

“The project helps to drive prosperity and build a resilient post Covid-19 state,” he said.

Hamdan added that the competition would be open to architects, landscape architects and urban planners around the world.

“Their designs and ideas must address five strategic objectives.

“The five key objectives are to leverage Penang’s role in the international technology ecosystem, to position Penang as a regional business services and logistics hub, to create a new core that links the Penang island and the mainland, to activate and rehabilitate underutilised waterfronts and to be socially inclusive, rehabilitate natural ecosystem and build resilience for future generation.

Also present were Penang Chief Minister Incorporated deputy general manager S. Bharathi and Think City programme director Dr Matt Benson.

Source: Buletin Mutiara


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Upcoming worker’s hostel at Penang Science Park

May 26th, 2020 4 comments


Proposed 684-room worker’s hostel at Penang Science Park North in Bukit Minyak by Biopolis Resources Sdn. Bhd. in collaboration with PDC. Located adjacent to JLL Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., just a stone’s throw away from Ibiden Electronic Malaysia.

This development will see the construction of five hostel blocks, with a total of 684 units with a standard built-up size of 900 sq.ft. The hostel is able to accommodate a total of 12,313 workers:

  • Parcel B: 21-storey hostel (200 units)
  • Parcel C: 21-storey hostel (200 units)
  • Parcel D: 10-storey hostel (42 units) with shop lots at lower levels.
  • Parcel E: 8-storey hostel (42 units) with community spaces.
  • Parcel F: 21-storey hostel (200 units)

Project Name: (to be confirmed)
Location : Bukit Minyak
Property Type : Worker’s hostel
Total Units : 684
Land Tenure : Leasehold
Developer: Biopolis Resources Sdn. Bhd. & PDC

Location Map:


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Developers fine-tune strategies to attract buyers

May 23rd, 2020 No comments


During these challenging times of the coronavirus, developers have fine-tuned their marketing strategies in ways that can be very tempting for the potential house buyer.

It is no longer as straightforward as, say, a decade ago where this is the price, this is down payment, and here is the loan amount.

Over this 10-year period, the Malaysian property saw the entrance of developers’ interest bearing schemes, then came rebates and discounts, free legal fees.

Then came the free gifts like holiday tickets for two, or a car for a lucky winner. Then came cash-back offers where buyers actually get cash for buying a house.

Due to concerns about travelling, gifts like mobile phones and cars have taken the place of holidays and plane tickets. But it is not one car, but a car for every buyer.

Today, because of the movement control order (MCO) and later the conditional MCO, some developers have gone a step further by not charging a down payment, and absorbing the stamp duty for memorandum of transfer.It is the down payment, which is 10% of the house price on signing the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA), that buyers have difficulties forking out. Hence, said a marketing personnel of a housing developer, during this MCO period, this is being done away with. The other alternative is to give a 10% rebate, which was the trend even before the Covid-19 outbreak. The new perk is the minimum, or zero down payment. Developers handle this differently. Some may require a buyer to pay upfront a minimum amount, only to return it once the deal is formalised.

After all the deductions, the actual price of a house can be a lot lower than the overall headline price.

Malaysians are comfortable with paying booking fees. Having selected a unit and prior to getting a loan, they pay a booking fee and then go about seeking a loan.

Developers have, during this MCO period, made it as minimal as possible. A check shows that developers are asking less then than RM100, others have capped booking fees at about RM188, or RM1,000.

An agent representing a developer reasoned it out this way, “if you fail to get the loan you need, you only lose RM100.00.”


Raine & Horne senior partner Michael Geh in Penang, having been in the real estate practice for 25 years, says he has never come across a scenario such as today where so many incentives are given.

“We are going through troubled and interesting times, and developers have gone into very innovative strategies to sell and market their properties.

“Many of these very special deals are done via the social media, on a one-to-one basis. A buyer will not know what the next buyer is getting, or what the buyer before him has received, ” he says.

As for the various perks given during this MCO period, he says: “I believe this will not be forever.”

Geh says there are international buyers who are looking around. “We are engaged with some of them on video communications to buy and we know of some who have bought via this application, ” Geh says.

He decline to say how many his company is negotiating with but says they are from Hong Kong.

The threshold or cap for foreign buyers are RM800,000 for strata high-rise in Penang, he says.

International threshold was lowered to RM600,000 by the Federal Government in 2019 but the Penang state government is holding that cap at RM800,000, Geh says.

What is the SPA price?

Deploying perks to sell will tend to drive house prices down. It is not a direct way of reducing prices but the effect is the same. The question is, what is the price stated in the SPA?

Agents say the SPA will list the overall headline price, despite the actual price being lower.

It is this divergence between the actual property price shouldered by the buyer.

This difference in pricing has grown over the years and during this MCO period, the gap is likely to grow further.

Source: TheStar.com.my


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