Home Prices In Penang On The Uptrend: REHDA

Prices of residential properties in Penang will likely continue to increase this year due to higher land and building compliance costs, according to The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (REHDA Penang).

“The market will stay bullish amid rising demand for houses due to a growing population and rising numbers of jobs,” said Datuk Jerry Chan, Chairman of REHDA Penang, during the opening of Malaysia Property Exposition (MAPEX 2013) held at Penang.

The three–day event was graced by major developers such as UEM Land, Sunway Grand, SP Setia, Sime Darby Properties, Mah Sing Properties and IJM Land.

Overall, MAPEX 2013 witnessed 23 property developers and 40 booths, as well as throngs of crowds. Interestingly, the real estate players were also bullish on this year’s prospects.

Source – PG

Food for thought: Since 3 years ago, I have been advising many to invest in Malaysia, especially Penang because of the growing economy, great direct foreign investments, scarcity of land and the ever rising property prices. Today, after the recent election, we see property prices going up even higher. Do we want to wait till it become a reality before we believe? The choice is yours. Till then, stay tune for more upcoming updates. Awesome! :)

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DAP Wins All 19 Seats In Penang

Democratic Action Party (DAP) has won all 19 seats it contested in Penang, state chief minister Lim Guan Eng has announced.

The announcement was made by Mr Lim to reporters at his Air Putih operations centre. This makes it almost certain that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has retained Penang, which has 40 seats in its state assembly.

This also maintains the clean sweep the DAP achieved in 2008.

After declaring the news to applause by supporters, he also hit out at Barisan Nasional-friendly groups that had spent a lot of money organising free dinners and lucky draws almost daily for Penang locals.

He said that local Penangites had used their “righteous strength to defeat dirty politics”.

“(This is a blow) to those who want to undermine the people’s faith and trust in democracy and their future,” he said.

Meanwhile, on the BN’s side, chief Teng Chang Yeow lost to incumbent Ong Chin Wen from Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

Mr Teng, who is Gerakan’s secretary-general, had been hopeful of making a comeback in this election by contesting in Bukit Tengah, a seat deemed as winnable by the BN.

Source – New Straits Times

Food for thought: With the victory of Penang’s election, what can we expect it to affect the property market in Penang? Another 5 years of good governance? More growth in the state? It may be a good time to seriously reflect and consider and look at the bigger picture of the potential of investing in Penang. Awesome! “)

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Price Boom In Iskandar Malaysia

WHEN we first heard about Iskandar Malaysia back in 2006, there was a fair bit of skepticism. Many of us wondered, “Where is this Iskandar Malaysia?”

china invest iskandar

Today, the skepticism and doubts about Iskandar Malaysia have turned into confidence, to judge by the visible changes in the southern development corridor, the result of a feasibility study conducted by Khazanah Nasional, the government’s investment arm, in 2005.



Formerly called the Iskandar Development Region and South Johor Economic Region, Iskandar Malaysia covers 2,217 sq km. It is three times bigger than Singapore and twice the size of Hong Kong.

According to KGV International Property Consultants executive director Samuel Tan, prices of residential properties have risen by an average 40 percent since 2006, in a city that used to suffer from a real estate overhang.

Tan said the prices, which had been sluggish after the 1997 Asian financial crisis, started to see a rising trend due to a combination of factors.

Johor, he said is starting to play catch-up with places like Kuala Lumpur and Penang, with the gaps in its prices of properties narrowing.

While this is certainly sweet music to the ears of developers and those to the property development sector, local folk will find it daunting to own property in Iskandar Malaysia.

The upward trend started in 2009, with the “quantum leap” occurring in 2011, when prices of upscale service apartments broke the ceiling of RM500 per sq ft and climbed into RM700 per sq ft.

Many Singaporeans saw property in Iskandar Malaysia as a good investment for a holiday home and for capital appreciation, and not so much for rental yield.

On Jan 11, the Singapore government announced the revised rates under the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD), applicable to purchases or residential property acquisitions. The ABSD had previously applied to Singaporeans buying their third residential property and permanent residents getting their second.

The latest measure will affect its citizens, permanent residents (PR) and foreigners who buy property in the island republic.

A check with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore revealed that foreigners who buy residential property in Singapore will now be subject to pay the ABSD of 15 per cent of the purchase price, up from the previous 10 per cent. Singaporeans buying their second homes will be hit with an ABSD of seven per cent, while those with permanent residency status will pay an additional stamp duty of five per cent on their first home purchase.

This development has also boosted interest in properties in Iskandar Malaysia.

Residential enclaves in Bukit Indah, Setia Eco Gardens and Setia Tropika, all developed by the SP Setia Bhd Group, for instance, have foreign owners who buy the properties to live in, and not on speculation, according the group divisional general manager M.L. Hoe.

Some are asking if the booming property market in Iskandar Malaysia is the result of hype.

I do not think as the changes and developments there can be seen by the eye. It’s not all frivolous talk followed by nothing!

Look at the Western Coastal Highway that leads to Nusajaya, the Southern Link to Masai and the Eastern Dispersal Link from the Pandan Interchange to the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex in the heart of Johor Baru.

Given its well-planned infrastructures, amenities, catchment and accessibility, Iskandar Malaysia is a mine of low-risk investment opportunities. Of course, Investing in projects by a reputable developer is a vital factor.

Places of interest such as Legoland and the Puteri Harbour theme park, and the education hub Educity, are added draws for foreign investors.

Iskandar Malaysia is a 20-year-plan, and changes are slowly but surely taking place. It is up to the local authorities to monitor the property sector to ensure that there will not be an over-supply in the future.

Source – New Straits Times

Food for thought: With the ever rising property prices in Singapore and the much expected cooling measures, it is only natural that many investors would invest in Iskandar. It is not surprising that property prices would increase over time and many would only believe when it all materialises. Important thing to note is invest early. Awesome! :)

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Marina One Set To Raise Bar For Future Integrated Developments

marina1SINGAPORE: The Marina One mixed-use development in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD) will be a coveted business and lifestyle destination that will raise the bar for integrated developments and act as a catalyst to attract and grow new businesses.

That is the vision of M+S, a joint venture company owned by Malaysia’s Khazanah Holdings Bhd and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, that is working on the landmark project.

M+S also said Marina One, designed by world renowned architect Christoph Ingenhoven, marks a brand new chapter in the Marina Bay Masterplan.

Its design was unveiled on Tuesday by Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart, Mr Najib Razak, who are holding their Leaders’ Retreat.

M+S said Marina One will be completed in 2017, with a gross floor area of 3.67 million square feet and is valued at S$7 billion.

It consists of Marina One Residences, Marina One Offices as well as a retail podium.

Marina One Residences comprises two towers of 1,042 luxury city residences, ranging from one- to four- bedroom units, including penthouses. These will be launched in the second half of the year.

Marina One Offices — with east and west towers — offer 1.88 million square feet of prime office space.

Its crown jewels will be two 100,000 square feet office floor plates, one of the largest in Asia.

Marina One will also have a retail podium called The Heart, which will also serve as a sanctuary and green space.

The development will also incorporate a unique garden ecosystem by landscape architect Gustafson Porter, best known for their world-class design of Singapore’s Bay East, Gardens by the Bay.

PM Lee said he is happy to see the bricks and mortar starting to come up on site.

He added: “It’s going to be an iconic project in the middle of our new business district for many, many more years to come. This is a project that both countries will be proud of and which will thrive and prosper in our city and friendship.”

Mr Najib said he is excited to see the design for himself.

“I think it’s a wonderful design. I think we have a real winner in this Marina One and it will certainly fulfil our expectations… A landmark, an iconic building and what we see today is the beginning of that iconic building,” he added.

The two leaders were also briefed on the progress of the other joint project located near Kampong Glam.

The project, called DUO, includes office, residential and hotel components.

It sits on 160,000 square metres of land and is valued at S$4 billion.

The DUO and Marina One are part of six land parcels jointly developed by Singapore and Malaysia under a land swop deal agreed on in 2010.

Source – CNA/al/sf/ir

Food for thought: Many speculate that property prices of Singapore is going to “crash”. I am interested to know how do they derive that. Is it based on fundamentals? Invest in your financial education and do not listen to noises. Awesome! :)

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PM Lee, PM Najib Launch Three Projects In Johor

JOHOR BAHRU: The Prime Ministers of Singapore and Malaysia launched two wellness projects in Medini at Iskandar Malaysia and a mixed development project at Danga Bay in Johor Bahru on Tuesday.

Fresh from the launch of joint development projects in Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak travelled to neighbouring Johor Bahru where the two wellness developments were unveiled.

Afiniti Medini, an urban wellness project, is aimed at becoming a regional destination for families, tourists and professionals. It features a wellness centre, service apartments, a corporate training centre and retail space. Afinity Medini is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

Both leaders also launched Avira, another resort wellness project at Medini Central which will have homes, serviced apartments and commercial space. The development is expected to be completed in 2018.

The two projects are jointly developed by Khazanah Nasional and Temasek Holdings.

Medini is among the five flagship zones at Iskandar Malaysia and is a 40-minute drive to the Central Business District in Singapore.

Both projects will have a total gross development value of three billion ringgit.

Mr Najib acknowledged that the success of the Iskandar project has exceeded the original plans and there has been a significant increase in investments from Singapore companies in Iskandar Malaysia.

Mr Najib said: “We both agree that we should develop something which develops the true meaning of the word “iconic” and from what I can see it befits the description. This will be truly an iconic and and landmark project which will certainly bring much benefit not only to those people involved in this project and users of this projects, but also indicative of the growing stronger ties of the two countries.

“I would say there is a significant increase of investments from Singapore. During our bilateral discussions this morning, we stressed the importance of the Industrial Working Group to meet on regular basis to encourage investors from Singapore to relocate their investments here, as well as for new investments to take place here in Iskandar.”

Mr Lee said: “This is going to be an oasis not only for people from Malaysia or Singapore, but perhaps from all over the region to come and recharge their batteries, enjoy the environment and absorb the spirit of wellness.”

He said the Malaysian government had shown commitment and drive to develop Iskandar Malaysia.

Mr Lee said: “A lot of investments have come in from the government, a lot of investment has come in from the private sector and significant amount of that has come from Singapore.

“I believe there is a lot of potential because from Singapore’s point of view, we are developing and at the same time, there is a lot of spillover of what Singapore companies which want to expand or companies which want to come to Singapore but can’t quite fit into Singapore. I think Iskandar offers a prime opportunity for them.

“As long as the Malaysian government pursues this to develop Iskandar and to link up with Singapore, the prospects are very good and from Singapore’s point of view, we are very happy it is going to succeed.”

Also launched on Tuesday is a 3.2 billion ringgit joint venture project in Danga Bay – a 20-minute drive from the Causeway.

Mr Najib and Mr Lee witnessed the signing ceremony for the Memorandum of Understanding by CapitaLand, Iskandar Waterfront and Temasek Holdings.

Source – CNA/fa/de

Food for thought: Do not see to believe, but believe to see. Awesome! :)

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Singapore, Malaysia Agree On High-Speed Rail Link

SINGAPORE: The leaders of Singapore and Malaysia have agreed to build a high-speed rail link between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur that will significantly cut travel time for commuters to just 90 minutes!











Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak made the announcement after a retreat in Singapore on Tuesday.

Both described the upcoming project as a “game changer” that will give both countries greater stakes in each other’s prosperity and success.

The Leaders’ Retreat is an annual meeting for both prime ministers to take stock of bilateral ties and discuss areas of further cooperation.

Since the resolution of the Points of Agreements in 2010, relations have progressed steadily.

Mr Lee said it was Mr Najib who first mooted the idea of a high-speed rail link, some months back.

Mr Lee said: “It’s a strategic project for the two countries. It will change the way we see each other. It’s the way people in London and Paris are able to – think of it like twin cities where you can commute, go up there, do business, meet friends have a meal and come back, all within maybe two-thirds of a day.

“And I think it’s going to be a game-changer. It will transform the way people interact, the intensity of our cooperation and the degree in which we become inter-dependent on one another and therefore have stakes in each other’s success.”

Mr Najib agreed. He said: “It will change the way we do business, the way we look at each other, the way we interact. And it will be seamless in every sense of the word. Within a mere 90 minutes from door to door, people can travel from KL to Singapore and vice versa.

“So, I’m excited about the project. We will certainly do our level best to meet the 2020 deadline. It may go slightly beyond that but those are details in implementation.”

The distance between Singapore and the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur is about 315km.

Currently, it can take up to 8 hours by train between the two cities; by bus or car, up to 5 hours; and flight, about 45 minutes.

Mr Lee said: “90 minutes, travel time, that should be faster than even taking a plane if you add in the waiting time at both ends. I think it will become like, what Prime Minister Najib said, like between the European cities where you consider the two cities as one virtual urban community; I can live in one city, I can work on the other side, I can come back the same day.

“It’s happened in Europe, it’s happened in Taiwan between Taipei and Kaohsiung with their high speed train. I think it will happen in China, because they’ve built a high speed train network, and if you look at Southeast Asia, and you talk about connectivity between ASEAN countries then a high speed train between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur is the link that makes the most sense.

“The population is there, the economic vitality is there, the spending power is there. The rational is good.”

Mr Najib said the project will be a partnership between the private and public sectors.

He also said: “We will draw on each other’s experience. Of course, Singapore has got many years of experience running the MRT. We can look at modalities in other countries…UK, France…Madrid, Barcelona, and you’ve got the cities in China as well, connected by high speed rail.

“Those are example of projects we can use as a basis for us to work out very doable, practical model for this rail link between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. The important thing is this is huge, this is big, this is a real game-changer.”

The leaders have tasked the joint ministerial committee to look into details and modalities of the high-speed rail link.

The high-speed rail link will also complement another rail project – the Rapid Transit System Link that will link Johor Bahru in southern Malaysia to Singapore’s local trains along the upcoming Thomson Line that is expected to be ready by 2019.

In the longer term, both sides will also look into the possibility of a third road link between the two countries.

Also launched on Tuesday by the two prime ministers were two wellness projects in Medini at Iskandar Malaysia and a mixed development project at Danga Bay.

Mr Lee and Mr Najib also noted the progress of the joint developments by Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings under a joint venture company called M+S Pte Ltd.

Both sides have also agreed on the final composition and terms of reference of the Industrial Cooperation Workgroup.

This group will be spearheaded by Singapore’s Economic Development Board and Malaysia’s Investment Development Authority.

It will explore mutually beneficial economic activities and facilitate the hiring of skilled workers, among other things.

Tuesday’s retreat is the fourth between Mr Najib and Mr Lee.

With the Malaysian General Election looming, Mr Najib said he would like to see continuity in these long-term projects.

The next leader’s retreat is scheduled for 2014, in Malaysia.

Source – CNA

Food for thought: What does this tell you? As shared in previous postings, do not see to believe, but believe to see. Invest in your financial education and build your property portfolio. If not now, then when? Awesome! :)

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Why Invest In Iskandar Malaysia?

In the global perspective, Iskandar Malaysia’s development must be viewed in the context of the challenges presented by trade and service liberalisation which has had tremendous impact on the movement of capital and skilled workforce, development of ICT and flow of information.

The development of the Iskandar Malaysia responds to these challenges with the realisation that economic prosperity in modern times depends on being globally competitive. Hence, the Iskandar Malaysia is positioned as an “international city” to decrease trade barriers and increase human mobility and international financing, which greatly influence the activities of international corporations.

Iskandar Gp

In the regional perspective, the positive development of Iskandar Malaysia can be seen through air and sea linkages within Asia-Pacific countries and Malaysia’s membership to the Indonesia-Malaysia-Singapore Growth Triangle (IMS-GT).

The IMS-GT originally included Singapore, Johor and the province of Riau in Indonesia. It later added the Malaysian States of Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Pahang, Indonesia’s West Sumatera province, South Sumatera, Bengkulu, Jambi, Lampung and West Kalimantan. IMS-GT is geared towards increasing economic competitiveness, integration and growth through comparative exploitation, economics of scale and productivity linkages.

With market forces leading the way in IMS-GT strategies, the private sector acts as a driving force and the government, the facilitator. Concentrating on economic relations between Johor and Singapore and between Singapore and Riau, especially Batam, the IMS-GT has great advantages to Johor as it is next to Singapore. An Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member country, Singapore has a 4.2 million population as part of the extended Iskandar Malaysia population threshold.

Indonesia, especially Batam, is quickly becoming Southeast Asia’s fastest growing offshore manufacturing center thanks to its 750 multinational manufacturing companies that are represented in 20 industrial estates. They employ nearly 200,000 Indonesians, besides more than 3,200 foreign workers from around the globe.
With two direct road links to Singapore and sea links to Batam, Iskandar Malaysia is in an excellent position to take advantage of the IMS-GT, which allows for international cooperation, human mobility and tourism.

Source – Iskandar Regional Development Authority

Food for thought: With the understanding of the tremendous investment opportunity, do you prefer to enter now or when the entire project is completed? I think you know the answer… Awesome! :)

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Singapore-Based Link (THM) Group Invests In Iskandar Malaysia

Nusajaya, Johor, 5 February 2013 – Singapore-based Link (THM) Group is investing in Medini Media Village which consists of a mega residential and commercial project with an expected gross development value of RM2.5 billion (S$1 billion). Mr Kenny Tan, the founder and group executive revealed that the firm is working on the mixed development project in Iskandar Malaysia with total gross floor area of 2.7 million sq ft. Link (THM) Group has a diversified portfolio in property development and in retail and distribution of top sporting brands in Singapore. The investment in Medini is done thru Link (THM) Ultimate Homes Pte Ltd.

Medini Media Village is located next to Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios (PIMS). PIMS is an integrated media production studio facility that is being developed following a strategic agreement with the Government of Malaysia’s investment holding arm Khazanah Nasional Berhad. Construction of PIMS began in February 2011 and is expected to be completed in May 2013.





Link (THM) Group is the latest company from Singapore announced their commitment to invest in Iskandar.

In December 2012, a partnership between Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim’s FASTrack Autosports Pte Ltd and Malaysia’s UEM Land Berhad was inked to build a RM3.5 billion Motorsports City in Johor’s Iskandar region. A special purpose company Crimson Carnival Sdn Bhd is set up for this JV with 70% own by FASTrack Autosports and 30% by UEM Land. Located at Gerbang Nusajaya and spreading over 270 acres of land, this Motorsports City is an integrated multi-purpose hub that houses a 4.5 km Grade 2 GT double loop circuit, a 1.2 km kart circuit and off-road circuit for drag racing, karting, motorcycling, truck racing and off-road expeditions.

Ascendas Land International Pte Ltd has entered into a joint venture agreement with UEM Land Berhad in October 2012 to develop an integrated eco-friendly tech park in Nusajaya. Ascendas and UEM Land will hold 60% and 40% stakes in the joint venture respectively. With a projected investment value of S$1.5 billion (RM3.7 billion), the integrated tech park is located at Gerbang Nusajaya within the Nusajaya regional city in Iskandar Malaysia.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is visiting Iskandar Malaysia on Feb 18. PM Lee is expected to be in Iskandar Malaysia to officiate the development of the Wellness Township project, one of the iconic projects to be jointly developed by Khazanah Nasional and Temasek Holdings. Prime Minister’s Department will make an official announcement on this visit which is the first by a high-ranking official from Singapore. Both Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong are expected to discuss issues on High Speed Rail (HSR) linking Kuala Lumpur and Singapore as well as ferry services between Puteri Harbour and Harbour Front Centre. A new Customs, Immigration,  Quarantine and Port Clearance (CIQP) Complex and Ferry Terminal in Puteri Harbour will be operational by end of first quarter 2013. 3 ferry routes have been secured, i.e. Tanjung Balai Karimun, Harborbay Batam and Harbourfront Singapore.

Source – Iskandar Web Portal

Food for thought: Much have been said about the great potential of investing in Iskandar and Malaysia at large. Many people just wait for things to happen before they believe. It may be too late by then. Which one are you? Awesome! :)

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Singapore Investor Plans More Investments In Johor’s Iskandar Region

JOHOR BAHRU: Singaporean billionaire investor Peter Lim plans to invest up to three billion ringgit more in Johor’s Iskandar region over the next few years.

He said he is currently looking at another one or two more projects in the area, but declined to disclose more details.

Speaking at the sidelines of a press conference at the World Islamic Economic Forum in Johor Bahru, Mr Lim said his investments would be real estate-related.

This could be in acquiring land as well as commercial or residential properties.

He said the additional investment is on top of the RM10 billion (S$4 billion) Vantage Bay waterfront project, also in Johor Bahru, which he is developing with the Johor royal family.

Separately, Mr Lim announced on Tuesday a joint venture to build a RM3.5 billion Motorsports City, also in the Iskandar region.

This is between FASTrack Autosports, a company which he controlled with the Johor royal family, and UEM Land, a subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Berhad.

Source – CNA/de

Food for thought: Ever ask yourself why the savvy investors are doing things most people do not do? Invest in your own financial education to know why. You can drop me questions and I can share and help you to start this journey. Awesome! :)

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EDB Wants MNCs To Invest In Johor’s Iskandar Region

The Economic Development Board (EDB), long synonymous with bringing foreign investments into Singapore, is telling multinational corporations (MNCs) to go north of the border.

They are being encouraged actively to invest in Johor’s Iskandar region.

The EDB is adopting this new approach to Iskandar, as land and labour costs rise in Singapore, and interest in the region grows. It envisions Singapore playing a complementary role, its chairman Leo Yip said in an interview with The Straits Times this week.

He sees companies siting their higher-value and more skilled operations as well as headquarters in Singapore, while their factories operate in the neighbouring countries, where land and labour are relatively abundant.

Source – The ST Asia Report

Food for thought: As more is said about the rising cost of living, rising prices of properties, the cooling measures, etc, more Singaporeans and many foreigners are finding it more attractive to cross over the border to invest. This is also true for many businesses. Many are still “waiting for the herd to move”, while the savvy investors always take action for the first mover advantage. What about you? Awesome! :)

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