After our cross-section update on the Johor Bahru property market in April, we received numerous positive feedback from property buyers and investors interested in the areas surrounding JB City Centre. As a predominant amount of requests showed up on the residential sector, we have decided to take a closer look at how Johor Bahru’s scarcity of residential zones prompt a spillover response from the Senai and Skudai towns.
One of the main challenges that Johor Bahru City faces is that a large portion of the area has been dedicated to institutional and governmental interests. The total amount of land bank dedicated for housing is only 13.67% of 1056.55 acres, translating to 144.48 acres of land. Even if mixed developments are taken into account, they would just account for a further 102.45 acres or another 9.7%. With this scarcity of residential land in Johor Bahru City Centre, which is also the Flagship A of Iskandar Malaysia, it is no surprise that any residential development housed just slightly outside the CBD with very good transport and infrastructure links stand to offer a prime value proposition for both residents as well as investors.
A Closer Look at Senai-Skudai
The Iskandar Malaysia project has not only brought an impetus to growth throughout the southern region, it has brought into sharp focus the various residential areas still available for population of residents that either work within the region or in Singapore. With Johor Bahru City Centre having very small reserves of residential land, it is only natural that the population expansion extends to the north of the city limits, where there are greater reserves of land for developers to locate their projects.
The Senai-Skudai towns are identified as Flagship E of Iskandar Malaysia and is synonymous with the Sultan Ismail International Airport or the Senai Airport and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). The Senai Airport is poised to be the second largest airport in the region after Changi by 2025 while UTM is the oldest public engineering and technology university in Malaysia. With these two landmarks being the main socio-economic drivers, the entire flagship is also a convenient 30 minutes drive from Johor Bahru. Easing the commute from Johor Bahru City Centre and other high-growth areas will be the proposed MRT/LRT link.
The town of Senai, which is 4km south of Kulai and 4km north of Skudai, provides easy access from the Senai Airport to Tuas via the Expressway E3. Meanwhile, Skudai is part of the new growth corridor of south-west Johor, absorbing the population spillover of Johor Bahru effectively and is known as a rapidly expanding suburb of Johor Bahru. This can be seen in the main thoroughfare of Skudai, namely Jalan Skudai, which was just a two-lane road in the days when UTM started now becoming the main trunk road and backbone from which housing areas like Taman Skudai and Taman Kobena have sprouted up throughout time.
Keeping up with a Key Player
Among one of the key players in this region is IOI Properties which holds a significant amount of landbank in the Kulai and Kempas areas of this flagship. The latest offering from IOI Properties was unveiled just at the end of May along the Skudai Highway. The Platino Serviced Apartments in Johor Bahru had more than 1,500 people making their way to the Sales Gallery for the preview and is developed by one of IOI Properties’ subsidiaries, Trilink Pyramid Sdn Bhd. With a strategic location along the Skudai Highway, locals have earmarked the 5.38-acre freehold property as one with ease of access to Singapore via the Skudai Highway itself, with direct access to the Second Link Expressway, the Pasir Gudang Highway and the North South Highway.
On top of the four types of 1- to 4-bedroom units that come with a build-up from 517 sq ft to 1,464 sq ft housed in two 29-storey towers, there will be a 5-storey shop office podium that promises the integrated lifestyle of Johor Bahru City for residents of The Platino.
The latest launch by IOI Properties highlights the fast urbanizing forces at work within suburbs surrounding Johor Bahru with high-speed internet connectivity and a whole host of intelligent home features reflecting the shift towards more sophisticated residential offerings.