is a period of uncertainty for the property market due to the global
financial meltdown and developers should reposition themselves, says
Samuel Tan, director of KGV-Lambert Smith Hampton (Johor) Sdn Bhd.
who have gone through the meltdown, which caused a slowdown in demand,
need to take stock on how to position themselves for recovery,” says
Tan, adding that developers need to think of the products they want to
offer to the public.
may think of providing more affordable homes in these times when home
buyers are financially tight. They also need to think about the
pricing. Who is their target - the mass market? Upgraders? Deluxe
market?” he says.
2009 and 2010 presenting many challenges for the property market,
developers also need to think about rebranding. Developers need to
think about how the market perceives them, before and after the crisis,
example, S P Setia Bhd in 1997 was known in Johor as a mass producer
but after the crisis in 1997, the company rebranded itself as a high
end and commercial developer, says Tan.
need to think about their marketing strategy; will they be conventional
or think out of the box? One such innovative strategy by S P Setia is
their recently launched Setia 5/95 Home Loan Package. There are also a
lot more strategies to rebrand a company,” he says.
Johor – A Different State
“Quarter on quarter, the volume has been declining. The fourth quarter
(of 2008) was exceptionally slow, experiencing an immediate impact from
the meltdown. Having said that, the fourth quarter is also
traditionally a slower month with most of the population spending on
festivities,” Tan says.
the market may be slow for one to two years before going into recovery,
the demand in Johor remains good, what with its proximity to Singapore,
resulting in a spill over effect; and while other regions experienced a
surge in value over the last few years, Johor has remained rather
stable or “dull” as some may call it, prior to the launch of Iskandar
“Because of that, the drop in value was not major, the impact not as bad because values were not as high,” explains Tan.
is predominantly occupied by Malaysians who travel to Singapore for
work, including people working in the services and manufacturing
industries. Due to the attractive prices in Johor, many who work and
live in Singapore may consider moving to Johor to save costs.
Malaysians working in Singapore will be affected, affecting the
Malaysian market. We need to take this into consideration while
designing our housing schemes for the people,” says Tan, adding that IM
is more viable than other corridors in Malaysia due to a number of
20-year programme, which began two years ago, is slowly taking form and
shape. “One good thing is that it didn’t move so fast; therefore there
are no abandoned projects. Here at Johor, it is slow and steady, but we
still need to restrategise to fit into the current climate,” explains
and state governments are actively involved, funds have been allocated
and things in IM began two years ago so a lot of projects are already
out. The question is how to sustain the growth and how to bring in the
stakeholders,” he says.
are people who want to look into Johor as alternative homes,” says Tan,
adding that there are many foreigners who are interested and discovered
Johor via the heavy promotions of IM. Apart from that, high profile
projects also attract locals.
on the project, developers are now keen on Johor. This year and next
year will see many things coming up, but for the moment things are
moving at a slower rate,” he explains.
Johor’s Hot Spots
The city centre of Johor will see a proliferation of apartments due to
lack of land. Meanwhile, pockets of land available would most likely
see high end and high rise properties. The new CIQ Complex (Bangunan
Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine) is also expected
to change the landscape, says Tan, adding that apart from the city
centre, there are several parts of Johor which are worth looking at.
Skudai Corridor - Covering
Johor Bahru to Kulai and areas such as Perling, Bukit Indah and Taman
Sutera, the Skudai corridor is expected to see movement with the
widening of the highway, which would make it more accessible and
Western Coastal Highway will link up the city centre to the Johor state
administrative centre, cutting down travel time by 15 minutes. Housing
schemes along the highway would also benefit,” says Tan. It took three
years to come up with the new highway.
Tebrau Corridor - From
Johor Bahru to Ulu Tiram, the Tebrau corridor is a mature area,
experiencing changes from its mass market days. In the last five years,
this area saw the emergence of many high end properties, including
gated and guarded communities, and properties such as semi-Ds sized
6,000 sqf and above.
Pasir Gudang Corridor - The
Pasir Gudang corridor runs from Taman Johor Jaya to Pasir Gudang,
offering low to mid range homes. The ongoing Southern Link, to be
completed in two years’ time, would provide an alternative access to
Nusajaya - “This
is the new frontier, new to the Second Link,” says Tan. With UEM Land
championing its growth, Nusajaya has been attracting foreigners with
its contemporary and international flavour with theme parks such as
Legoland and the luxurious waterfront project, Puteri Harbour.
Kempas Corridor - A
relatively new corridor, Kempas’ main advantage is its access to the
North South Highway and other multiple entries. Among the many
developments that can be found in this area include S P Setia Bhd’s
Setia Tropika, KSL Holdings Bhd’s Taman Kempas Indah, IOI Properties’
Kempas Utama and Johorland’s Bandar Dato’ Onn.