A Residential Paradise
much of the recent attention given to Johor has been on Iskandar
Malaysia’s large-scale luxury developments, in fact Johor offers a
diverse range of homes, from mass housing to exclusive and resort-style
developments, to shelter all who live there.
transformation into an international metropolis, thanks to the boost of
the Iskandar Malaysia economic zone, means it will be attracting inward
migration from investors, businessmen and workers who will make their
home in Malaysia’s Southern Gateway. Luckily for them, the city offers
plenty of choice in current and upcoming residential developments.
Traditional Roots, Dynamic Present
A bustling city, the state capital of Johor Bahru is a significant
regional transport and manufacturing hub. Johor Bahru’s four main
districts – South, North, West and East – are major centres of
activity, each with their distinct character.
estates were traditionally located mostly in the South and West
districts. The South houses the main city centre and links it to
Singapore. This was the city’s residential hub for more than three
decades, with old and important neighbourhoods such as Taman Pelangi,
Taman Century and Taman Sentosa.
West, with Skudai as its hub, is home to the famed Port of Tanjung
Pelepas, as well as to important housing estates such as Taman Ungku
Tun Aminah, Taman Skudai Baru, Taman Bukit Indah, Taman Perling and
Taman Nusa Bestari.
North district has been seeing much activity recently with new
residential and commercial developments, including in Tebrau, while the
East is the state’s manufacturing hub and linkage to the outside world
with port cities like Pasir Gudang.
Luxury Homes for Comfort
The interest shown in Johor by the global investor community, thanks to
Iskandar Malaysia, has led many developers to move away from
medium-range residential properties and shift towards high-end luxury
and resort homes. With its extensive coastline, Johor is perfect for
resort-style living and waterfront developments.
the major resort projects underway are the award-winning Leisure Farm
Resort Residences, an exclusive gated residential resort development
spread over 1,765 acres of freehold land; Danga Bay, an integrated
waterfront development on 2,000 acres of land with 25 km of water
frontage; LakeHill Resort, a 500-acre freehold township with luxury
gated residences, recreational, entertainment and tourist facilities;
Central Malaysian Properties Sdn Bhd’s Lido Boulevard, and Gamuda Bhd’s
to Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, Johor has received plans
from no fewer than 25 developers for large-scale projects in Iskandar
Malaysia to take place over the next three to five years.
of these are top-notch lifestyle developments, featuring exclusive
bungalows for the rich and famous, luxury apartments for the
well-heeled and upmarket retail and commercial complexes,” he said in a
media statement in January this year.
Liveable Communities for All
of Iskandar Malaysia’s major (although perhaps less known) goals is to
create liveable communities that encompass quality housing, adequate
facilities, quality services and a healthy, safe and lively
environment. This is in line with the state government’s policy that
all its residents – especially those in the middle- and low-income
brackets – have good homes.
Ghani says supply and demand in Iskandar Malaysia – previously known as
Iskandar Development Region (IDR) – are also strong for low-cost,
medium-cost and medium-high cost houses. “From holiday villas to
affordable homes, you can find them all in Iskandar Malaysia.”
prominent developer of affordable mass housing in Johor is Melati Ehsan
group, which took over and salvaged the Taman Ehsan Jaya abandoned
development and offered 4,800 houses, shop-apartments and flats within
Iskandar Malaysia. The group has pledged to continue building more low-
and medium-cost houses for the low-income group in Johor.
want to contribute to the housing development industry by building
affordable and comfortable homes at subsidised prices – that is our
social responsibility,” managing director Datuk Yap Suan Chee told Business Times in an interview in February.
the town of Skudai is the centre of other elegant but affordable
housing developments, including Taman Pulai Indah and Pulai Perdana, by
developers like Hua Yang Bhd and Mah Sing Bhd.
Homes that Match the People’s Needs
One factor behind Johor’s pro-active positive housing environment is
its people-friendly government. The Johor State Economic Planning Unit
(UPEN) has even conducted a study on housing policies to ensure that
they respond to the needs of residents and stakeholders in Johor.
According to Local Government, Housing, Arts, Culture and Heritage
Committee chairman Datuk Ahmad Zahri Jamil, the study encompasses
low-cost, medium-cost, affordably priced and high-end homes. The study
is scheduled for completion by end 2008.
study is timely in view of escalating prices of building materials and
inflation,” he said earlier this year. Hopefully, such measures will
continue to be carried out, yielding relevant and accurate data on the
housing needs of the state, and enabling developers to plan their
developments for the benefit of all.