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Posted Date: July 13, 2015 12:00 AM, By:
Is Airbnb A Better Deal Than Just Renting Out Your Property Traditionally?

So you’ve bought your first investment rental property, and are now wondering whether to offer long-term or short-term rental options to potential tenants.

Online platforms like Airbnb allows property owners to put up their property for lease for very short-term periods. What makes more money sense? A short-term lease or long-term one?

Both have their own sets of benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to weigh in and consider which options best works for your financial situation and goals.

What are the differences?

The long and short of rental

Many landlords prefer a long-term leases as there is more security when a tenant signs on a fixed-period lease, which typically spans from six to 12 months.  Long-term lease arrangements also mean less worry about vacant units and less work to scout for prospective tenants. The long-term period also provides a steady flow of income for the landlord and relieves stress about meeting a mortgage payment for the property.

However, having a fixed-period arrangement also means there will be fewer opportunities for the landlord to make higher profits. For example, if rental rates for the area were to go up, the landlord will not be able to raise their tenant’s rent or adjust the rate to match the market price until the existing lease with a tenant expires.

For the landlord, a short-term rental arrangement will come with higher tenant turnover and thus vacancy rates. Tenants, on the other hand, have been known to favour short-term rental as many do not want to be tied to a longer fixed period.

For the vacationer, short-term residential property rental may make more money sense, as sometimes it can cost a lot less than a hotel.

For example, three nights at Georgetown, Penang for four people (two deluxe rooms) can cost about RM1,678.80 at Sunway Hotel Georgetown.

Taken from Agoda’s website.

However, getting a three-bedroom apartment in the same area only cost about RM631 on Airbnb.

Taken from Airbnb’s website.

While landlords who offer a long-term lease tenure could have a harder time securing a tenant, landlords offering short-term rental find themselves in a growing pool of competition. For example, concepts like couch surfing are becoming more popular than ever and rental properties are cropping up in popular vacation hotspots, so landlords with properties in these areas may just have to double up their efforts to stand out the crowd to snap up potential tenants. While your potential tenant market is wider, so is your competition!

The upside to short-term rental deals however, is that landlords are often able to charge more to make up for the lack of security in these arrangements. While the tenant often has to pay more for short-term rental, they do not have to worry about maintenance fees and has the flexibility to pick their stuff up and leave in a jiffy.

The same type of apartment is being a charged a rental of RM3,500 a month for long-term, while on Airbnb, it costs about RM4,999 for a month.

Taken from Airbnb’s website.

It is also easier for the landlord to make any necessary adjustments to the terms and conditions, as well as to raise the rent without having to wait for an existing tenant’s lease term to end. This will benefit the landlord, who will be able to ensure a healthy profit margin and to even out any fluctuations in market prices or increased expenses.

However, landlords who offer short-term rental will have to ensure their rental is enough to cover utility bills such as water, electric and Internet. Another drawback of short-term rental is that there is a potential loss of revenue if the landlord cannot fill the unit quickly. Short-term rentals depend on the season, as non-peak seasons may see a drop in tenancy.

Also, each time a tenant moves out, the property owner will have to advertise the unit and get it ready for the next tenant. This can include cleaning, painting, replacing fixtures, carpeting and fixing any wear and tear, all of which will incur additional costs.

What are the costs?

There are various factors to consider when it comes to deciding which rental arrangement will work best for you. Short-term rental deals do not offer the security of a long-term lease, but if your property is at a location that appeals to vacationers, a short-term arrangement can be lucrative for you.

On the flipside, you will have to put up with the recurring cost and process of putting up a rental ad. Services like Airbnb charge hosts a 3% host service fee every time a booking is completed on their online platform. The fee covers the cost of processing guest payments and comes out of the house payout.

Taken from Airbnb’s website.

While the service fee may not seem like much, the amount can add up to quite a fair bit if you engage their services on a regular basis.

Meanwhile, if your property is situated near a college, or parked at a commercial areas, a long-term lease can make your property more desirable and you can already expect a steady stream of income in the long run.

Landlords can put up an ad on sites like Propwall at rather affordable rates.

* Rates in Ringgit Malaysia

Landlords may also enlist the help of a real estate agent to secure a tenant, but it will not come for cheap. Many real estate agents charge a standard one month’s rent as commission of finding a tenant. Real estate agents also prefer being paid upfront to avoid being shut out of a commission after a tenant has been found.

There are no hard and fast rules as to whether a long-term lease or short-term rental will work best for your property, but it will help for you to understand the demographic around your area before you start looking around for tenants. For example, should you target expatriates, students, young professionals, vacationers or corporate tenants?

With the right arrangement, in the right location and managed right, the investment rental experience can be extremely rewarding.

Contributed by, Malaysia's leading financial comparison website, you can view the original article here. To compare and apply for the best financial products, such as fixed deposits, home loans, personal loans and credit cards, visit

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Posted Date: June 08, 2015 12:00 AM, By:
Nadayu28 Sets New Direction for Property Development in Subang Jaya

KUALA LUMPUR, – Nadayu Properties Berhad recently intensified their public engagement and urban renewal initiatives through its landmark luxury condominium project Nadayu28 in Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya. Nadayu executive chairman, Hamidon Abdullah spoke on this at the Presentation Ceremony of the Maintenance Manual for Nadayu28, which was witnessed by Dato’Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan, President of Majlis Perbandaran Subang Jaya (MPSJ).

The Green Building Index (GBI) Gold-certified development could set a new direction for thestandard of property developments in Subang Jaya in the future. Nadayu28, comprising 411 units, is the first and currently the only GBI-certified residential property in the city of Subang Jaya. According to Hamidon, Nadayu is already in the process of upgrading its certification to Platinum rating – the highest GBI certification. “Our design intent for Nadayu28 is in line with MPSJ’s strategic effort towards a green city for Bandar Sunway and Subang Jaya”, Hamidon added.

The condominium, which received its Certificate of Completion and Compliance recently in April 2015, is currently in the process of delivering vacant possession to homeowners and to date, has handed over about 280 units to homeowners.

Nadayu Properties has been instrumental in the township rejuvenation around the precinct that includes Sunway Lagoon, Sunway University, and Monash University, which saw major improvement works to the environment and quality of living there. According to Hamidon Abdullah, the company has taken great effort in ensuring that the wellbeing of the communities within and around the area is provided for. “We made it a point to consider the human values of the surrounding community. We did not want to build at the expense of the existing residents in the area,” he said.

Nadayu Properties embarked on some major works to uplift the neighbourhood scape, particularly the revival of an adjacent 20-year old apartment. 

Key improvements included a fresh coat of paint for its façade, improvements in its refuse, electricity, and sewer facilities, the rebuilding of a surau, as well as the construction of a multi-level car park building. “YB Hannah Yeoh facilitated our  discourse  with residents of the adjacent apartment from the early days, taking an enabling role to ensure that the welfare of the residents were taken care and that our goal as a property developer was achieved. We also worked closely with MPSJ along the way to ensure that the construction of our project adequately met the needs of the precinct and our own residents,” Hamidon reiterated.

The company also introduced two unique initiatives in its bid to cultivate mutually-beneficial interactions with its homebuyers. Since April 2014, as the property moved into its final phases of construction, homeowners of Nadayu28 were invited to visit completed units on site. “It is a journey of quality enhancement with our purchasers and indirectly with our contractors. Our purpose was to get our purchasers’ feedback on their units as we build them, thereby allowing us to bridge their expectations with the product standard that we have promised to deliver. This also helped us identify any defect issues early and pace our rectification works towards timely delivery,” Hamidon explained.

The second initiative introduced by Hamidon was the engagement of a pro tem Joint Management Body (JMB), which comprises several individuals representing a large number of the homeowners. According to Hamidon, the pro tem JMB was formed to gain direct input and participation by homeowner representatives in the planning of Nadayu28’s operations and house rules. Nadayu takes it as step further by assigning key personnel to live in the condominium for a year to experience the living environment and identify any aspects of the property for improvement .“This is consistent with our desire to evolve our house rules so that the day-to-day operation of the condominium will have a good foundation for a desirable lifestyle within the community. Our focus is on spurring integration and harmony among our residents by creating a conducive environment that is safe, secure, and well-maintained for them to live and play. This is our design intent with Nadayu28 from the beginning. In fact, these are the qualities that we will be deploying for all our future projects, and perhaps it will be exemplary for the standard of property development in Bandar Sunway in general,” Hamidon elaborated.

Post-delivery of vacant possession, the pro tem JMB will function to receive and provide updates with Nadayu in the first one year to ensure that the maintenance and residential harmony of the condominium is kept.

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Posted Date: September 23, 2014 12:00 AM, By:
Base Jumping: From Base Lending Rate to Just Base Rate

Base Jumping: From Base Lending Rate to Just Base Rate

Interest rates on home loans are still hovering near record lows at Base Lending Rate (BLR) 6.6% (the lowest rate ever was 5.55% in 2009), but experts say rates aren’t expected to stay this low for much longer.

Update: On July 10, 2014, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) announced an increase in the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) by 0.25%, resulting an increase in the BLR to 6.85% by most major banks.

BNM, had also announced a new interest rate framework known as the Base Rate is set to replace the current lending rate in 2015.

In layman’s terms, the current lending rate is the base interest rate that banks refer to internally before deciding how much to charge (i.e. interest rate) for your home loan. However, a more accurate definition of BLR is that it is a rate set by the central bank based on how much it costs to lend money to other financial institutions. The cost to borrow money is determined by the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) set by BNM.

Though the central bank reassured the public that this new framework is merely a change in the system and is not expected to impact the general level of domestic interest rates, most home buyers are still sceptical on how it will affect their loans and repayments.

But do we really know what it means and how it will affect our bottom line? Here, we lay it out for you. Let’s look at how the new rate can ultimately affect consumers.

Why the change?

According to BNM, the new framework will enable customers to make better financial decisions as this new framework encourages greater transparency from the banks.

The Base Rate will be determined by the financial institutions’ benchmark cost of funds and the Statutory Reserve Requirement (SRR). Other components of loan pricing such as borrower credit risk, liquidity risk premium, operating costs and profit margin will be reflected in a spread above the new framework.

Hypothetically, the new framework should differ from bank to bank depending on their performance. The better performing one will be able to offer more attractive and competitive rates for their customers. So instead of the fixed rate we see now, each institution will have a different rate forcing them to be more competitive to offer the lowest rates to the customer.

Is it good or bad?

Better transparency always spells good news for consumers. It is also good for the banks as it creates healthy competition and provides wider options for loan applicants.

According to BNM’s press statement, the new reference rate will also better reflect changes in cost arising from monetary policy and market funding conditions, while encouraging greater discipline and efficiency among financial institutions in the pricing of retail financing products.

“This is a positive step forward by Bank Negara to allow banks to align loan pricing based on funding structure, cost efficiency and credit risk management. Further refinements are required and being worked on, but we see this as a positive progress,” Renzo Viegas, CIMB Bank chief executive officer for consumer banking, told the New Straits Times.

Given the flexibility to determine their respective benchmark rates, the smaller institutions may risk losing out on the rat race of getting more borrowers for loans.

Bigger establishments will have more room to maneuver when determining the reference rates, whereas smaller institutions may not have as much leeway to offer attractive rates. This is due to the usually lower cost of funding for bigger institutions via current and savings accounts (CASA) and Fixed Deposit accounts.

How will it affect you?

Brushing all the jargon aside, “how will the new reference rate affect my loan?” is  the question most people have.

The central bank has reiterated in its media release that the shift towards the new reference rate framework should not have an impact on the effective lending rates charging to retail borrowers.

For home owners with existing home loans, the BLR-based loans (non-fixed rate loans) will continue to be referenced against the current lending rate after 2015, until the financial institution makes any adjustment to the base rate, which will then be adjusted accordingly.

“As such, financial institutions will be required to display both their base rate and BLR at all branches and website,” said Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, the governor of BNM, during the launch of the central bank’s annual report of 2013.

However, for new loan applicants and refinancing applicants, the new rate framework will have a direct impact on the rates after January 2, 2015.

Amidst the uncertainties on the rates, home buyers should always be a step ahead by comparing all the rates from banks before making a decision on which loan to apply for. For those who fear higher rates after the implementation of the new rate, you can safe guard your low rates now by switching or getting a fixed rate loan. Doing so can also remove some of the intimidation factor from the home buying process.

Share with us your thoughts on the new Base Rate framework.

Understand how the Base Lending Rate (BLR) work to make better informed decision when it comes to home buying.  

Contributed by, Malaysia's leading financial comparison website, you can view the original article here. To compare and apply for the best financial products, such as fixed deposits, home loans, personal loans and credit cards, visit

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Posted Date: May 06, 2014 12:00 AM, By:
The Biggest Property Expo Returns to Tawau
Francis Goh presenting the official invitation to YB Datuk Tawfiq alongside other SHAREDA delegates

Tawau: For the third year in the row, the flagship exhibition, SHAREDA Property Hunter Expo (PH Expo) which is jointly organized by the Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (SHAREDA) and Maxx Media (S) Sdn Bhd returns to Tawau. 

This free-to-attend event will be held from 16 to 18 May 2014 (10:00am to 8:00pm) at the Lau Gek Poh Foundation Hall. It will feature over 32 exhibitors consisting of local and international developers, property agents and banks.

An array of properties ranging from residential developments and commercial projects will be showcased at the SHAREDA PH Expo in Tawau. And visitors will have a preview of some of the latest and highly anticipated projects such as Eco Garden in Tawau by Solidus Development. This high-end residential development located on Jalan Bunga Raya will consist of 34 exclusive units of semi-detached houses and 16 units of terrace houses. 
Prinsip Hasil will also be launching 100 shoplots, sized from 1,200 sq ft to over 2,000 sq ft in downtown Semporna where there is still a high demand for commercial space. Each unit block is priced from RM630,000 onwards. 

Major property developer, Hap Seng will also be featuring their project Bandar Sri Indah on Mile 10 Jalan Apas in Tawau.  The single storey terrace houses will have a built up area of 1,205 sq ft (Type A) and 1,006 sq ft (Type B). These quality affordable homes are embraced by nature and landscaped spaces.

Visitors flock to the SHAREDA PH Expo in Tawau

SHAREDA recently made a courtesy visit to the Sabah Minister of Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Datuk Haji Tawfiq Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Abu Bakar Titingan to invite him as Guest of Honour at the SHAREDA PH Expo in Tawau.
Tawfiq said, “I applaud the efforts by the organizers to bring in property development projects from all over Malaysia and overseas to be showcased to the people of Tawau. I believe that this is also a good platform to promote local property projects developed by our local developers in Sabah.”
“In the midst of exuberant growth in the property market, I encourage the developers to continue to deliver high quality products at a reasonable price. As property buyers become more sophisticated and well informed, it is important that the products evolve along with the changes in the market,” he added.

Tawfiq also mentioned the importance of developers committing to build more affordable housing, as a gesture to contribute back to the community as a corporate social responsibility programme. And he encouraged first time home buyers to apply for the My First Home Scheme.

Through this scheme, first time house buyers will be able to obtain an incentive of RM30,000 to pay for the initial 10% deposit instead of a “subsidy” which is deducted from the selling price of a housing product. But the purchaser still needs to pay the 10% deposit of the deducted purchased price.

Tawfiq said that the assistance provided by all fellow SHAREDA members in fulfilling the promise of building affordable homes is greatly appreciated by the government. By working together, he hopes that it will ensure that Sabah progresses fast as a state without neglecting any industry.

Visitors viewing propety model

“As the economy continues to prosper, it is natural to see the demand for property to increase, particularly for investment purpose. I would like to take this opportunity to remind all property investors to be cautious when investing in a property, and to avoid speculative investment behaviour. Whilst property is a good tool in preserving wealth, it should be treated as a steady long term investment tool,” Tawfiq said. 

During the courtesy visit, SHAREDA President Francis Goh also presented Tawfiq with the SHAREDA 2013 Property Development Annual Report. The report reveals data which reflects the importance of property development industry to Sabah’s economy.

The report aims to be a relevant source of reference for related government departments, professional bodies, real estate players, SHAREDA members and counterparts such as REHDA and SHEDA. Plus, it also indentifies numerous pressing issues and problems faced by SHAREDA members.

The SHAREDA PH Expo is an annual Business-to-Consumer (B2C) event that aims to bring investors and home buyers to property developers with the ever growing demand in premium property. 

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Tags: , Kuala Menggatal, Sabah


Posted Date: March 03, 2014 12:00 AM, By:
Penang Second Bridge Eagerly Awaited, Will Improve Local Residents' Economy

GEORGE TOWN: The opening of the Penang Second Bridge (JK2PP) just after midnight, has been eagerly awaited by the local residents as they feel the federal government project will improve their economy, besides reducing the travel time between the mainland and island side of the state.

Opened by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the new bridge which provides an alternative route to reach the island, is much welcomed by the people of Penang as they see it as a big benefit for them.

Mohd Saad Ismail, 53, a seafood stall operator in Teluk Tempoyak, a small coastal village on the island, and only about one kilometre from the new bridge, said the existence of the second bridge would draw more seafood lovers to his stall.

"The opening of the second bridge will help raise the income of those in the downstream industry like myself, as it will be easier for the public, especially seafood lovers, to patronise the food stalls in Teluk Tempoyak.

"From our stalls, visitors will be able to see the second bridge which will also look more beautiful at night with the lights on," he said.

Fatimah Khasim, 39, feels that the people in Penang are lucky to have two bridges linking the mainland to the island side.

She said the opening of the second bridge would provide more comfort for residents and visitors as there would be less traffic congestion on the first bridge.

"Besides being another tourist attraction, the existence of the new bridge will help uplift the local residents' economy and provide more job opportunities," said Fatimah, who sells drinks, in Batu Maung.

Tour agency employee, Lee Poh Sim, 36, said the opening of the second bridge would draw more visitors to Penang, with Pulau Jerejak, Pulau Aman and the surrounding sea providing a beautiful backdrop to the bridge.

"The second bridge is an attraction itself, especially in the design, and I believe it will be another icon for the state," said Lee.

Retired civil servant, Md Hussein Shariff, 56, said with the new bridge, he was more optimistic about buying another house in Batu Kawan or Sungai Bakap on the mainland as an investment for the future.

Hussein, who resides in Bukit Gedung, here, had thought of buying a house on the mainland before, but after thinking of the distance and the cost, he scrapped the idea.

"I live in my own house here but since many of my family members and friends are in Batu Kawan, I feel this is the right time to buy a house there. Moreover, I just retired yesterday [28 February]," he said.

Anthony Joganathan, 65, who lives in Relau, Balik Pulau, on the island, is also thinking about investing in property on the mainland, especially in Batu Kawan.

The Adventist Hospital employee said it would not be a waste to buy property in Batu Kawan as the area would be a focal point after the completion of projects in the surrounding areas in future.

Industrial trainee Eason Leong, 24, who lives in Nibong Tebal on the mainland, said he would feel safer to travel on the second bridge as it provided separate lanes for motorcycles.

Leong said he would be a permanent user of the second bridge as he would be working at the same electronic plant on the island after completing his practical training there in May.


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Posted Date: January 21, 2013 12:00 AM, By:
Mah Sing targeting buyers from Hong Kong and Singapore for its RM240 million Penang project

Mah Sing Group Bhd, the developer of the RM240 million Emaryl Condo Villas project in Batu Ferringhi, Penang, is targeting buyers from Hong Kong and Singapore for that project.

A leading English daily quoted its group chief operating officer Teh Hong Chong as saying that the group had received feedback indicating strong interest for the project from investors in both countries.

With the units priced from RM1 million onwards, Teh noted that the project has drawn interest from both countries as the price was considered very competitive compared to properties of similar range found in both of the respective countries.

He also pointed out the strategic location of the property, in a renowned resort area, which is merely a “stone’s throw away from well-known resorts such as Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Holiday Inn Resort and Hard Rock Hotel”.

The Emaryl Condo Villas has 20 five-storey blocks with a total of 200 condominium units, with only two units per floor, each with built-up areas ranging between 1,510 sq ft and 1,752 sq ft.

The project was launched at the Mah Sing sales gallery in Batu Maung last Saturday.

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Posted Date: July 24, 2012 12:00 AM, By: Rakesh Kumar
Three renovation tips to spruce up property value.

A real estate agent or negotiators’ job does not stop at merely helping to sell properties. Sometimes they too act as some sort of consultants, and it is especially true in helping property seller to add best value the market has to offer for their properties.

Founder of DesignVillage Sdn Bhd, Roland Lee, an established Interior Designer and Renovation Specialist with over 23 years experience, in an interview with iProperty Malaysia, discussed some of the tips that agents can share with property sellers than can help to spruce up the value of the property.

Correct the faults first

Even if buyers don’t mind if there are no renovations done to the property, they want the home to be in working order. Basic stuff like plumbing, or yellowing ceiling (leakage) must be taken into consideration and dealt with accordingly.

That will help to increase the value of the house. “Houses may be old, but it shouldn’t look old,” said Roland.

Touch up with less cost.

Minor touch ups like paining actually cost a lot less. Changing of the old tiles make the house look a lot newer at not too exorbitant price.

In old housing area, if most of the houses have extension, it is important to have the house you are selling to have one too in order to get the value that’s almost similar to the other houses in the neighbourhood.

“A simple car porch makes a lot of differences to the property price,” said Roland.

Knowledge, knowledge, knowledge

Roland has been frequently approached by agents wanting to know the prices for renovation items, or contractors. “When they are talking to customer, they must already know how much the costs (that inquired by the client) are,” said Roland.

They also need to know which are the good contractors and their price range and not get into trouble with the client later when things didn’t go well.

Roland runs workshop periodically to share his experience working in various projects.

You can find more information on his workshops at

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Posted Date: May 08, 2012 12:00 AM, By: Prof. Joe
Penang Pearl of the Orient (Part 1)

Penang Pearl of the Orient (Part 1)

The northern state of Penang has always been a focal point of settlers and with each wave of influx, the state has progressively grown wealthier and more dynamic. It is reckoned as one of the most affluent states in Malaysia, with strong economic performance reflecting the confidence of investors both local and foreign in its market, including the property sector. In this series, Prof Joe Choo analyses the success of this state.

The history of modern Penang, originally part of the Malay Sultanate of Kedah, began when the island was leased to Captain Francis Light, an English trader-adventurer. We was working for the Madras-based firm, Jourdain Sullivan and de Souza and the East India Company, in exchange for military protection from Siamese and Burmese armies who were threatening Kedah. For Light, Penang was a convenient magazine for trade and an ideal location to curtail French expansion in Indochina and Dutch foothold in Sumatra.

Then & Now

On 11 August 1786, Francis Light landed on Penang at what is later called Fort Cornwallis and took formal possession of the island in the name of His Britannic Majesty, King George III and the Honourable East India Company, and renamed the island Prince of Wales Island in honour of the heir to the British throne. However the name never caught on and in Malaysian history, the occasion marked the beginning of more than a century of British involvement in Malaya.

Highly urbanised and industrialised Penang is one of the most developed and economically important states in the country, as well as a thriving tourist destination. With all the vibrant developments going on, especially with the upcoming second bridge to link up the main land and Penang; there is much speculation on the island. Let’s saunter around the island to see the potential of it.

A Free Turtle

Penang is generally called the Pearl of the Orient, but the shape of the island is very identical to a turtle exerting the right front and back limbs to move forward. Before the Penang Bridge was built, it swam freely and enjoyed all the benefits of a free port. In 1985, when Penang Bridge was officially opened to traffic; it also served as the channel to transfer the earth energy from the island to the nearby area of where the end of the bridge was on the main land. Since then, a place called Chai Leng Park, which was never heard of before suddenly boomed and the property price went up unexpectedly. This situation is similar to Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Island or Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, without the bridge, Hong Kong Island and Singapore would not be flying sky high.

The capital of Penang – George Town, the historic commercial centre was segmented into the banking and trading areas related to port activities which included shipping companies, the import and export trade, and the wholesalers who continue to dominate the southern section of Beach Street until now. It is one the best cities to live in Asia according to the survey done by Employment Conditions Abroad Limited (ECA International). George Town is backed by a high landmass which we call the arms like the left and right arms of a human being. These arms are the source of the earth energy; this pool of energy bounces back and collected at the round tip. Therefore it will still flourish endlessly until the highland mass is levelled.

Back to Basics

In feng shui, we always emphasize the basic fundamental which is highland on the back, a matter of different rigidity such as river, sea or lake in the front and lastly the concavity of rivers or roads. Land masses have energy. We know this through our understanding of gravitational effect, the higher and bigger the mountain, the greater the force it exerts downwards and sideways. This exertion of energy is inexhaustible, continuous and cumulative. As it pushes downwards and sideways, the energy is transferred through solid matter in the mountain. This energy transfer is conducted through a matter of similar rigidity and according to one of the Laws of Thermodynamics – from a higher energy level to a lower energy level. The live energy will stop/disperse when it meets a matter of different rigidity such as water.

Besides the continuous supply of the earth energy from the high landmass to George Town, there is an additional factor from the feng shui perspective. In feng shui, it is mentioned that the shape of an object reflects the form of energy. Penang reflects the shape of a turtle with the right front and back limbs readily to move forward, hence the energy is collected at these two limbs. George Town is located at the right front limb, the right back limb is Batu Maung where it is the connecting point of the Penang Second Bridge between Penang Island and the mainland.

Prof Joe Choo was elected the President of the Malaysian Institute of Geomancy Sciences (“MINGS”) in 2008, a post which she currently holds. She was recently awarded a professorship by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China. She acts as consultant to various development projects and is frequently invited as speaker at many government and private property functions. Joe also conducts classes for the Persatuan Architect Malaysia (“PAM”) and the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (“MIEA”).

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Posted Date: May 08, 2012 12:00 AM, By:
Affordable Housing Initiatives in Penang

The housing sector in Penang has always been associated with the ultra-luxury projects that line its northern beachfront and upcoming southeast section of the island. We take a look at what is proposed by the State Government to address the social needs of its constituents.

As far as affordable housing policies go, Penang’s Affordable Home Fund set up at last year with it RM 500 million allocation from the sale of the Bayan Mutiara land moved from the State’s coffers (under the Chief Minister’s Incorporated,CMI) to Penang Development Corporation (PDC) is a landmark figure set by any State Government. As such, it lends itself to credible scrutiny from a curious public as to how this allocation of funds will be channeled to drive the Affordable Housing Scheme in Penang.

Bandar Cassia – The Lowdown

During the signing of the Letter of Commitment in appointing Surbana International Consultants (M) Sdn Bhd (formerly known as HDB Corp Pte Ltd) as the official developer of the Bandar Cassia Affordable Housing Scheme, Chief Minister YB Lim Guan Eng was quoted as saying that the entire township will encompass 11,800 affordable homes developed over 5 parcels of land with a total area of 200 acres. The homes itself will comprise of 3 bedroom apartments housed within 9 to 20-storey blocks throughout the development.

With a built-up from 800 sq ft priced at RM72,000 with a ceiling price of RM220,000 for the largest units, a good 53% will at least average 1,000 sq ft while 24% will be 900 sq ft apartments with the balance comprising of 800 sq ft apartments. The expected GDV of the entire project was estimated to be from RM 2.3 billion to RM 2.5 billion with an expected completion deadline set for a period of 10-15 years. The five residential phases are linked by a 40-acre linear park poised to help increase the total open space within the development up to 40%. While the entire project may be termed under affordable housing, it doesn’t mean that sustainability is sacrificed as there are a host of green features that will increase the water and energy efficiency of the entire project.

Worthwhile Comments to Consider

When the Chief Minister announced the Affordable Housing Scheme, there were a number of concerns raised by various sectors of society. While we are not taking any sides in the media maelstrom that ensued, we can’t help but to notice certain factors which need to be addressed by the State Government to iron out its position on this issue.

The more vocal members of society, including the press and NGOs, have raised questions on whether a RM72,000 entrance barrier should be even considered as a worthy contender for the term ‘affordable’. Another factor is the location in Batu Kawan that is currently seen as too far from the reach of the city and is still unreachable by public transport. These two factors need to be immediately addressed by the State Government as it is key to what makes a property to be truly classified as affordable housing for the people.

The moment that the State Government handles these twin issues of price and location, the other issues such as delivery time and even the choice of Surbana Corp Pte Ltd to consult, manage and develop the project will be easier matters to deal with. After all, when dealing with public funds for affordable public housing, the last thing the State Government needs, is to struggle with the people that it is developing the housing for. So, is Bandar Cassia an affordable public housing scheme that is for the people, by the people? Only time, and the Penangites, will tell.

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Tags: , Penang


Posted Date: March 15, 2012 12:00 AM, By:
EduCity in Iskandar Malaysia - A Master Class in Education

In the famous words of American author Ralph Ellison, education is all about creating connections that matter right into the psyche of a human being. This visionary quote was quite unimaginable just fifty years ago that education would travel to people, instead of people to education. With the advent of technology and the connections we have today, not only is it possible to bring the world’s best universities and institutions under one roof, it is also possible to create a high-growth education hub like no other. This is where EduCity in Iskandar Malaysia aims to make the connection in educating the best and brightest the world has to offer. We find out how it plans to bridge the gap.

When EduCity, a pioneer education project to be located in Nusajaya, Iskandar Malaysia was launched, there was great excitement in the air as it was the concrete realization of the many plans that Malaysia had to boost its education and academic standing in the world’s rankings. As it stands, the Iskandar project was begun by the Malaysian government with the hope of attracting RM335bil of investment to the area over two decades. Once completed, the project could be three times the size of Singapore.

EduCity is a sprawling 305-acre, fully integrated education hub featuring some of the world’s renowned universities and tertiary education institutes, academia-industry research and development (R&D) centres, accommodation and also state-of-the-art facilities, including sports facilities. Built with two main objectives in mind, Educity is touted to be able to kick-start the culture of critical thought through research and development in the academia. The first objective listed in EduCity’s charter is to create a best-in-class higher education destination with superior urban environment academic institutions, students, and guests to live, work, study and play. The second objective is to provide a feeder system for the economic pillars of Iskandar Malaysia and contribute to the nation’s aspiration to become a regional hub for education.

Making Education Worthwhile

Some of the faculties that are set to exist in EduCity are Medicine, Maritime Studies, Engineering, Hospitality, Creative Arts, Logistics, ICT, Business and Finance. The owner of EduCity, Education@Iskandar Sdn Bhd (EISB), has roped in major educational institutions to collaborate on this landmark project. Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed) is one of the universities set to create a campus here, offering medical and surgical degrees. NUMed Malaysia currently has over 40 students enrolled, and plan to increase that number to 1000 by 2017.

Netherland Maritime Institute of Technology (NMIT), a partnership between Maritiem Instituut Willem Barentsz, Maritiem Instituut de Ruyter and Dutch-Malaysia owned, Maritime Intel Sdn Bhd (MISB), the operating company of NMIT, will offer diploma, degree and master programmes in marine transport, shipping seafaring, maritime and logistics management. All the courses in NMIT will be International Maritime Organisation accredited, and students taking up programmes offered can expect to start their career with any international shipping company.

There are also plans to rope in an American cinematic school, in collaboration with a local private university, to set up base in EduCity. The university is set to teach the art of film making, with courses in film production, editing, script-writing, music, stage design, special effects make-up, costume design and wardrobe. Raffles Education, Singapore’s non-profit higher learning institute, will also join the boat with these universities and become EduCity’s largest campus by 2014.

Growing Talent in the Region

What is interesting to note about the universities and programmes being offered by EduCity is that they are directly linked to Iskandar Malaysia’s socio-economic development. An Australian hospitality and tourism institute is being approached to set up base in EduCity, with the hopes that the products of the institute’s Iskandar branch would be able to start their careers with the hotels within the economic corridor, what more with the launch of the highly-anticipated Legoland Malaysia and also The Indoor Theme Park @ Puteri Harbour.

The cinematic school, too, is there for a purpose, as Iskandar Malaysia has signed a RM400mil deal with internationally renowned film production company, Pinewood Shepperton, to set up the region’s biggest independently-owned studio right here. Pinewood is famous for their work with the James Bond and Harry Potter series, Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, and Hollywood blockbuster The da Vinci Code.

Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studio (PIMS) is scheduled to start production in 2013, and the cinematic school graduates are guaranteed to be able to taste a tinge of the Hollywood glamour by working with the experts of PIMS. Johor is a popular international harbour and port, and NMIT students can be assured of job opportunities to flood by them as soon as they graduate.

Projecting the Future

With a plan like this, there is little doubt that EduCity would be a successful venture for Khazanah Nasional Berhad, who own Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB). Malaysia’s reputation as a regional leader in education and academia is set to grow and with the sports facilities in tow, some of the nation’s and world’s best sportsmen are set to be unearthed too. The tagline for the project, “A Community of Best Practices in Academia,” reflects the hub’s true motive: to provide the world’s best resources for students all over the world, with job opportunities that abound within the same locale itself. It is this crucial link that bridges the gap of training and knowledge with the necessities of the industry surrounding them.

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Tags: , EduCity, Iskandar Malaysia, Johor


Posted Date: January 16, 2012 12:00 AM, By:

Kuala Lumpur, 11 January – In a media appreciation night held here, Dato’ Soam Heng Choon, CEO and MD of IJMLand unveiled its list of its available and upcoming projects to the press assembled here. With a reputable collection of both residential and commercial projects in its portfolio, the 15 active projects were grouped by region with IJMLand having a balance of 4,800 acres of remaining landbank with a balance GDV of RM19 billion to tap into.

The announcement to launch of three key developments this year, namely Canal City, The Light Phase II and Sebana Cove sparked excitement as it showcased IJM’s belief that the property market is resilient enough to withstand the onslaught of sentiments pointing to a soft market in the first half of the year. Crucially, the locations of each of these launches were dispersed throughout the country with The Light Phase II in Penang, Canal City in Kota Kemuning and Sebana Cove in Johor all highlighting the fact that demand for properties in the main cities continue unabated regardless of market outlook.

In fact, for the Penang market, Dato’ Soam was positively brimming with enthusiasm when he spoke of the tremendously good take up rates for The Light’s previous phases with The Light Phase II expecting to follow or even chart faster uptakes as the property market in Penang remains positive with demand outstripping supply in the state.

As for the central region, IJMLand’s plan to continue developing its landbanks in Kota Kemuning’s Canal City and Seremban 2 in Seremban will tap into the existing amenities and facilities to ensure the townships continue growing in the coming years. This announcement points to another growing trend that developers are offering the masses with affordable homes to call its own in the coming years. Having a signature township in the Klang Valley with the advent of Canal City, IJMLand continues its legacy of developing townships by making inroads into Selangor.

In closing, Dato’ Soam highlighted IJMLand’s foray into the East Malaysian state of Sabah, with developments in both Sandakan and the state capital of Kota Kinabalu promising a stable of developments seen as timely and relevant to the market demands.

Sh'ngVillas in KL is among the prestigious new developments available to buyers this year.

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Posted Date: July 26, 2011 12:00 AM
SP Setia to acquire 40% of KL Eco City
Property developer SP Setia Bhd has proposed to acquire 40 per cent equity interest in KL Eco City Sdn Bhd (KLEC) from Yayasan Gerakbakti Kebangsaan for RM75 million.

The acquisition will be through the issuance of 19,379,845 new ordinary shares of RM0.75 each in SP Setia at an issue price of RM3.87 per share, SP Setia said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia, Monday.

The KLEC project is an integrated commercial and residential development.

The development was master planned by Jerde Partnership, an international award-winning architect and master planner well-known for integrated mixed-use commercial and residential developments.

"The management of SP Setia believes that in addition to the integrated master planning by a world-renowned planner and its plan for green accreditation, the development's key advantages are its strategic location near the affluent Bangsar area and its connectivity to key roads, highways, the KTM Commuter and the LRT Kelana Jaya lines," it said.

The acquisition resulting in KLEC becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of SP Setia will enable it to reap the full benefits of the project to be developed.

It is also envisaged that a consolidation of KLEC's shareholding structure would provide SP Setia and its subsidiaries with greater funding flexibility for the KLEC project, it added. - Bernama

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Posted Date: June 13, 2011 12:00 AM, By:
Exciting year for Glomac

Not resting on its laurels, the medium-sized developer with a big vision is continuously striving to do better by coming up with better offerings. We talked to its Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer Dato’ FD Iskandar to get the latest updates.

iProperty: How has the response been for your current projects?
FD Iskandar (FDI):
Glomac Damansara Residences, which is within our Glomac Damansara mix development project, has 356 units of apartments ranging between 876 to 2,000 sq ft – 70% of the first tower has been sold. We saw an encouraging take-up rate for the second tower during its preview. Bandar Saujana Utama, our thriving and self sustained township has also seen very good sales. Each year, we usually see between RM90 -RM100 mil, but for this financial year (ending April 30), we’ve sold about RM151million.

The demand for landed properties is great now. In 1997 when we first started Bandar Saujana Utama township in Sungai Buloh , we sold double-storey terrace houses for RM90,000. Today we’re selling them above RM300,000. So for Bandar Saujana Utama,I expect to sell at least another RM100 million this year. I think we’ll do better than the current RM77 million for Saujana Rawang , too. All of these are made possible by better roads and amenities that have come up in this area.

iP: What new offerings can we expect for 2011?
We started Glomac Damansara about a year ago and it remains one of our main projects that will keep us busy. The GDV is around RM900 million and to date we’ve sold about RM350 million, with RM550 million still to go. Within Glomac Damansara, we are developing a second tower and retail units and of course, we’ve got 2 more office towers there.

The last phase of Plaza Kelana Jaya will consist of a neighbourhood mall and an office block. When we launched Suria Stonor in 2006, we sold some 42 units to a property fund. When the 5-year life cycle ended last February, we bought back 18 units. In addition to 3 duplex units, we’ll be repackaging and reintroducing these 18 back into the market by the end of June.

As for Suria Residen in Cheras , the first section in phase one has been fully taken up, completed and handed over. By the end of May 2011, we will be launching the final section of this phase, which consists of 16 semi-d units. In the future, we will be developing bungalows across the 42 acres of land. We have another development planned between Bandar Utama and Damansara Utama. We bought two pieces of land last year, the first piece is about 3.8 acres and by February 2012, we plan to launch commercial units of 2 ½ storey shop offices there.

Another exciting development that buyers can look forward to is the Glomac Mutiara Damansara Residences, right at the heart of Mutiara Damansara. This 35-storey apartment will hold close to 300 units. It’s within walking distance to Tesco, Ikano and The Curve. We’re hoping to launch this freehold development, with GDV of approximately RM260 million, in January 2012.

When we bought the land (close to 3 acres), we initially wanted to build office blocks. But looking at the area today, it already has a lot of office buildings. We feel that it’s high time Mutiara Damansara sees an iconic luxury condominium/apartment, as there’s currently only one apartment in the area.

I think ultimately this is where our strength lies, our small size makes it possible for us to listen to the market, look into details and move much faster as there are fewer red tapes to deal with. These are some of the offerings we have for the next 12 months or so. This is an exciting year for Glomac, now it’s a matter of implementing and delivering our products. We still have GDV worth about RM3.5 billion to go. So if every year we can sell about RM500 - RM600 million, that will last us about 5-6 years. But of course, we are not stopping there; we are always aggressively looking for land.

iP: What are the updates on Glomac Cyberjaya?
We entered Cyberjaya with the belief that every neighbourhood must have an SS2 or Seapark, this was our original concept. The response to our Glomac Cyberjaya shop offices has been overwhelming; we saw banks and food outlets snapping up units because they want to capitalize on the 300,000 residents living there.

So we bought another 8 acres of land, where we are building 68 units which will be launched this August. We already have 600 registrants for that. Once the first phase is completed by early next year, it will become the buzz of Cyberjaya/Putrajaya.
We’ve also got a 15-storey tower, with numerous rental requests because there aren’t many office towers for rent in Cyberjaya. Now we’re compiling the list and if we have 70-80 % commitment, we will start building the office tower. We’ve got more than half so far.

iP: What are the special features that deserve mention about your projects?
I always tell my team, no matter what we sell, whether it’s a RM250,000 terrace house or a RM15 million apartment, put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Property to me is one of the biggest investments you can make in your lifetime, it’s no fun getting the key and you come in all excited only to find leakages around the house.

I think Glomac is one of the few property developers in Malaysia that provides after-sale service. Our maintenance team of over 100 is made up of plumbers, electricians and general workers. We don’t make any profit out of it, but of course we don’t want to lose money. For a small fee, our maintenance team will fix cracks, leakages and so on. At Glomac, we maintain the property for at least 2 years after the project is completed. After this period, you can get somebody else but a majority of them continue with us.
We acknowledge the fact that Glomac is a medium-sized company; our paid-up is only RM300 million and our market cap is less than RM600 million. We are in an industry where there are bigger-sized developers, so we must be more innovative.

This is our 23rd year, we better be good at it. Of course we strive to be the best but we can’t afford to be mediocre. iP: What can we expect to see in terms of your landbank acquisition this year? FDI: About 3 months back, we’ve managed to buy a 200-acre piece of land in Puchong. It’s behind Tesco so it’s a very good location. We are still at the planning stage for this.
We’re definitely on an acquisition trail; we’ve got a small war chest so we’re in a very good position to acquire today. Our focus would be more on Greater KL. This is because we are very familiar with the area and we’ve already got a brand name here – people know Glomac.

We’re also looking at the trend of urban migration and the government’s projection that by 2020, 7 out of 10 Malaysians will live in urban cities. When you look at the sales trend last year, no matter how well Penang and Iskandar did, the bulk of it is still in the Greater KL. That doesn’t mean that if we get a good deal in Penang, we wouldn’t go. We’re already in Johor and Malacca, but again, the concentration is here.

iP: How do you foresee the property market outlook in the 3rd Q of 2011?
Property depends on the economy, so as long as the economy is doing well, I think the property market will do well. As it is, property in Klang Valley/the Greater Kuala Lumpur is still hot today. With the recent increase in interest rates, people will hedge their portfolio to property. And property is your safest bet against inflation. Other things may go up and come down, but property will stabilize in the worst possible scenario. In most instances, it goes up.

Property will continue to do well in Malaysia; we’re a nation of 27 million people, of which 69% are below the age of 35. With a steady population growth of 2.5%, residential, commercial and industrial properties will always be in demand.
I don’t think there’s a property bubble in Malaysia, unlike in Singapore where your property price doubles in 6 months. We have a steady rise here, and even when they said we rose by 10% in Klang Valley last year, it was an organic growth. When you compare us to Jakarta, Manila and Bangkok, we are still the lowest in terms of increase in percentage growth.

iP: What sort of appreciation can investors expect from your latest projects?
We expect good appreciation for our Glomac Damansara and Glomac Mutiara Damansara Residences, because in these areas, there is no more land available. So far most of our buyers have been lucky; they’ve managed to get capital appreciation. This is why we have repeat buyers, especially for our commercial properties.

We’re also quite fortunate to have a few MRT stations within walking distance to our projects. There’s one just next to Glomac Damansara and in Mutiara Damansara, it’s about 100m away from us. They’re still finalising between building a station next to Tesco or IOI Mall. Either way, it will benefit our project. Having said that, everything depends on the economic situation of the country. About 3 - 4 years ago, there were concerns on where the economic situation was headed but now I am much more confident. The ETP (Economic Transformation Programme) and GTP (Government Transformation Programme) will definitely help our developments.
Our hope is that government servants will rise to the occasion when it comes to implementing these policies efficiently.

Taking into account any unforeseen circumstances, I think domestically within the country, we are on the right track.

Enviable track record

Dato’ FD Iskandar : “Since 1988, Glomac Berhad has grown from strength to strength. Our experience and proven track record in developing homes, commercial centres and townships has solidified Glomac’s reputation as a progressive and trusted property developer. Today, Glomac Berhad comprises more than 40 subsidiaries with involvement in property development, property investment, construction, property management and car park management.

To date, the Group has completed more than 15,000 residential and commercial units. Apart from the residential development, the Group has also successfully completed over 5.5 mil sq ft of commercial space. Glomac is entering a new phase of growth as it targets to launch more than RM1bil worth of properties. Property development remains the core focus of the Group since its inception. We are a long term player committed to escalating our presence in the real estate market particularly focusing in the prime area of Greater KL, where the Group is well established. Glomac is continuously planning and designing new projects for our existing landbank, and we are constantly evaluating and looking out for new landbank opportunities in the country.

From managing just over 3 projects a year, Glomac now has 15 on-going projects including 3 well-received townships and various residential and commercial developments focused in Greater Kuala Lumpur.

In the late 2007, we caused quite a stir in the market by setting a record price when we acquired a 1.3 acre land opposite the Petronas Twin Towers, KLCC. This site became Glomac Tower, an A-Grade commercial building sold en bloc for a record price of RM1, 120 per sq ft. To date, it still holds the highest commercial transaction cost in town.”

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Posted Date: May 10, 2011 12:00 AM
SunCity to launch RM1b Ipoh project
Sunway City Bhd (SunCity) will launch a mixed use commercial project worth over RM1 billion at Sunway City Ipoh (SunCity Ipoh) in Perak, as one of the catalysts to recoup its investments in the township which started in 1995.

Managing director for property development Ho Hon Sang said the project, earmarked as a shopping village, will comprise a mall, retail, SOHO (small office/home office) and apartments.

"This project will revolutionise the shopping experience in Perak. We are banking on it," Ho told Business Times in an interview at Bandar Sunway, Selangor, recently.

Ho said new projects will include the development of 1,000 units of hillside bungalows, semi-detached homes and apartments, 16 units of lakeside bungalows worth over RM2.5 million each and a convention centre.

The properties are worth over RM300 million and will give good margins to SunCity when launched over the next few years, he said.

SunCity Ipoh, sprawled over 560 hectares, started with infrastructure development but was halted for five years because of the Asian financial crisis.

Work resumed in year 2000 and the first residential project comprising 452 units of semi-detached garden villas was launched in 2002.

As demand for high-end properties improved, SunCity launched bungalows, lakeside villas, cluster houses, and apartments.

The properties were slow to sell but sales picked up as the township grew. The prices had appreciated between 22 per cent and 66 per cent, Ho said.

"Now that the township is mature, we are launching new products, targeting the medium- to high-end segment to give us higher returns," he said.

Ho said SunCity will soon launch the second phase of MontBleu, which is the first gated and guarded community at the township.

MontBleu comprises 220 units of three-storey townhouses with selling prices from RM450,000 onwards.

The units range from 1,680 sq ft to 3,336 sq ft with a 25ft backyard garden.

Ho is optimistic that the second phase will sell out, judging from the sales from phase one, which had 98 units and where 70 per cent of the units were sold within two months from its launch in December.

"Many foreigners are buying our properties as their retirement or holiday home under the Malaysia MySecond Home plan. We expect it to continue," Ho said. – Business Times

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Tags: , Sunway City Berhad, Sunway City Ipoh


Posted Date: May 07, 2011 12:00 AM
GE, Naza to explore potential collaboration
General Electric (GE) and the Naza Group of Companies are joining hands in a bid to explore potential collaboration in electrical vehicles, sustainable property development and healthcare services.

GE Asean chief executive officer, Stuart Dean expects strong synergies to result from the collaboration that will be an important catalyst of sustainable growth in many of the key sectors identified in Malaysia's Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).

He cited electrical vehicles as an important sector as it is set to revolutionise the automotive industry worldwide.

"Locally, we will tap into Naza's experience and penetration of the local auto industry. GE and Naza will also explore the development and implementation of sustainable energy solutions in the property development business," he said.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed today in respect of the collaboration, is GE Malaysia's first ever partnership with the multi-industry Malaysian conglomerate. -Bernama

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Posted Date: April 16, 2011 12:00 AM
Property developer has The Elements to boost earnings
Land & General Bhd (L&G) expects to remain profitable in the current financial year helped by its newly-launched joint venture project called The Elements in Ampang.

The firm has projects with a gross development value of about RM700 mil.

The property developer posted a net profit of RM29.54 mil in the financial year ended March 31 2010, nearly double the RM15.31 mil net profit it posted in the previous corresponding period.

Up to the nine months ended December 31 2010, the company's net profit stood at RM13.4 mil.

"We expect our ongoing commercial project, 8trium in Bandar Sri Damansara to help improve profits for the next three years," executive director Ferdaus Mahmood told Business Times after the company's extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in Bandar Sri Damansara recently.

At the EGM shareholders voted on a plan to buy 10 parcels of land with a 27 hole-golf house in Negri Sembilan for RM25 mil.

"Apart from the golf course we will develop it into residential project," he said, adding that the company will use internally generated funds to acquire the assets.

Speaking on its newly launched project - The Elements, Ferdaus said that the project is a joint venture with Malaysia Land Properties Sdn Bhd.

It features 1,040 units of serviced apartments, as well as lifestyle and retail component.

Source: Business Times

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Tags: , Land & General Berhad, The Elements


Posted Date: February 17, 2011 12:00 AM Launches Free Site
Following the successful launch of in October last year, an ad-free “beta” property portal that tests innovative interface design concepts and technologies, Malaysia has upped the ante by launching another website, ( The latter aims to grow the number of leads for its advertisers by providing an additional distribution channel for all agents subscribing to

“Every month, we send over 200,000 leads to our advertisers. Now, with an additional free property website, we will be able to cast our net to an even wider audience, sending more leads and adding more value to advertisers of,” says Country Manager Timothy Hor.

Powered by its flagship site, Malaysia, comes complete with over 130,000 secondary market residential and commercial properties for sale and rent. Visitors can also access property buying and selling guides, read property news and other information to facilitate their property purchase decisions.

Features include an online loan calculator and a comprehensive directory of over 2,000 condominiums around Malaysia with pictures, information and reviews of each property. plans to add more resources to make it a prime property resource centre for property hunters. Malaysia also distributes its property listings to seven property channel partners which includes,, New Straits Times’s e-Media,, MSN Malaysia, and

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Tags: , homeguru, home-guru,,,


Posted Date: October 05, 2010 12:00 AM, By:


Cyberjaya bides its time as a revival of sorts appears in the horizon with RM600 million sales in land expected this year, mainly to private developers

Self-sustaining ICT Centre

Of late, Cyberjaya has been hogging the limelight after a period of relative quiet. Not surprising as a flurry of property launches elsewhere spills over to this special enclave better known as Malaysia’s First Intelligent City. Question marks raised previously about its livability, despite its enviable features, are slowly beginning to be put to rest as more investments pour in, with estimates ranging between RM2 – RM5 billion so far.

Touted as the ‘Silicon Valley’ of Malaysia, this huge tract of land, next to the administrative capital, Putrajaya, was nothing more than an oil palm plantation 12 years ago. Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad then had this grand idea about transforming it into a self-sustaining knowledge-based nucleus, a copy of America’s Silicon Valley, if you will.

As with all grand ideas, it started with a bang in 1999 but thereafter development was rather slow and piecemeal. Despite several big name multinational companies operating there and three institutions of higher learning, the majority of students and ICT workers share the same sentiment about the place. As one Multimedia University student from Uganda, C. Okalaney said, as recent as August this year:

“Cyberjaya is a a baren land which can be good and bad at the same time. Foreign students like the fact that it’s quite far from the hustle and bustle of KL but it would help if there were hypermarkets, more eating places and a cinema or two within the vicinity so that we wouldn’t have to go far. As of now, you need to have self transport to get somewhere within a reasonable time. The buses have a long wait time. If I were to work in Cyberjaya, I wouldn’t buy property there. I would most likely live in nearby Puchong or Subang Jaya which is much cheaper and has a wider variety of amenities”.

Big Push

That is all about to change, if the current momentum carries over within the next 10 -15 years. Since last year, estimates of up to 7 developers have purchased land in Cyberjaya and several big ones like Mah Sing Bhd and Glomac Bhd have launched new projects there. Setia Haruman’s chief operating officer Lao Chok Keang was recently quoted as saying that the price of commercial land there has increased to RM120 per sq ft from RM100 per sq ft. This is still way cheaper than land in Kuala Lumpur City Centre which at present averages about RM1,000 – RM2,000 per sq ft.

The COO added that Setia Haruman, the master developer is currently in talks with five parties, three of which are public-listed companies, who are keen to acquire land in Cyberjaya for development. Last year alone, land worth an estimated RM500 million was sold compared to RM300 million in 2008. This year, the figure is expected to rise to RM600 million, according to Lao. Currently, about 35% of 3,705 acres of saleable land has been taken up.

Cyberjaya covers 7,129 acres of freehold land consisting of four main zones known as enterprise, commercial, institutional and residential. Each zone is fully equipped with a host of intelligent network services and interactive broadband services.
MNCs Inflow Continues

Total investments in building construction to date is about RM5 billion, Rashid Mat, General Manager (business, corporate communications and planning) of Cyberview Sdn Bhd, the landowner of Cyberjaya was quoted to have said. He added that the inflow of MNCs into Cyberjaya continues despite the global economic downturn. He was quoted to have said that Hewlett-Packard (HP), the world’s largest technology company headquartered in California, was keen to buy another piece of land to develop a data centre in Cyberjaya. Currently, Cyberview Sdn Bhd has developed 600,000 sq ft of office building on 28 acres (11.2 hectares) for HP.

Cyberjaya is currently home to more than 20 MNCs including Dell, Satyam, HSBC, Motorola, IBM, HP, data centres of Bank Negara Malaysia and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, universities, commercial zones and residential estates.

Within the next 10 – 15 years when it is expected to be fully developed, the city is expected to reach a population of 210,000 with business developments providing up to 120,000 employees and institutional establishments providing 30,000 students. This kind of population growth is naturally a huge magnet for the increasing number of developers beating a path there.

World-Class Infrastructure

Cyberjaya reputedly has the best ICT infrastructure in the country, attracting many ICT entrepreneurs and technology experts, as well as captains of industry, business people and professionals who also appreciate the unspoilt lush greenery that abounds there.

Some of the world class infrastructures include:
Cyber Metro Fibre Network (CMFN)
- Fibre-optics communication backbone, known as Cyberjaya Metro Fibre Network (CMFN) delivering connectivity straight to the building

District Cooling
- Economical use of off-peak electricity to chill water during the night, that runs the air-conditioning in buildings during the day.

Cyberjaya Dedicated Transport System (DTS)
- Tracks buses and their routes via GPS
- Tracks passengers for better management of employees

In addition, foreign companies and local MSC-status companies get incentives such as no income tax for up to 10 years or an investment tax allowance and no duties on import of multimedia equipment. More importantly to some, there is a guarantee that there is no censorship of the Internet

Highway to Progress

The best part, and perhaps its saving grace, is the Maju Expressway (MEX) which shortens the driving distance to KL City Centre to a mere 20-min drive, even during peak hours.

Other highways that connect and serve Cyberjaya are North-South Central Link (ELITE), South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE), KL – Seremban Highway (NS Highway), Leburaya Damansara Puchong (LDP) & B15 State Highway.

In terms of office space, Cyberview said the company was looking to develop 8.04 million sq ft by this year-end from the previous five million sq ft target due to growing demand from MNCs and MSC-Status companies, which now prefer to own rather than rent properties in Cyberjaya. With the increase in office space and population, a rise in demand for residential units is foreseen.

“Over 2,900 residential units have been completed, with another 2,300 in the pipeline, including the Garden Residence by Mah Sing Group Bhd and Symphony Hills by UEM Land Bhd,” the Cyberview GM said.

Tipping Point in Horizon

Despite these encouraging developments, the tipping point may be a few years from now, according to a prominent real estate consultant. In order to truly realize the dream of becoming the Silicon Valley of Malaysia, a lot depends on the Government Transformation Programme. “Change has to come from the Government, civil servants and politicians [and not merely from developers],” said the KL-based consultant.

Another consultant, Brian Koh, executive director of DTZ Nawawi Tie Leung Property Consultants Sdn Bhd said, “More needs to be done but this is always a chicken and egg situation. The master developer will need to attract other third party developers who can add value, in terms of different types of developments, and accelerate pace of sales – ultimately ensure that the population base can support the various facilities. More developers will mean more competition, bringing down price but this may not happen as the master developer needs to sell prices as high as they can get.

“At the moment, we are seeing more high-end developments from Mah Sing and UEM which have been well received, this implies future launches will see price increases!”

In conclusion, it can be foreseen that the price per sq ft there will see a further uptrend. With prices of properties escalating across the Klang Valley, Cyberjaya, as an alternative, might just see a revival – the sort that some developers have already anticipated. A boom-in-waiting perhaps, but one that would probably be a few years down the road.

Property Developments in Cyberjaya

EMKAY Group, MK Land Holdings Bhd and Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd
Recently completed project:
- The Domain Service Apartments @ NeoCyber and BizAvenue II, Cyberjaya
- MKN Embassy TechZone Phase 1 and NeoCyber Office Tower, Cyberjaya

Ongoing project/Upcoming projects:
- Shell Business Service Centre, the first ‘Green’ building in Cyberjaya
- MKN Embassy TechZone Phase 2 (6 office blocks), Cyberjaya
- CBD Perdana 2, 256 units of four- and five-storey shop houses with a total GDV of RM210mil.

Mah Sing Group Bhd
Ongoing project:

OSK Property (member of OSK Group)
Upcoming / future project:
- A RM300 million low-rise condominium project in Cyberjaya

Paramount Corporation Bhd
- A RM530 million high-end mixed development in Cyberjaya

S P Setia Bhd
- A high-end 156-acre gated community development Setia Eco Villa in Cyberjaya

UEM Land Bhd (member of UEM Group)
Ongoing project:
- Symphony Hills Phase 1, Cyberjaya

Upcoming / future project:
- Remaining phases of the RM1 billion high-end enclave of Symphony Hills, Cyberjaya

Suntrack Development Sdn Bhd
- Summerglades in Perdana Lakeview West, with GDV of RM115million, 137 units

Glomac Bhd
- Glomac Cyberjaya retail offices

Ikhasas Sdn Bhd
- Shaftsbury Square
Located on 13-acre of freehold land, the development consists of three office tower blocks, two blocks of luxury SOHO/serviced apartments and 145 units of high-end retail shop-lots, with a GDV of RM790 million

Master Developer’s Task

Setia Haruman, as Master Developer of Cyberjaya, was entrusted with the role to plan, design and prepare the primary infrastructure for the Cyberjaya Flagship Zone (CFZ), as well as marketing and selling of land parcels and other real estate developments. To date, it has completed many projects such as the Cyberjaya City Command Centre (CCC), Cyberjaya Smart School Complex including SK Cyberjaya and SMK Cyberjaya, the Cyberjaya Police Station and most recently the new office for the IT Department Headquarters of Road Transport Department of Malaysia.

It has also launched CBD Perdana retail and shop offices as well as mansion plots for those who want their private luxury enclave within Cyberjaya.


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Tags: , Glomac Berhad, Mah Sing Group, MK Land Holdings Bhd, OSK Property Holdings Bhd, SP Setia Bhd, UEM Land Berhad


Posted Date: September 24, 2009 12:00 AM, By: HBA
CONDO-MINIMUM – the plain truth

CONDO-MINIMUM – the plain truth

Are you buying a condominium? Here is a guide to help you understand the commitments better so that you know what you are buying into.

There are many reasons why people make their homes in condominiums. Some do it because their children have grown up and moved out, and their homes are now too large. Others consider it because it is cheaper to buy a unit in a condo rather than a landed property in the location they want.

The sharing of maintenance and repair responsibilities may also appeal to people who have limited time, or are not interested in such chores, as well as those who want recreational facilities at their doorsteps. Thus, when you buy a condo, you are buying into a certain lifestyle, complete with requisite facilities and services such as security, cleaning of common areas, swimming pools, multi-purpose halls, playgrounds for children and courts for racquet games.

The word ‘condominium’ comes from the Latin words ‘con’ which means ‘together’; and ‘dominium’, meaning ‘property’.

This type of property ownership has two parts to it: Ownership of the individual unit, and joint ownership of the ‘common property’ with the other unit owners in the project.

It is easy to be seduced by the ‘glamour’ of living in a condo. Therefore, before the allure clouds your mind, you must first understand that ownership comes with shared responsibilities and factors you should beware of. Here are some:

Payments, and more payments

As the owner of one of the units in a project, you are required to pay a monthly service charge to cover the cost of maintenance and the management of the common areas.

This charge will increase over time, as a result of inflation and other aspects beyond your control. Many of the ‘common’ facilities and services - such as lifts, swimming pool, gym, tennis court, landscaped gardens and even security services - are expensive to maintain.

Many first-time condo buyers usually give little thought to exactly how this charge is derived and are also generally unclear about who actually does the maintenance, or who ultimately makes the decision about what work gets done.

Furthermore, they may also not know whether it is the developer that looks after the project, or if it by the Joint Management Body (JMB) or is it a Management Corporation (MC) that is entrusted to handle the task.

In this situation, the best thing all condo owners should do is study their Sale and Purchase Agreements, Building & Common Property (Maintenance & Management) Act, 2007 and the Strata Titles Act carefully to understand the responsibilities that comes along with stratified property ownership and the contributions to the funds involved.


Condo residents share walls, floors, ceilings, hallways, entrances and parking areas with their neighbours. Respect for other people's right to the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of their homes is therefore essential.

As a resident, your neighbours will appreciate (and hopefully reciprocate) your efforts to turn down the volume of your TV or hi-fi set, walk softly, close your doors quietly and limit your vacuuming to reasonable hours.

Inconsiderate residents ruin the lives of those around them, but at the same time, you will need to have some degree of tolerance to live in a condo. For example, you have to accept the presence of noisy, boisterous children.

Community rules

Whether a condo is small or large, it will invariably come with a set of by-laws, rules and regulations for the benefit of the community at large.

Whether it is the developer or the JMB or that of the MC that sets them, the covenants, by-laws, rules and other conditions bind all owners.

These by-laws govern almost everything, from special assessments and the election of residents' association officers to the allocation of parking space and use of recreational facilities.

Owners who fail to follow the by-laws can be fined, and complaints with the relevant authorities for the seizure of an owner's property can be made if fines or assessments are not paid. You can only be happy living in a condo if you are willing to follow its by-laws, rules and regulations.

Volunteering time

All unit owners automatically become members of a condo's MC, which is formed once strata titles have been issued to the individual units. However, even before the issuance of these titles, it is the JMB that is formulated to jointly work with the developers.

The office bearers of the JMB or MC are made up of volunteer owners. There are cases, of course, of condo owners never volunteering their service, or even turning up for meetings. Residents will notice such lack of participation, especially if the project is small.

Being part of a community means being prepared to serve on the JMB or MC, or joining a special committee, helping to get estimates for repairs, or taking responsibility for other tasks that benefit the condo as a whole. If you are willing to pitch in, you will earn the gratitude and respect of your fellow unit owners.

Before you make the move…

When contemplating buying a condo, there are some questions you should ask yourself. Some of these include:

  • What is the history or background to the development? For example, have there been persistent problems with water leakage or poor collection of service charges?

  • If you are purchasing a unit that has yet to be issued with a strata title, will you have to bear the cost of any difference in the built-up area, should it be larger than the 'estimated size" as described in your Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA)?

  • What is the current financial status of the condo's Joint Management Body (JMB) or Management Corporation (MC)? Ask for a copy of the year-end financial statement, the current budget and evidence of adequate insurance coverage. However, this is usually easier said than done, as many developers who manage condos consider financial statements highly confidential. You will have to be persistent so as not to be saddled with any sudden increase in service charges, or end up with a badly managed condo that will reduce the value of your property.

  • Does the common property appear to be well maintained and managed?

  • Will the unit owners own the facilities as part of the common property, or will the developer continue to own them?

  • How many units in the building does the developer own? In cases where the developer owns a larger number, it will continue to dominate the MC.

  • How many units have been rented out? In condos where there are more tenants than owner-occupiers, chances are you will have fewer people volunteering for community services.

  • Are there extra parking bays for owners? Are there enough parking bays for visitors? Are there restrictions on visitor or owner parking? Is there any parking allocation for motorcycles?

  • If there is vacant land around the condo, will some new project take shape there in the future? If so, what impact will it have on the quality of life that you expect?

You will have to talk to the existing condo residents, particularly owner-occupiers, for answers to some of these questions. Ultimately, the decision as to whether condo living is right for you or not should be based on your preferences and tolerance level.

Buying a condo should be a well thought-out decision, based upon an understanding of the social, financial and legal aspects of the purchase.

Just as with the purchase of any type of house, you should consider carefully whether it is the right place for you and your family to live in, in the long term.

The National House Buyers Association is a voluntary, non-governmental organisation that strives to protect house buyers' rights and interests. For more information, visit:

No. 31, Level 3, Jalan Barat, Off Jalan Imbi, 55100, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2142 2225 | 012- 334 5676 | Fax: 03-22601803

Email: | Web Site:

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Tags: , HBA


Posted Date: September 14, 2009 12:00 AM, By: Simon Phun
Horizon Hills

Horizon Hills

Unique gated township with a private golf course

Spread over a massive 1,200 acres of strategic freehold land in Nusajaya is Horizon Hills, the first gated township in Johor that has a private golf course and clubhouse within the development.

Built on Gamuda Land’s steadfast philosophy on delivering design quality, safety and security, healthy lifestyle in addition to community and amenities, Horizon Hills won the Best Golf Development 2009 Malaysia and Best Golf Development 2009 Asia Pacific in the recent Asia Pacific Property Awards 2009 sponsored by CNBC Arabia.

Managing director of Gamuda Land, Chow Chee Wah says, “Winning this award attests to the commitment and creativity in our design and master planning for Horizon Hills which sets us apart from the rest. It has always been our philosophy to continuously improve the quality of life with superior design by paying special attention to the living environment where residents can enjoy the comfort of a home within green tranquil setting, complete with excellent resort facilities.”

Horizon Hills is an integrated township that is built within Iskandar Malaysia in the south of Johor. Its proximity to major highways like the North-South Highway, Tuas Second Link, Skudai Expressway and JB Parkway puts the development within easy reach to Johor Bahru City Centre, Senai International Airport and the Port of Tanjung Pelepas.

This brings the Groups portfolio up to seven lifestyle developments with Kota Kemuning, Bandar Botanic, Valencia, Horizon Hills, Jade Hills and Madge Mansions in Malaysia as well as Yen So Park in Hanoi, Vietnam. Kota Kemuning and Bandar Botanic are multiple award winning projects.

Horizon Hills lifestyle

Built on undulating hills and rolling greens, Horizon Hills is carefully developed to complement the existing landscape, preserving its rich flora and fauna. It has a low density of about five units per acre embellished with lots of greenery to encourage a healthy balanced lifestyle.

An integrated living environment, Horizon Hills comprises thematic residences, an exclusive resident’s only country clubhouse and an award-winning 18-hole golf course, a commercial district and schools. In promoting healthy lifestyles, recreational facilities like parks, lakes, thematic gardens, wetlands and a 30km cycling path network dots Horizon Hills. Sports and leisure activities are well provided for at the clubhouse and golf course.

The development is spread into 13 precincts, each of them meticulously planned to illustrate its own identity. Every precinct has an aptly named theme like The Golf which boasts of luxury homes within the fairways of the golf course, The Peak with homes perched on high ground with a natural forest backdrop or The Expat Village, a precinct made for expatriates, and many more.

A gated and guarded community, the wellbeing of residents are taken care of by multiple security features which include security systems, guard tours, smart road design and cul-de-sac neighbourhoods.

Unlimited potential

Launched since 2007 with a blueprint for continued development, Horizon Hills have seen tremendous interests from homeowners as well as investors. Today, 85 percent of the total 850 units launched have been sold.

Upcoming launches within the project comprise of bungalow lands and apartments in addition to the existing link, cluster, semi-detached and bungalow homes. For more information about Horizon Hills, log on to


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Tags: , Gamuda Land


Posted Date: December 30, 2008 12:00 AM
Buying and Selling Procedures
Step Action

As the buyer, you have to find the property. After you have made your decision, you are required to fill in an application form prepared by the broker and pay the booking fee (min 2% or more). A receipt will be given to you after you pay the booking fee. If you, as the buyer go back on your word, the seller has the right to confiscate the booking fee. Otherwise, the seller has to double pay the booking fee to you if he or she goes back on his or her word.


You have two choices:

1: You provide the financial documents to the broker. They will assess your credit, income and assets to quickly determine what loans you qualify for.

2: You provide any relevant details and financial documents to the broker.

The buyer has to prepare his or her identity card and deposit. The broker will hand over seller's detail, buyer's detail and title to the lawyer for preparing the Sell & Purchase Agreement. The deposit will be handed to the seller only after both parties (seller and buyer) have signed the Sell & Purchase Agreement.


All the relevant financial documents will attach to the application form and submit to the bank for approval.


After 7 days, as the bank reply the approval, loan will be processed and an offer letter will be prepared. The buyer needs to sign the offer letter.


Before signing the Sell & Purchase Agreement, both parties can decide the date of settling the rest of the deposit. Normally, the buyer is given three months for settling the rest of the deposit. The buyer can request the seller to extend for one month. However, within this one month, the buyer has to pay the interest that is calculated per day. The amount of the deposit depends on the amount of the loan. For example, if you loan 70%, you are required to settle 30% deposit within three months.


The buyer will hand over the deposit to the lawyer for settling the ransom from the bank or financial company and property tax in order to redeem the property. Then the process of transfer can be carried on.


As the property is being redeem and the seller has settled the property tax, the lawyer will submit the transfer form to the Land Service for registration. If the transfer form is approved, the lawyer will hand over the rest of the deposit to the seller. At the same time, the seller has to pass the right of the property to the buyer as final realize.

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Tags: , Buying Property (Malaysia), Selling property (Malaysia), Useful Tips and Tricks


Posted Date: April 30, 2008 12:00 AM
Find the Right Agent
Find an Agent
  • Get referrals from neighbours, friends, and colleagues (including your lawyer or financial advisor).
  • If you're a seller, check For Sale signs in your neighbourhood for local agents who regularly and successfully sell in the area.
  • Interview at least three agents before you choose one. Be sure to ask the right questions: 

Choose an Agent
Look for an agent who:
  • Makes you feel comfortable and confident, not anxious or pressured.
  • Specializes in areas where you live (if you're a seller) or want to live (if you're a buyer).
  • Returns calls promptly and answers questions readily.
  • Informs you of new listings (if you're a buyer) or sales progress (if you're a seller) and suggests new strategies as the listing period progresses.

Work with an Agent
  • Set working guidelines (regular times to view houses or show your home, for example).
  • Make your priorities clear so neither of you wastes time on listings that don't fit your criteria (if you're a buyer) or on unqualified buyers (if you're a seller).
  • Keep all of your paperwork in one place, for easy retrieval when you need them. For buyers, that includes your priority list , listing notes and loan documents. For sellers, that includes your listing contract, loan documents, inspection reports, and disclosures.

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Tags: , Choosing an agent (Hong Kong), Choosing an agent (Malaysia), Choosing an agent (Singapore), Choosing an agent (Thailand)



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