ABM: Decline in rejection rate for housing loans
The Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) has stated that the rejection rates for housing loans have declined from 25% in 2012 to 18% in 2014, in contrast with reports that less housing loans have been approved in recent times. The association said that member banks have been participating in government schemes such as PR1MA and ‘My First Home’ to boost home ownership while reigning in household debt. Borrowers and lenders are adjusting better to affordability assessments and banks are offering more housing loan packages to suit consumers’ needs. (Malaysia Chronicle)


Penang pledges to build more affordable homes
The Penang state government is acting on its promise to provide more affordable homes to Penangites, with 4 out of 12 planned projects already in the works. The four projects comprise 22,512 units estimated to be completed within the next 3 years, and located in Bandar Cassia (2016), Teluk Kumbar, Kampung Jawa (2017), and Jalan S.P. Chelliah (2018). During the Budget 2015 announcement last year, it was stated that RM1.3bil would be allocated to build affordable PR1MA houses. (The Star Online)

2015_Southeast_Asian_Games_logoSEA Games showcasing region’s rapid growth
The 28th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) that will be held in Singapore next week is set to showcase the region’s strong economic growth, as much as the competing athletes. Around 7,000 athletes from across the region will participate in the June 5-16 event, which includes 36 different sports, including cultural sports like pencak silat, sepak takraw and dragon boat racing. (Reuters)

E&O Malaysia seeks London stock listing
Malaysian property developer Eastern & Oriental Bhd is plans to list its subsidiary Eastern & Oriental Property (UK) Ltd on the London Stock Exchange. The company said that the proposed listing would help its expansion plans in the UK, raise funds for the redevelopment of its real estate assets, and increase brand awareness. (Reuters)

Grand Flo aims for higher revenue from property segment in 2015
Tracking solutions provider and property developer Grand-Flo Bhd is aiming to increase its revenue contribution from property development to 50% this year, from 20% in 2014. Two projects are targeted for completion in 2017: Vortex Business Park and The Glades in Penang. The company is optimistic, with a positive take-up rate of 70% for the first phase of Vortex, a mixed commercial and industrial development. (The Star Online)

No parking? Adopt pedestrian culture
Kuala Lumpur Mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib has reponded to complaints about the high cost and lack of parking space in the city by encouraging people to adopt a pedestrian culture. He said that abundant parking spaces tended to increase vehicle usage and discouraged use of alternative modes like public transport or walking. (The Rakyat Post)

Traffic congestion in Kuala Lumpur (Pic: Flickr/Uwe Schwarzbach)

Traffic congestion in Kuala Lumpur (Pic: Flickr/Uwe Schwarzbach)

Relocation of Sibu flat residents for safety
The Housing Ministry is focusing on the safety of residents of the Sibu Jaya flat, which was damaged in an explosion in April, killing one resident. About half of the flat’s residents refuse to be temporarily relocated, as some of the units had been declared safe by the authorities, while the remaining are dissatisfied at the poor condition of the alternative units. (The Borneo Post)