717 killed, 805 injured in Mecca stampede
At least 717 pilgrims were killed, and at least 805 were injured in a stampede outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca, reported Saudi authorities, in the worst disaster to strike the annual haj pilgrimage in 25 years. The incident was caused by two large groups of pilgrims arriving together at a crossroads on their way to perform the “stoning the devil” ritual. The haj, which sees over 2 million people make the pilgrimage each year, has been the scene of numerous deadly stampedes, fires and riots, but with great reduced frequencies in recent years. Two weeks ago, at least 110 people died in Mecca’s Grand Mosque when a crane collapsed and crashed into the main courtyard below. (The Malay Mail Online)

3 new hotels opening in PJ will double room inventory
The Quill Group of Companies has put in a proposal to develop a parcel of land in Jalan Utara, Petaling Jaya into a single-tower mixed development comprising office, hotel and retail components. The new hotel, in addition to another two hotels scheduled to open over the next three to five years within a 0.5km radius of Hilton Petaling Jaya, will possibly double the room inventory in the location. The number of hotel rooms for Quill’s development is estimated to be between 200 and 250, while directly across it, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc will open its five-star Sheraton hotel with 250 rooms. The third upcoming hotel will be located MRCB’s PJ Sentral Garden City project. Other existing hotels in the area, besides Hilton PJ, are the Armada Petaling Jaya Hotel, Crystal Crown Hotel and Best Western Petaling Jaya. (The Malaysian Insider)

Image from The Malaysian Insider

Image from The Malaysian Insider

HBA urges buyers to hold off property purchases
The National House Buyers Association (HBA) said property buyers should wait until at least next year to purchase property in order to enjoy lower prices due to cooling measures implemented by Bank Negara. Prices have gone down and are expected to reduce further. The HBA also urged buyers to consider the secondary market and auction properties which are available at cheaper prices, compared to new properties that are not only more expensive but also developer-controlled. Before the central bank’s cooling measures, property prices were at a steep climb, believed to be spurred by excessive speculation. (New Straits Times Online)

Reliance Pacific to launch properties worth RM210m in 1Q 2016
Tour operator Reliance Pacific Bhd, which has also ventured into property development and hotel management, will launch RM210 million worth of properties in the first quarter of 2016. The planned launches include phase one of the Admiral Hill project in Port Dickson (GDV of RM140 million) and Zone 2 of Desa Impian in Bandar Tenggara, Johor (GDV of RM70 million). The company plans to launch Admiral Hill overseas, targeting foreign buyers because it expects the weak ringgit to attract more foreigners to purchase the units. However, the company is mindful of the current challenging environment and will undertake rationalisation measures to improve cost efficiency. (The Edge Markets)

Tropicana terminates land acquisition in Johor Baru
Tropicana Corp Bhd has terminated the proposed acquisition of a piece of 34.2ha leasehold land in Johor Baru from Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd (IWC). Its special-purpose vehicle (SPV) Tropicana Danga Senibong Sdn Bhd (formerly known as Renown Dynamic Sdn Bhd) had exercised its right to terminate the sale and purchase agreement based on unfulfilled precedent conditions, but did not provide further details. The land, which is partially under water and needs to be reclaimed, was supposed to be acquired for RM444.3 millon. (The Star Online)

Y&G to buy Johor land for RM30m
Property developer Y&G Corp Bhd is planning to acquire two parcels of freehold land totaling 23.39ha in Pontian, Johor for RM30.96 million, and proposing to develop it into a mixed project comprising commercial and residential properties. No further details, including gross development value, were provided as the proposal is still at the preliminary stage and subject to planning, land conversion and approvals. The land acquisition will be funded through internally generated funds and rights issues. (The Star Online)

Handover of RM10b De Centrum City phase 1 in December
Protasco Bhd, the developer for De Centrum City development in Kuala Lumpur South, will hand over its entire Phase 1 of the project to purchasers in December this year. Phase 1 includes a shopping centre block with 29 retail units, a service apartment block, a SoHo block and 54 shop lots. The shopping centre called Gallerie @ De Centrum is scheduled to open by February 2016, with 70% already leased out to tenants, while two out of four condominium towers of De Centrum Unipark have already been completed. The RM10 billion new township, which spans 100 acres and developed in stages over a 15-year period, is possibly the first township in Malaysia to be built around an existing academic institution. (The Edge Markets)

Asian Pac debut township to launch in 2017
Asian Pac Holdings Bhd will launch its maiden township development Labu, Negri Sembilan in 2017. The township is located on a 400-acre site near Bandar Enstek and Bandar Ainsdale, two new rising townships in the state, and will developed in phases over the next 10 years. It is now in the finalising stage and pending approvals from the state government. Asian Pac is cautiously optimistic in its growth and profits, which three new launches scheduled for next year, including the RM330 million condominium project Damansara 8 @ Damansara Damai, the RM350 million Kepong B3 mixed development, along with Phase 1 (RM163 million GDV) and Phase 2 (RM53 million GDV) relaunch of Dataran Larkin, Johor. (The Malaysian Reserve)