News Corp property website to buy out rival iProperty for $414mil
REA Group Ltd, who owns Australian real estate website company News Corp, has announced its plans to buy out smaller rival iProperty Group Ltd for A$580 million ($414 million), capitalising on the latter’s footprint in Southeast Asia. The deal would give News Corp exposure to the property markets of Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong at a time when Australian real estate advertisers brace for a downturn. REA plans to pay A$4 per share for the remaining 77.3% it does not already own. (The Edge Markets)

DIBS could boost property sector
The Real Estate Housing Developers’ Association’s (Rehda) proposal to reintroduce the developers interest bearing scheme (DIBS) for first-time homeowners could be a boost for the property sector, according to AmResearch. The policy, which was removed last year, is among property cooling measures launched since 2013 to curb speculation and price hikes. Under DIBS, developers can absorb mortgage interest during the property’s construction. (The Star Online)

Ewein set to win second Penang project
Ewein Bhd, which is currently in a joint venture with Consortium Zenith (CZBUCG) to develop the RM800 million City of Dreams condominium in Bandar Tanjong Pinang, Penang, is set to win its second project on the island by end of the year. It is finalising the contract with CZBUCG and hopes to make an announcement by year end. Ewein is proposing to develop three blocks of luxury serviced apartments on the 1.79ha freehold land in Bandar Tanjong Pinang, which will have a GDV of RM1 billion. The development will be called City of Dreams II, and comprise 891 units with smaller built-ups than the first project. (The Edge Markets)

SP Setia in JV to bid for Adelaide redevelopment project
The Australian has reported that a Malaysian government-linked corporation has joined venture with an Australian entity to bid for the redevelopment of the 7-hectare Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) site into a mixed development. Four master developers have been shortlisted, among them Investec Australia with SP Setia Bhd Group. The next step is to request proposals from all four with schemes to transform the site to rival Sydney’s Barangaroo precinct. The RAH site is said to be a key part of the wider Riverbank Precinct, which has seen US$4.7 billion (RM20.14 billion) worth of investment including a planned upgrade of the Festival Centre and Plaza, with other projects in the pipeline. (The Malaysian Insider)

Sunway REIT lags on high office vacancy rate
The office segment for Sunway REIT is still in the red, primarily due to non-renewal by anchor tenants but partially mitigated by contribution of newly acquired Wisma Sunway. The retail segment continues to drive Sunway REIT’s growth, mainly from Sunway Pyramid shopping mall and SunCity Ipoh as well as improved performance of the new Sunway Putra Mall. Occupancy for hotel segment has improved, attributed to Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa and Sunway Putra Hotel. However, Sunway Hotel Seberang Jaya has been lacklustre owing to soft market demand and competition from other hotels. (The Edge Markets)

Sabah developer takes on Melbourne CBD project
The JSK Group of Companies, which is affiliated with property developer W Group, is the first Sabahan property firm to develop a high-rise housing facility in Australia. The company’s first housing project in Melbourne’s central business district (CBD) is a 35-storey condo-style apartment known as Union Tower. The company aims to bring Malaysian values of continuous building improvements, workmanship and service guarantee abroad, combined with its years of solid business foundation and Sabah culture in property. 75% of the units have already been sold to buyers from China and Singapore, with 20 units reserved for Sabahans. Construction will start in December and completed in November 2017. (Daily Express)

KTMB announces fare hikes, new fare system to integrate trains
Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) has announced that it will implement a new fare collection system that will integrate access to all train services in the Klang Valley using a single ticket. The Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) system will begin operations by June next year, and integration of the KTM with LRT, MRT and monorail will be ready by 2017. It also announced a 36% increase in fares, which is a 4 sen increase for each kilometre. However, the price hike will only be for the Klang Valley region due to certain “geopolitical factors”. (Malay Mail Online)