Government urged to review basic construction costs
The government has been urged to review construction costs of houses, amid soaring prices that make them unaffordable for many. These costs include basic construction costs, land costs, incidental development charges and statutory contributions for utilities such as electricity and water. A lawmaker said that developers’ claims of expensive materials and land were a myth, as the materials are purchased in bulk at lower prices, and thus lock in house prices for the future. Developers are willing to buy land at high prices because they expect to sell the properties at higher prices. Private developers have also been exploiting the definition of affordable homes to include ‘affordable luxury’ units costing RM500,000 to RM1 million. (Astro Awani)

Ampang Park owners, tenants protest underground MRT walkway
At least 100 Ampang Park Shopping Centre shop owners and tenants have protested the construction of a MRT pedestrian walkway underneath the mall. They have been informed to vacate the mall by the end of the month although no date has been set for the walkway construction to begin. The group is also continuing its protest against the mall’s acquisition to make way for the new MRT station. The malls owners and tenants were willing to cooperate with MRT Corp as long as it did not mean the demolition of the mall. They had suggested building a pedestrian bridge instead, but MRT Corp had ignored it and was adamant about demolishing the site. It seemed that MRT Corp and Ampang Park management had not told them about the pedestrian tunnel, leading them to think that it was the station that was going underneath. The walkway, which will go underground, would require the mall to be demolished. The station itself will be built in a spot next to the mall. (The Malaysian Insider)

Shop owners and tenants of Ampang Park Shopping Centre protesting the construction of an underground MRT walkway that requires the mall to be demolished. (Photo from The Malaysian Insider)

Shop owners and tenants of Ampang Park Shopping Centre protesting the construction of an underground MRT walkway that requires the mall to be demolished. (Photo from The Malaysian Insider)

Astral Supreme bags RM80.5mil PPR Sabah project
Astral Supreme Bhd’s unit, Astral Supreme Construction Sdn Bhd (ASC),has been awarded a RM80.53 million sub-contract job for the main building works under the People’s Housing Programme (PPR) in Kota Belud, Sabah. The electronic product manufacturer had began diversifying into construction in March last year, with two PPR projects in Malacca. ASC is expected to make a gross profit of RM5.48 million from the job, which involves supplying material, labour, and equipment to design, build and deliver 900 single-storey terrace units and other related works. (The Star Online)

Malaysian consumer confidence at 10-year low
According to the Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, the Malaysian consumer confidence index for Q3 2015 has slipped to a 10-year low of 78 percentage points (pp), compared to 89 pp in Q2. In comparison, confidence levels in Southeast Asia remained relatively high at near or over 100pp, including the Philippines (117 pp), Indonesia (116 pp), Thailand (111 pp), Vietnam (105 pp) and Singapore (101 pp). The decrease was driven by increased consumer concern over the economic outlook, the declining value of the ringgit and the country’s political stability. (The Star Online)

Lion Diversified disposes land for RM36.5mil cash
Lion Diversified Holdings Bhd is planning to sell 63.4 hectares of freehold land in Kuala Langat, Selangor for RM36.5 million cash. Its wholly owned subsidiary LDH Trading Sdn Bhd had entered into a sale and purchase agreement with KLC Agro Sdn Bhd for the disposal, from which it expects to gain RM19.8 million. Part of the proceeds will be used to repay borrowings of RM20 million, with the balance used as working capital. (The Edge Markets)

Bina Darulaman unit get RM25mil loan for land deal
Kedah-based property developer Bina Darulaman Bhd’s wholly owned unit, Aman Lagenda Sdn Bhd, has obtained a RM25.6 million loan from Affin Islamic Bank Bhd for the purchase of two parcels of industrial land in Mukim Kedawang, Kedah valued at RM32 million. The deal is expected to add value for the group’s property development activities and contribute positively to group earnings. (The Sun Daily)