Property industry to remain tough in 2016
The local property sector is expected to remain tough next year amid the challenging economic environment, and as a result of the 2011-2013 property boom slowdown, which saw home prices growing at double digits. Industry players predict that housing prices would be flat or show marginal growth at best, even if the government’s GDP growth target continues at 4-5%. UEM Sunrise Bhd’s CEO said the full impact of the slowdown in consumer spending due to the weakening ringgit, goods and services tax (GST) and weaker consumer sentiment would be seen in 2016. However, he also remarked that the property market’s performance next year would depend on the location, product types and prices. The property market in 2015 is considered to be soft, with many investors disposing of their properties even below market price since the second half of the year. (The Malaysian Insider)

IOI indoor theme park gets 5 Malaysia Book of Records titles
The District 21 adventure theme park in IOI City Mall, Putrajaya was awarded five Malaysia Book of Records (MBR) titles, namely First Indoor Pump Track in Malaysia, First Indoor Rope Course for Children in Malaysia, First Indoor High-Rope Course in Malaysia, First Indoor Roller Glider in Malaysia and First Indoor Maze in Malaysia. IOI Properties Group Berhad’s Property Investments COO Cheah Wing Choong said shopping malls have to be innovative to attract customers, and the 70,000 sq ft theme park has successfully managed to do so. Besides being suitable for families with children, teens and adults alike, the theme park also caters to corporate companies for team-building activities. (The Star Online)

Photo from District 21

Photo from District 21

FCW to launch RM1.5bil maiden project in Jalan Segambut
FCW Holdings Bhd, a contract manufacturing company which recently diversified into property development, is planning to launch its maiden property project at Jalan Segambut in the third quarter of next year. The project has a gross development value of RM1.5 billion, with phase one worth RM500 million in GDV and comprising 800 to 900 units of residential apartments. In 2013, FCW entered into a 50:50 joint venture with IJM Land Bhd to develop the 16-acre piece of land in Jalan Segambut into mixed residential and commercial property projects. (The Sun Daily)

Kobay signs JV for mid-cost Seberang Perai condo
Kobay Technology Bhd has entered a new joint venture agreement to develop medium-cost residential condominiums or houses with the surviving legal beneficiaries of two adjacent plots of land measuring 5.5 acres in Bukit Mertajam, Seberang Perai, Penang. The lands are located beside the electrified double track (EDT) railway and currently does not have direct road access due to railway construction works. Kobay said the development could yield a gross development value (GDV) up to RM96.33 million in a high density development scenario and RM51.66 million in a low density development scenario, should all units be fully sold. (The Edge Markets)

WCT sells boutique hotel for RM16.1mil
WCT Holdings Bhd is disposing of an eight-storey boutique hotel located on 4.17ha land in Klang to a company related to its managing director and major shareholder Taing Kim Hwa for RM16.1 million. Gemilang Waras Sdn Bhd (GWSB), a wholly owned subsidiary of WCT Holdings’ unit WCT Land Sdn Bhd, signed the agreement to sell the hotel, which is part of its The Lead freehold integrated commercial development, to Beyond Century Sdn Bhd. The company also announced that over the preceding 12 months, a company related to Taing (Friendacres Sdn Bhd) and his sisters had bought seven units of The Lead service apartment worth RM3.47mil. (The Star Online)

bas-sekolahSchool bus fares to increase in 2016 due to GST
The Federation of Malaysian School Bus Operators Association has announced that school bus fares are set to increase in 2016 due to cost pressures as a result of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The tax has caused increases in operational and maintenance costs across the board, said its president Amali Munif Rahmat . However, he did not state the amount of increase, saying it was at the discretion of each bus operator. Amali said that parents currently pay about RM100 monthly, with air-conditioned buses costing more, but also noted that the new price would take into consideration the economic factors of each neighbourhood. (The Malay Mail Online)

Minister: Malaysia expecting 30.5 billion tourists next year
Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said Malaysia is expecting 30.5 million tourists to contribute RM103 billion in revenue to the country next year, through programmes in the pipeline and existing yearly events, including the festive season Open House celebrations. “The tourism industry and cultural activities is expanding at a tremendous pace with new approaches like Health Tourism, Education and Sports Tourism initiatives to attract tourists to historic destinations like Melaka.” (The Malay Mail Online)