Aussie property top of South East Asian buyers’ wish list
While Chinese buyers are getting the foreign investment attention in Australia, another group of potential purchasers are coming out of South East Asia’s emerging markets. The Asia Property Market Sentiment Survey showed that for the second half of 2015, Australia was the first choice for Singaporean and Malaysian property buyers and the second choice for Indonesians. According to the report, Singaporeans plan to spend S$1 million to S$1.5 million ($1.09 million to $1.51 million), while the median price point for Malaysians is RM500,001 to RM800,000 ($168,660 — $269,855) on properties in Australia. This is supported by data from the Foreign Review Investment Board, which revealed that Malaysia and Singapore were the fourth and fifth largest source countries for approved Australian property investment. (Herald Sun)

High-end condo market to remain flat, rental prices fall
Prices for high-end condominiums will remain flat, while rental prices will fall, due to increased competition between existing units and new launches, said property consultancy firm Knight Frank. The competition within the property market is also forcing developers to be more innovative in offering packages and deals to boost sales. This could also lead to some projects scheduled for launch by the first half to be deferred. “The impending completion of new projects, amid a weak market is expected to heighten competition in the rental market, both in Kuala Lumpur and its fringe locations,” it said. There has been an increased trend of projects offering leaseback arrangements and pool management programmes with guaranteed rental returns to boost sales and attract potential buyers and investors looking for long term investment in terms of rental returns and potential capital appreciation. (The Star Online)

DBKL will not convert Jalan Kasah homes for commercial use
Property owners along Jalan Kasah in Medan Damansara have been assured by DBKL that their houses will not be converted for commercial use. The decision was made after the majority of homeowners objected to the plan in a survey that was carried out. DBKL was aware that some owners were carrying out commercial activities from the homes, and warned that action would be taken against them. (The Malay Mail Online)

Inari Amertron to acquire Penang land for RM22.8mil
Inari Amertron Bhd is planning to acquire a 5.25-acre piece of leasehold industrial land in the Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone, Penang for RM22.8 million. Its wholly-owned subsidiary Inari Technology signed an agreement with Unetsys Sdn Bhd on Monday for the proposed acquisition. The land has a factory building erected on it, and is located within the vicinity of Inari’s excisting factories in Bayan Lepas. It will increase the group’s total manufacturing floor space. Part of the land is leased to Tenaga Nasional Bhd until 2022. (The Edge Markets)

Bina Darulaman bullish although closing sales will take longer
Kedah-based property developer Bina Darulaman Bhd (BDB) is expecting its sales to take twice the time to close this year, due to bank credit tightening. Nevertheless, the group remains bullish on its 2016 prospects by focusing on affordable housing. It is targeting new launches with a total GDV of RM48 million in FY16. Group managing director Datuk Izham Yusoff said that the company could still grow if it could address the market demands for affordable housing. BDB saw its net profit for 4QFy15 nearly double from a year ago, as lower costs of sales in the property and construction divisions arising from finalisation of accounts for completed projects had contributed to higher profit. (The Edge Markets)

Middle East investors increase exposure in Malaysian property
Despite declining energy and commodity prices, political turmoil and a plunging Ringgit which was one of the worst-performing currencies in Asia, the Malaysian property market in 2015 remained resilient. Analysts believe that the next few years will see increasing opportunities for investment in Malaysian real estate, and reports indicate that it is possible to buy prime real estate with net yields over 6%. For overseas investors, the 25% drop in the ringgit has made it particularly attractive to Middle East investors, together with freehold ownership and Islamic/sharia-compliant real estate investing that is well-established within a comprehensive Islamic financial infrastructure. (Property Showrooms)

PM: Malaysia looking to set up Apple R&D centre
Malaysia is looking at setting up an Apple research and development centre, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, which will focus on identifying, educating and creating local application developers. After a visit to Apple headquarters during his visit to the US, the prime minister wrote on his blog that Malaysia would “be exploring the possibility of establishing an Apple Application Development Excellence Centre that will focus on innovative ways of using mobile technology to stimulate learning in children” and get local developers to “design applications for the Apple Store that are suitable for education and the local market”. Najib also visited the Tesla (electric car) headquarters, and obtained an agreement to bring an initial 100 units of the Tesla Model S into the country, which will make Malaysia the first Asean nation to receive these cars. (The Star Online)

Malaysian footballer’s amazing goal shared around the world
A Malaysian football player could find himself nominated for this year’s Puskas award for the aesthetically best goal scored by a player. In a match between Penang and Pahang on Tuesday, Penang’s Mohd Faiz Subri scored a free-kick, and scored with a physics-defying goal that looked to be heading to the top left corner of the goalpost, only to swerve mid-flight and end up in the top right corner. The goal was reminiscent of that scored by Brazilian Roberto Carlos in 1998 against France. The video has been shared and viewed all over the world, and picked up by new outlets from around the world including the Sydney Morning Herald, Bleacher Report, TIME and The Independent. (The Star Online)