36% of Malaysians prefer buying new houses
Findings from PropertyGuru’s latest research shows that up to 36% of Malaysians prefer buying a new house, compared to only 17% who will opt for the secondary market. One of the key reasons among middle income or younger buyers was the sales packages offered by property developers. This is because many buyers, especially those below 35 years old and from the middle-income segment, were unable to secure a loan, lacked savings for the initial down payment, legal fees and moving costs. Besides that, packages offered by developers often include free home appliances, fixtures and higher total offerings. (The Malay Mail Online)

Property market transactions fell 5.7% in 2015
Malaysia’s property market transaction volume fell 5.7% in 2015 compared to a year before, according to the 2015 property market report. The report also indicated that overall property market transaction value has declined by 8% to RM149.9 billion in 2015 from RM162.9 billion in 2014. Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong told reporters that the soft property market scenario is expected to continue in 2016, with the residential sub-sector remaining strong and driving the industry thanks to the 11th Malaysia Plan and Budget 2016. Residential properties led the market in 2015 with 65.2% of total transacted volume, followed by agricultural (18.4%), commercial (8.8%), development land (5.7%), and industrial (1.9%). (The Edge Markets)

Prasarana to start earning on the side through property projects
Prasarana Malaysia Bhd is planning to develop seven property projects in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor with a combined GDV of RM4 billion in the next four years. Its chairman Tan Sri Ismail Adam said this was in line with the company’s mission to increase non-fare revenue contribution to 50% by 2020. Currently, its non-fare income contributes less than 10% to revenue. Six out of the seven projects would be transit oriented development (TOD) projects, which will be integrated with the LRT and monotail systems to encourage transit ridership. The Latitud8 mixed development and TOD project with GDV of RM1.1 billion was launched yesterday, and will be built above the Dang Wangi LRT station. It is 49%-owned by Prasarana and the rest held by Crest Builder Holdings Bhd’s 51%-owned unit, Intan Sekitar Sdn Bhd. (The Rakyat Post)

Overhang units to increase in 2016
Malaysia’s property overhang units will continue to increase in 2016, but this could be softened if developers slow down on launching high-end property projects. If the market continues to release more high-end properties, it may cause a slower take-up rate, resulting in the increase of unsold units, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong during the release of the 2015 property market report by the National Property Information Centre (Napic) yesterday. He said that based on the data provided and consumer sentiment, most developers have started switching towards affordable houses, which are RM500,000 and below, so that the market will remain positive and it is hoped that the increase would not be too significant. According to the 2015 property market report, there were 11,316 overhang residential units worth RM5.9 billion, up by 16.3% in volume and 56% in value, from 9,733 units worth RM3.78 billion in 2014. (The Edge Markets)

UEM Sunrise lowers sales target for 2016
UEM Sunrise Bhd has revised its sales target to RM1.5bil from RM2bil for 2016 in light of the current scenario in the property market. The company expects any recovery in the market to happen in the fourth quarter, driven by strong sales growth in the Klang Valley. The property developer was eyeing land for acquisition in the Klang Valley worth up to RM3bil, and was ready to fork out RM500 million this year to increase its land bank, as well as looking for suitable joint venture partners for township projects. UEM Sunrise is planning to launch an affordable housing project under the Rumah Selangorku scheme in Bangi with average price of RM250,000 this year. (The Star Online)

The yellow office building in question at USJ6

The yellow office building in question at USJ6

USJ6 residents feat worse traffic when new building opens
Residents of USJ6 in Subang Jaya are worried that traffic and security conditions in the neighbourhood will worsen after the opening of a nine-storey office complex in the area. The bright yellow building is located on former Telekom Malaysia land in Jalan USJ6/7, directly opposite the USJ10 Taipan Business Centre, and the main entrance is on the traffic-laden Persiaran Perpaduan. There are also concerns that the traffic congestion will be further aggravated once the USJ7 LRT station begins operations. USJ6 residents have been opposing the development of the nine-storey building since 2005. MPSJ initially ruled that the land could not be subdivided because it was utility reserve land, but approved the development order in 2010. (The Star Online)

Mah Sing wins suit over RM360m land deal
The Seremban High Court has struck out all claims by seven plaintiffs of the RM359.9 million land deal between Mah Sing Bhd’s wholly-owned unit, Grand Prestige Development Sdn Bhd, and three land trustees to be allegedly invalid last year. The 425.4ha land in Rantau, Seremban, was to be developed into a mixed development with a gross development value of RM7.5 billion. The suit was filed against Grand Prestige in August 2015 by the seven plaintiffs, who claimed to be undivided registered proprietors/beneficial owners to the land. Grand Prestige had entered into a SPA in August 2014 with three vendors who are trustees of the land owners. (The Edge Markets)