‘More than half of Selangor home loan applications rejected due to PTPTN blacklist’
The Selangor Land and Housing Board has requested Bank Negara Malaysia to exercise leniency on the blacklist for housing loans in the state. This is because more than half of those who applied for home loans were rejected were to debts with the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN). The issue is problematic for many potential house buyers, especially those involving the state’s affordable housing projects, Rumah Selangorku. The Board is also proposing for action to be taken against developers who refuse to build Rumah Selangorku despite already getting the approvals. (Astro Awani)

E-commerce spurs demand for big warehouses
The rapid growth of online businesses in Malaysia is increasing demand for larger warehouses, a market segment which most property players have yet to fully grasp. “Online sellers are going to need space to store their products… we should start going towards the development of large spaces over 500,000 sq ft,” said Axis REIT Managers Bhd head of investments Siva Shanker. Statistics showed that more than 20 million Malaysians, or two-thirds of the country’s population, are active Internet users. This high Internet usage is helping to fuel the boom in online shopping.As these online retailers grow, demand for better and larger warehouses will increase. However, investors have yet to fully realise the potential for industrial property as a good investment opportunity, as the market is too skewed towards residential real estate. (The Star Online)

Reclaimed ‘Forest City’ project triggers ecology fears
The planned Forest City development, a RM1.68bil futuristic “eco city” of high-rises and waterfront villas, is attracting interest from investors with promises of luxury living, but there are concerns over its future due to China’s economic woes and warning of environmental catastrophe. The project will sit on four man-made islands created via land reclaimation in the Johor Strait. Offering 700,000 residential units as well as shopping malls, international schools, hotels, convention venues and medical facilities on 1,370 hectares, the city will even have its own immigration centre. Environmentalists say in addition to the uncertain China economy, it could be detrimental to the local ecology and affect fishermen’s livelihoods. The dumping of sand to build the new city – an estimated 162 million cubic metres – could alter tides and destroy marine life. A study by the developer acknowledged a “permanent loss of traditional fishing ground” and damage to seagrass meadows and mangroves due to the development. (The Straits Times)

A potential buyer looking at a scale mode of the Forest City development (ST Filepic)

A potential buyer looking at a scale mode of the Forest City development (ST Filepic)

Malaysia to suffer most from Brexit, say Japanese economists
While it was reported that Malaysian developers in the UK are optimistic about their projects even after Brexit, the Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER) has warned that the country will likely be affected by the result of the referendum. Malaysia is more heavily indebted to British institutions than other Southeast Asian countries, and also has the most direct foreign investments in Britain, compared with Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. Last year, Knight Frank found Malaysia to be the third largest Asian investor in the Australian and British property markets. (Property Report)

Two more JVs win Pan Borneo Highway contracts
Following two awards for the Pan Borneo Highway contract announced last week, another two joint ventures have won contracts for the highway project. Worth a total of RM2.87 billion, the two packages involve the development and upgrading of phase 1 of the highway in Sarawak. A Naim Engineering-Gamuda joint venture was awarded a RM1.57 billion package for the stretch of highway from Pantu Junction to Batang Skrang, while a Mudajaya-Musyati joint venture bagged a RM1.333 billion contract for the stretch from Sungai Kua Bridge to Sungai Arip Bridge. The Pan Borneo Highway will connect Sabah and Sarawak, with the Sabah portion costing RM2 billion and the Sarawak portion estimated at RM800 million. (The Edge Markets)

Kerjaya Prospek a rising star among property contractors
In the high-rise property development segment, Kerjaya Prospek Group Bhd (KPG) is fast becoming one of the most sought after contractor with a growing list of profitable contract wins. Earlier last month, KPG was awarded a RM213.8mil job to build a 16-storey hotel and a 32-storey service apartment in Malacca. Its long-term recurring clients include Eco World and Eastern & Oriental (E&O). KPG is expected to add at least RM1.1bil worth of new jobs this year and in 2017, up from its previous assumption of RM500mil a year, thanks to its sterling track records of timely delivery. (The Star Online)

Tatt Giap sells Shah Alam property to Tan Chong subsidiary for RM15.5mil
Loss-making stainless steel pipe maker Tatt Giap Group Bhd is selling its property in Shah Alam for RM15.5 million to Tan Chong Motor Holdings Bhd’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Tan Chong Ekspress Auto Servis Sdn Bhd. The leasehold land, which measures over 86,000 sq ft, comes with a single-storey detached warehouse and double-storey office building. The disposal will help Tatt Giap unlock and realise the value of the property and strengthen its financial position. (The Edge Markets)