Houses up to RM165,000 considered to be affordable for Malaysians
Houses priced up to RM165,060 are considered affordable to a mediam Malaysian household, according to Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Othman Aziz. The figure was calculated based on the “median multiple” methodology to evaluate urban housing markets. A house is considered affordable if a household can finance it with less than three times its annual household income. Othman pointed out that only 21% of new housing projects launched in Malaysia were priced below RM250,000 in 2014. “Affordable housing is a basic necessity that helps to create strong and stable communities, with better economic, education and health outcomes for individuals, families, and communities,” said Othman. Even with help of government initiatives, the shortfall in housing supply reflects the mismatch between pace of supply for affordable housing and increase in the number of households. (The Rakyat Post)

PDC to build more affordable housing units in Penang
The Penang Development Corporation (PDC) is set to build more affordable housing units in the state, with the state government tasking the corporation with constructing some 800 low medium-cost (LMC) houses on mainland Penang. The units will be built on state land and priced at RM72,500. The state will tap into a fund where contributions had been made by property developers who had not built low cost and low-medium cost housing units within their developments. An affordable housing project in Seberang Prai would be the first of several other similar projects carried out by PDC. (New Straits Times Online)

Johor Halal Park gets boost with 3 landmark agreements
Johor Halal Park (JHP) is getting a boost with three MoUs signed recently, which are expected to propel its growth towards becoming one of the best halal industrial parks in the world, with world class facilities and halal eco-system. The MoUs were signed with Johor Toyyiban Laboratories Sdn Bhd (JTLab), Johor Islamic Religious Council (MAIJ) and SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp). JTLab will provide comprehensive scientific services for regional and international markets in Johor; MAIJ will purchase freehold properties worth RM20.5 million in the park; and SME Corp will establish a platform that is conducive to the growth of small and medium enterprises in JHP, as well as help them lease premises with an option to purchase later. (Bernama)

Artist's impression of One Bukit Senyum

Artist’s impression of One Bukit Senyum

JB City Council relocating HQ to One Bukit Senyum project
The Johor Bahru City Council (MBJB) will be collaborating with Singapore-listed property developer Astaka Holdings Ltd to relocate its new headquarters to a new central business district in Johor, One Bukit Senyum (OBS). An MoU was signed between both parties, whereby Astaka will construct, develop and sell to MBJB a 14-storey Grade A office tower, Menara MBJB. It will be located adjacent to The Astaka, a project envisaged to be Southeast Asia’s tallest residential towers, upon completion. The Astaka is being constructed within the OBS and about 700 MBJB staff will relocate to OBS once the office tower is completed by the end of 2019. (The Edge Markets)

IJM launches property gallery at Pantai Sentral Park
Property developer IJM Land Bhd and its JV partner, Amona Development Sdn Bhd, have launched the IJM Land Centre of Excellence (ICE) Gallery at Pantai Sentral Park, Kuala Lumpur. Also known as ‘A Jewel In The Park’, the 2,694sqm column-free property gallery accentuates two transparent interlocking geometric glass cubes with organic structures in its interior. Constructed entirely with glass segments and steel, the property gallery uses natural daylight and takes in views of the surrounding forest. The ICE Gallery is being used to highlight architectural models, showrooms and various interactive and experiential exhibits. Pantai Sentral Park, located in Bukit Kerinchi, will consist of a 30-storey IJM office tower and a 36-storey serviced apartment, expected to complete in 2019. (The Star Online)

Illegal parking near LRT station worry Subang Jaya residents
Residents of Subang Jaya are concerned about outsiders parking in their housing area following the opening of the new LRT stations. Complaints of indiscriminate parking, in several neighbourhoods, have increased after the new LRT line extension project began operations last month. Of the seven station in Subang Jaya, only three have park-and-ride facilities. However, only the USJ21 station parking facility with 564 bays is ready. There have been a marked increase in the number of vehicles parked illegally on road shoulders, along the walkway, under trees in housing areas, along main roads and in reserved Rapid KL lots. Auxiliary police have been instructed to clamp vehicles, and MPSJ are conducting frequent patrols and brought in extra tow trucks to manage traffic flow and illegal parking. (The Star Online)

A complete disregard for safety is evident as vehicles are seen parked along a main road in Subang Jaya. (Photo from The Star)

A complete disregard for safety is evident as vehicles are seen parked along a main road in Subang Jaya. (Photo from The Star)