‘Hire purchase’ system for house purchases approved
The cabinet has approved the implementation of the ‘hire purchase’ system to help those earning less than RM2,500 a month, said Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Noh Omar. He said the system would be implemented in People’s Housing Project (PPR) areas nationwide, including Sabah and Sarawak. For the initial stage, five areas, one each in Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur and two in Selangor, would be opened for the hire and purchase method. Houses offered through the scheme are priced at RM35,000 per unit for Peninsula and RM40,000 in East Malaysia. These units may not be sold to other individuals but to the ministry to be offered to other deserving ones. (Free Malaysia Today)

Genting, Pavilion to undertake US$6bil development in Vietnam
Genting Group and Pavilion Group are partnering with Vietnam-based property developer Van Thinh Phat Group Corp to undertake a US$6 billion (RM24.3 billion) mixed development project called Saigon Peninsula in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The project covers nearly 118ha at Phu Thuan Ward in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 7. It was reported that Genting and Pavilion together with Van Thinh Phat has signed the cooperation agreement last Wednesday. The project will include a multifunctional park, an international cruise terminal port, office towers, resort villas, apartment blocks and a hotel. (The Edge Markets)

penang ferryJohor-Singapore water taxi suggested
Property development within the eastern side of Iskandar Malaysia is likely to see a boost with a proposal by the state government to set up a water taxi service between Johor and Singapore. The water taxi, a public transportation service between Kong Kong and Changi Ferry Terminal in Singapore, would help stimulate migration to the eastern part of Johor. A feasibility study is still being carried out on the proposal. The service is expected to save more than half the current travel time; currently, it takes up to two hours to travel between Pasir Gudang and Singapore via the Causeway, while the water taxi is estimated to take only 20 minutes per trip. (The Star Online)

Muted budget seen for property sector
House price growth is expected to remain flat over the next four to five years, on the assumption that there will be no major policy changes during the period. A relatively muted Budget 2017 is expected for the property sector; it will still be very ‘rakyat-centric’, where benefits will be given out under government housing schemes and maybe additional subsidies for affordable housing, as well as BR1M. However, such measures will not have any significant impact on developers. Fiscal measure-wise, lowering or removing the real property gains tax (RPGT) will be detrimental to the property market, as it may cause panic-selling which further exacerbates the oversupply situation. (The Star Online)

Revamped Summit USJ mall to greet shoppers
Summit USJ mall in Subang Jaya, which has been undergoing extensive renovations for almost two years, is set to complete its RM70.48 million upgrade in September and will be officially launched by December. It will sport a fresh new look, revamped logo and with the addition of more retailers. Major upgrading works included the glass exterior facade that lights up at night, the extension of the main facade to allow for additional retail space as well as the upgrading of the flooring, ceilings, pillars, balustrade and railings in the common areas. The mall has also switched to LED lighting as part of its efforts to be more eco-friendly. New additions include Homepro, MinNature, Encore Family Karaoke, Chai The Fashion Emporium and the newly refurbished Golden Screen Cinemas. (The Star Online)

Summit USJ mall’s new facade which is made entirely out of glass. -The Star Online

Summit USJ mall’s new facade which is made entirely out of glass. -The Star Online

Penang to review developer contribution costs
Penang is planning to review the contribution costs imposed on property developers in efforts to bring down development costs, and is currently in the midst of finalising the review. A fixed rate has bee considered, instead of using a formula. Contribution costs are charges developers have to pay local authorities in lieu of public amenities or low cost housing requirements. Penang developers have raised concerns over increasing development costs, which include contribution costs, rising prices of materials and depreciation of the ringgit. The state government is also proposing to implement the Rent Control Act to ensure pre-war heritage property owners do not increase their rent indiscriminately. (Malay Mail Online)