Income threshold increased to RM3,000 for PPR unit applicants
The Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry is planning to increase the salary threshold for PPR recipients from RM2,500 to RM3,000, which would allow more people to apply for houses under the scheme. It would also make it easier for the ministry to cross-check the salaries of applicants with the 1Malaysia People’s Assistance (BR1M) database, as it will bring the maximum salary consistent with BR1M recipients. PPR housing projects are targeted at the low-income group, with units being subsidised by the government. The ministry also recently announced it would introduce a new rent-to-own scheme for PPR housing projects to help increase house ownership. To date, the federal government has completed 133 PPR projects involving 80,252 units nationwide. (Malay Mail Online)

Penang opens tender for 600 low cost housing units
The Penang government has announced an open tender exercise to build 600 low cost housing units on state-owned land at Ujung Batu in Bagan Dalam, Seberang Perai. The project will be builts through a proposed development agreement exercise, said chief minister Lim Guan Eng. The project is part of the state’s efforts to solve squatter problems in the area. The land, covering 13.325 acres, will be developed into low cost flats, mixed development, related infrastructure and facilities, and expected to be completed over 10 years from the start of the project. (Malay Mail Online)

Sime Darby launches Alya Kuala Lumpur worth RM8bil
Sime Darby Property has launched the Alya Kuala Lumpur with GDV of RM8 billion. Spread across 360 acres, Alya KL is located near to the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club Resort (KLGCC Resort) and will comprise residential (bungalows, condominiums, town-houses and serviced apartments), commercial, retail and hospitality components. It is adjacent to the Bukit Kiara public park and has easy access to KL’s established suburbs within 15km, which are complemented with international schools, specialist centres, malls, F&B outlets and commercial centres. The KLGCC Resort would also be rebranded to be synonymous with a prestigious golf club with real estate development around it. (The Star Online)

Government has approved over 82,000 civil servant housing units
The government has approved 82,012 units of houses under the 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing project (PPA1M) nationwide, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. The objective was to ensure civil servants could own their dream house. He added that civil servants should grab this opportunity to own a house for their family, and urged them to visit the PPA1M website to see the list of projects and apply for a house. In October last year, when tabling the 2016 Budget, Najib said 100,000 units of PPA1M houses, costing between RM90,000 and RM300,000, would be built by 2018. (Malay Mail Online)

IOI Properties’ Q4 earnings drop 3%
IOI Properties Group Bhd’s earnings slipped 3% in Q4 due to higher tax expense, despite 45.2% higher revenue. However, its pre-tax profit grew 5% and operating profit improved 49% in the fourth quarter. All its three main operating segments — property development, property investment and leisure & hospitality — contributed to the bertter results. IOI Properties’ annual earnings, meawhile, jumped 21.3% to RM1.08bil as revenue surged 58.7% to RM3.02bil. (The Star Online)

Construction sector shines amidst slow economy
In the midst of the gloomy economic growth of 4% in 2Q16, the construction sector continues to outperform other sectors as it registers the highest growth rate of 8.8%. Statistics by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) also show the construction industry continues to be on the uptrend. From a growth rate of 5.6% recorded in 2Q15, the construction sector pumped up to 7.9% in 1Q16 and 8.8% in 2Q16. Growth in 2016 was found to be dominated by the civil engineering sub-sector. “We are expecting growth of between eight and 10 per cent for 2016 driven by infrastructure projects including the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT) the highway projects in East Malaysia and affordable housing projects. Those projects (will) ensure consistent growth in the local construction segment, which will contribute to the country’s economy as well as its people through employment opportunities,” said Minister of Works Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof. (The Borneo Post)

Developer to widen roads in Section 17 after project completion
Wider lanes and new road access will be constructed to reduce traffic congestion in Section 17, Petaling Jaya, once the Biji Living mixed development project there is completed end of 2017 or early 2018. The developer, Kampung Manis Realty Sdn Bhd which is part of the Conlay Group of Companies, will be upgrading the roads in line with their project development. A road from the Sprint Highway directly into the upper level parking area has been proposed, and traffic around the square will also be changed to one-way. There have been numerous complaints from residents and hawkers in the area about the worsening traffic congestion and negative effect on businesses. (The Star Online)

A scale model of the Biji Living development (Photo from The Star)

A scale model of the Biji Living development (Photo from The Star)