PR1MA phone app launched
The 1Malaysia Housing Project (PR1MA) phone app was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday at Putra World Trade Centre. PR1MA chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Mutalib Alias said the free app would provide easier access for potential home owners to register and apply to buy PR1MA houses and check their application status. Potential buyers are also able to register and apply through our website, but the app provides easier access to PR1MA. Malaysians with a monthly salary of RM2,500 to RM10,000 and are seeking their first or second homes are eligible to apply for the housing units sold between RM100,000 and RM400,000 each. (New Straits Times Online)

Housing prices not dropping, best to buy now
Prices of Malaysian houses will not be going down anytime soon, so those looking for a good deal should just buy now. Rehda president Datuk Seri Fateh Iskandar Mohamed Mansor said prospective housebuyers cannot count on property prices falling significantly despite a softer property market. “It’ll come down a little bit, but at the end of the day, it will go up a lot more than it will come down,” he added, having noted earlier that those who cannot afford to buy housing property should rent instead. While developers still need to sell off their units, many may not offer lower prices but instead offer free items such as cabinets and air-conditioners. This year was a challenging one for property developers, due to global economic uncertainty and a weaker ringgit. (Malay Mail Online)

Photo from Vertilite Asia

Photo from Vertilite Asia

Property still a favourite investment for Malaysians
Property continues to be a favourite investment portfolio among Malaysians, given the country’s high population growth rate that supports demand. The richest people in the country gained 50% of their wealth through real estate. In a developing country such as Malaysia, the population growth rate is ever increasing, and as such there will be a high demand for housing. Not only will first-time housebuyers be purchasing, but investors as well, since they need products that are tangible and solid that makes property a favourite investment portfolio. Capital appreciation of and rental income from a well-chosen project also add to the appeal of property investment. (The Star Online)

Rehda wants local developers to have similar incentives as China developers
It is alright for Putrajaya to welcome property developers from China, but incentives should be given to local developers too, the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda) said. Rehda president Datuk Seri Fateh Iskandar Mohamed Mansor noted that Malaysia is an open market and China was pouring investment worth billions of US dollars into the region. However, he pointed out that if incentives were given out to foreigners, then Malaysians should get the incentives first. “It’s not right to get a foreign contractor or developer to come and you give that person or that company incentives: tax rebates, no tax for five years or pioneer status. We Malaysians are the ones paying tax from day one, so please be fair to us,” he said. It is crucial for the Malaysian government to ensure a level playing field for developers. (Malay Mail Online)

MRCB Q3 net profit soars more than fourfold
MRCB’s financial results for 3Q saw its net profit surge over four times to RM29.39 million compared to the previous corresponding quarter. Its revenue was also up by 47.4% to RM551.22 million compared to the same quarter last year, mainly due to the group’s core operating activities of property development and investment. However, its cumulative net profit for the nine months fell 73.9% from the same period last year. The company expects a busier year ahead, with 5 new projects set to launch. (New Straits Times Online)

Strong take-up rate for phase 1 of Eco Ardence
Eco World’s Eco Ardence project has recorded a strong take-up rate of 85% for its first phase since launching in September. The first phase comprised 432 units of semi-Ds and bungalows, priced from RM1.3mil to RM3mil. Phase 2, which is also made up of semi-D and bungalow units, will be launched in the first half of 2017. The RM8.58bil Eco Ardence township consists of four phases of landed and residential properties, which will be progressively launched in eight to 10 years. The properties will be complemented by commercial developments such as shoplots, office towers, serviced apartments and even a hospital. (The Star Online)

More foreign demand for Singapore homes
Foreigners are jumping back into the private residential property market in Singapore in greater numbers, with buyers from China being the top buying group. Property consultancy JLL said there were 782 transactions by foreigners – exclusing permanent residents – in the first nine months of this year, an 11.7% surge year on year. The largest numbers of buyers came from China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the United States. Since December 2011, foreign buyers have been subjected to an additional levy of 10% of the purchase price of the property. The levy was raised to 15% in January 2013, further crimping foreign demand for homes. (AsiaOne)