Investors predict KL office space glut in 2017
Office space in the country’s capital and its surrounding areas is expected to experience surplus as demand continues to dip from 2016, said JLL Malaysia. This scenario is generally due to a slump in the financial services and petroleum industry after some offices in Kuala Lumpur are either consolidated, shut down or downsized. The rise in vacancy rates will put pressure on rents and capital values. The central business district (CBD) and fringe markets are expected to suffer a drop of up to 10% this year, while capital values of offices spaces in the city are expected to reduce by 0.3% this year. (Malay Mail Online)

Gadang to build RM700mil residential project in Kwasa Damansara
Gadang Holdings has won the development rights for a 8.53ha plot within the Kwasa Damansara township from Kwasa Land Sdn Bhd, the master developer of the new township. The proposed development, which has an estimated gross development value of RM700 million, will feature 780 residential units comprising a combination of high-rise towers and villas. The project is expected to be launched by January 2019, and will take 6 years for the entire project to be completed. The plot fronts a 28.91-acre green park, which is complemented by a 13.64-acre lake. It is accessible through Persiaran Atmosfera and will in the future be connected to the Guthrie highway. (The Edge Markets)

Trinity plans more projects in Greater KL
The expected growth in Greater Kuala Lumpur’s population is encouraging mid-size developer Trinity Group to build more properties in anticipation of future demand. The expected growth of Greater KL’s population to 10 million by 2020 promises great potential for business owners, property investors and the community at large, said its founder and managing director Datuk Neoh Soo Keat. Trinity group has an ongoing project called Trinity Aquata worth RM370 million within the Golden Triangle of KL South, and is scheduled to be completed by mid-2019. (New Straits Times)

Gamuda Gardens offers lifestyle with rich nature living in a satellite township (Image from NST)

Gamuda Gardens offers lifestyle with rich nature living in a satellite township (Image from NST)

Gamuda Gardens gets boost from new access road
Last week saw the opening of a new access road at the Kuang Sistem interchange at the North-South Expressway (NSE), which will cut travel time from Kuala Lumpur to Kundang in northern Selangor by about 10km. The 3.1km road will benefit projects such as Gamuda Gardens, as it will provide direct connectivity to the development. Gamuda Gardens is a 328ha mixed-use development project by Gamuda Land, with a GDV of more than RM10 billion and developed over 15 years. Its key features are the five cascading lakes integrated into a 20.2ha park with a majestic waterfall, a mixed terrain cycling trail and a vibrant waterfront village. Phase 1, which will consts of double-storey terraced houses, is targeted for launch after the Chinese New Year. (New Straits Times)

Govt urged to introduce allocation mechanism for PR1MA home buyers
The House Buyers Association (HBA) has called for the government to implement an allocation mechanism for buyers of PR1MA homes, following the new income eligibility which was increased to RM15,000. HBA pointed out that as more people from the middle income group are now eligible to own PR1MA homes, the core objective of the programme, which is to provide affordable homes to the lower income earners should be safeguarded. Although the new rule will increase home ownership, it would also give a higher advantage to middle income earners over those from the low income group. (Malay Mail Online)

PNB to buy SILK Highway for RM380mil
Silk Holdings Bhd’s toll concession asset will be sold to Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) for RM380 million. Silk Holdings has entered into a conditional share purchase agreement with PNB for the disposal of 100% of the issued and paid-up share capital of SILK Highway for RM380 million. Silk Holdings intends to allocate RM200 million for future investments, up to RM70 million for shareholder distribution, and RM110 million for general corporate and working capital and others. The disposal is in line with the group’s strategy to monetise and unlock value of its infrastructure assets. For PNB, the acquisition is part of its strategy to expand and enhance its existing portfolio of highway infrastructure assets which provide recurring income stream. (The Edge Markets)

S’pore willing to lift road charge
Singapore will lift its Reciprocal Road Charge of S$6.40, which will start from Feb 15, once Malaysia imposes its Road Charge at the Thai border, the republic’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan was quoted as saying. The new charge mirrors Malaysia’s RC of RM20 per entry for foreign-registered cars entering Johor, which was implemented last November. Singapore has always viewed the implementation of RC in Johor as being targeted at vehicles from the island state, saying that Malaysia was being selective in imposing the charge as vehicles coming through its other border (Thailand) were exempted from it. Singapore implemented its vehicle entry permit (VEP) in 1973 while Malaysia only just started it last year. (The Star Online)

The RM20 road charge is collected each time foreign vehicles enter Malaysia via Touch n' Go cards. (Photo: Ng Lian Cheong/Channel 8 News)

The RM20 road charge is collected each time foreign vehicles enter Malaysia via Touch n’ Go cards. (Photo: Ng Lian Cheong/Channel 8 News)