Ministry: 20% of ‘1 Million Affordable Housing’ programme completed
20.7% of the houses under the ‘1 Million Affordable Housing’ programme has been completed as of December 31 2016, said the Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT). 21.7% of the project was still in the construction phase, while the remaining 41.3% was in the planning stage. Six main issues identified in the National Housing Policy are: inability to buy homes; mismatch between supply and demand according to location; ownership patterns and demographic imbalance; management and maintenance; absence of a stock inventory system and integrated homebuyers in each location. (Malay Mail Online)

Nine more cases revealed after landmark ruling against developer extensions
The National House Buyers Association (HBA) has disclosed nine other cases where developers avoided compensating buyers for late delivery via extensions from the government, after a court ruled the practice to be unlawful. The group has on record 10 such cases in Klang, Kuala Lumpur, Shah Alam and Kota Baru where developers secured time extensions from the Housing Controller. The High Court ruled that developers must compensate buyers for delays in handing over vacant possession. Developers are usually given more time to deliver due to reasons such as natural disasters like landslides and floods, developers being faced with lawsuits or stop-work orders or complaints from neighbours. (Malay Mail Online)

Buyers encouraged to take advantage of low bank interest for home loan
Those looking to buy their dream home should take advantage of the current low bank interest rate for housing loans. Zeon Properties Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Leon Lee said the interest rate was hovering at 4.5%, compared to 12% when housing loan interest peaked in 1997. “The interest is still low enough to make property investment an attractive venture. House buyers, especially the first-timers, should grab such opportunity if they come across properties of their choice,” he said. (The Star Online)

China’s Country Garden is here for ‘long term’
Hong Kong-listed Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd, the company that is developing the Forest City project with GDV of US$100 billion (RM444 billion) in Johor, is here to stay for long-term investment. Country Garden Group Malaysia regional president Jason Fu Jinling pointed out that the company’s investment in Malaysia was its own investment initiative, as the Chinese government did not provide incentives for property developers to expand overseas. The group sees Malaysia as a long-term investment destination as economic growth in its homeland China has been slowing down. Besides Forest City, the company has three other developments in Malaysia, namely Central Park and Danga Bay, which like Forest City are also in Johor, and Diamond City in Semenyih, Selangor. (The Edge Markets)

Diamond City in Semenyih is a luxury residential development by Country Garden (Image from CG Diamond City)

Diamond City in Semenyih is a luxury residential development by Country Garden (Image from CG Diamond City)

Penang allocates land for temples, churches
Penang has set aside a 20-acre piece of land in North Seberang Perai for temples and churches. The state government has identified the piece of land in Ampang Jajar in Bagan for non-Muslims to build places of worship. The plot of land, which faces the Prai River, will have 32 lots for non-Muslim religious groups to buy and to build their places of worship. Non-Muslim religious groups have been facing land shortage issues and had no space to build their temples and churches in the state. The land will be sold on a 99-year lease and the land price will be determined by the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH). (Malay Mail Online)

Kerjaya eyes RM800mil order book
Construction company Kerjaya Prospek Group Bhd is set to achieve its order book target of RM800 million for the year, backed by its track record of timely project delivery and prudent cost management.The company, which deployed the industrialised building system (IBS), has notable clients including Eastern & Oriental Bhd, Eco World Development Group Bhd and SP Setia Bhd. This year is expected to be tough for construction companies due to low property sales, but sentiments are likely to improve in the fourth quarter, said group executive chairman Datuk Tee Eng Ho. (The Star Online)

PKNS to focus on strategic development of Malay reserve land
The Selangor State Development Corp (PKNS) will focus on developing the state’s reserve Malay land this year. There were 161,874 hectares of Malay reserve land in Selangor, some of which could be developed to become a potentially continuous business opportunity. The merger of three PKNS hospitality units would increase management efficiency and synergy in the field. It would also be integrating the sales and marketing activities for ongoing development projects in order to strengthen the group’s finances in the future. (Malay Mail Online)

Owners rent-less in Pahang due to economy
The empty shoplots and office blocks in Kuantan are indicative of businesses less willing to pay high rental due to prevailing economic conditions. Pahang Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) chairman Chua Say Chai said the empty shoplots and office blocks here had owners who were unable to rent them out to budget-conscious businessmen. This was a reflection of the non-vibrant economic situation which has not just affected Malaysia but globally, he added. It is hoped that the property situation would improve as more potential buyers from outside Pahang come in due to the launch of Visit Pahang 2017, as well as the ambitious East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) connecting Klang Valley with Pahang. (New Straits Times Online)