Increase in property transaction fees
Following the revision of the fee structure in the Solicitors’ Remuneration Order last year, the sale and transfer of property valued at RM500,000 and below will now be subjected to a 1% conveyancing fee. A 0.8% conveyancing fee will also be charged for properties between RM500,000 and RM1 million. Previously, only properties worth RM150,000 and below were subjected to a 1% fee while those costing above RM150,000 and up to RM1mil were imposed with a 0.7% charge. However, like the old Order, property transactions from licensed housing developers will automatically get between 25% and 35% reduction in fees depending on the value. Before the revision, the fee structure had remained the same for the past 11 years. In Malaysia, both buyers and sellers in a property transaction pay the conveyancing fees to their own lawyers. (The Star Online)

China to invest RM3bil for Kuala Kedah terminal
China is looking to build a RM3 billion Kedah Integrated Fishery Terminal (KIFT) in Kuala Kedah for landing and processing of tuna fish. The terminal would be fully-funded by China’s Lu Hai Feng, a private company based in Qingdao, and build on 2,340 hectares along the coastal area from Taman Bersatu up to Kampung Tebengau in Kuala Kedah. The terminal is set to be the base for tuna fishing boats operating in the Indian Ocean. (Malay Mail Online)

Sabah property prices likely to drop 5-10%
Property prices in Sabah are likely to head for a gradual decline if the current economic trend persists, coupled with stricter bank loan approvals. A 5-10% decline is a fair estimate, said C.H. Williams, Talhar & Wong (Sabah) Sdn Bhd director Cornelius Koh. It would not be a total crash of the market, as there is always demand for housing, commercial and office properties. Koh said the volume of transactions has been on a downward trend for the past two years, but the value of property sales had maintained in most cases. (The Borneo Post)

Sarawak to review policy for mid-income group to buy homes
Sarawak will fine-tune its financial model to enable the middle-income group to purchase their own houses in the state. Under the new financial model those in the middle-income bracket will purchase homes in housing projects financed by the state government. Currently, Sarawak has its own affordable housing programme called “Skim Perumahan Rakyat Khas” (Spektra) or Special Public Housing Scheme that was designed based on the geographical location of the housing project. It is designed for those in the RM4,000 and below income bracket while Spektra Medium is targeted to those earning RM5,000 and below. (Free Malaysia Today)

Malaysians still investing in London, say property experts
London remains the investment location of choice for Malaysians who invest abroad, despite some selling in the market following the announcement of Brexit, say property consultants. Investors who buy in the UK for recurring income and rent out their properties, especially to tenants working in the financial markets, would feel some jitters, but are in no hurry to sell as most are long-term investors. For long-term investors, the majority of whom buy for their children studying in the UK, there is a wait-and-see stance as there is some uncertainty due to Brexit. The UK and Australia have always been the preferred locations due to the similarities with Malaysia. (The Sun Daily)

Malaysia willing to replace Durban for 2022 Commonwealth Games
Malaysia has expressed its willingness to replace Durban as the 2022 Commonwealth Games host. The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is searching for a replacement host, after Durban was stripped of the right to stage the Games following a trail of missed deadlines and financial problems. It would have been the first African city to host the Games. The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) is keen to be the new host, as it was the first Asian country to host the Games in 1998, and had all the facilities and stadiums to organise the event. (The Star Online)

Lexis Hibiscus bags two Guinness World Records
Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson has bagged two accolades from the Guinness World Records for most swimming pools and overwater villas in a resort. Deputy Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin said Lexis Hibiscus had set a new record in the country where every accommodation comes with an indoor pool. The RM400 million resort development, which opened to guests in 2015, has also contributed positively towards the country’s tourism industry. Lexis Hibiscus was the first hotel to apply for and now holds the first record for such accolades from Guinness World Records. (New Straits Times Online)

Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson is shaped after the national flower.

Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson is shaped after the national flower.