Malaysian buyers favour homes in Singapore, Australia and UK
Singapore, Australia and the UK are the top overseas home choices for wealthy Malaysians, according to Knight Frank’s Wealth Report: Attitudes Survey. Malaysia also topped Asian countries when it comes to looking abroad for children’s education and international work experience. 72% of Malaysian respondents intend to send their children overseas for education, and is one of the key purposes that drive them to buy overseas properties. Real estate investments continue to top the list for Asians’ wealth allocation at 29% compared to the global average of 24%. (The Edge Markets)

DAP: New steel import tax will raise property prices
The new import tax on steel will cause property prices to rise, further sidelining those who cannot afford to buy houses, says DAP. The government’s move to impose a new tax on imported steel products would increase domestic construction costs and lead to higher property prices. Property developers are not likely to absorb the import duty but will instead pass on the cost to buyers. The federal opposition party said instead of imposing taxes on imported steel products, the government should provide the local steel industry with tax rebates or subsidies. This would protect the local industry by ensuring that it could maintain competitive prices and prevent property prices from going up. (Free Malaysia Today)

Ekovest to complete Blue River project by August
Ekovest Bhd’s wholly-owned subsidiary, EkoRiver Construction Sdn Bhd, plans to complete the “Blue River Project”, part of the River of Life project, by Aug 30. The 18-week, RM79mil project awarded by DBKL includes the five-year operations and maintenance period. There is no description given on what “Blue River Project” entails, but it is believed to be part of the beautification of the 10.7km stretch from Sentul to Brickfields into a thriving riverfront. (The Star Online)

Artist’s impression of the transformed riverfront area in Kuala Lumpur. (Image from The Star)

Property experts: Selling below market price not necessarily bad
The property market has bottomed out lower than last year, but according to experts, this may not be a bad thing as there are still willing buyers for discounted properties. Only owners who could no longer bear the hefty mortgage repayment were willing to let go of their high-end properties at 20% to 30% less. The property market is still healthy because there is still a willing buyer for a willing price tag, said Fiabci vice-president Michael Geh. Knight Frank managing director Sarkunan Subramaniam pointed out that 2017 is a good year to buy property. (Malay Mail Online)

TAHPS goes digital to boost profile and sell property
Property developer TAHPS Group Bhd is engaging more digital marketing efforts to reach out to young people who want to buy a property in the future. Its CEO Eugene Khoo said it was important to start engaging them and capture the market now, as those not interested in buying a property today may do so in 10 to 12 years. The group plans to increase its budget in digital marketing initiatives. One way is through the group’s new “Bukit Puchong Community App”. It will be launched on April 22, and aimed at providing Bukit Puchong residents with information on safety matters, up to-date happenings and help deter crime. (The Edge Markets)

Artist’s impression of The Era @ Duta North. (Image by JKG Land)

JKG launches maiden project in Klang Valley
Property developer JKG Land Bhd is venturing into Klang Valley with its flagship project, The Era @ Duta North, in Segambut, Kuala Lumpur. The mixed development is located on 6ha of freehold land north of Jalan Duta, and has a GDV of about RM2.5bil. It will feature six residential blocks on a landscaped deck above a three-storey retail podium. The residential towers will be rolled out in three phases themed Dawn, Noon and Eve and the entire development is set to be completed within eight to 10 years. JKG Land, better known as Keladi Maju Bhd in the northern states of Malaysia, has more than 30 years of property development experience. (The Star Online)

E&O reportedly in talks to sell Straits Quay Mall
Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) is believed to be in talks to finalise the sale of Straits Quay Mall in Seri Tanjung Pinang in Penang, sources say. E&O may dispose of the seven-year-old loss-making freehold property together with a convention centre for an estimated RM230 million — a move that could help the group pare down its debt further. The mall, which is currently 80% tenanted, has a net lettable area of 270,000 sq ft while the convention centre has a built-up of 25,000 sq ft. The asset is an integral component of the entire Seri Tanjung Pinang development. (The Edge Markets)

Government to build 4,800 studio apartments for youth
The Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government has proposed to build 4,800 units of studio apartments for youth on its land in Batu district, Kuala Lumpur. The first phase of the Youth Transit Studio Apartment project would begin in July, and would involve the construction of two-bedroom units with sizes ranging from 450 sq ft to 650 sq ft, with a maximum rental period of five years for each tenant. The tenant will be charged a rental fee of RM800 per month, of which RM300 will be ‘saved’ by the government until the end of the five-year rental period. The ‘savings’ of RM18,000 will be returned after the rental period ends, which will allow them to rent a house or use as deposit to buy a new home. (Free Malaysia Today)