There is still growth in property sector, says MCT
MCT Bhd’s new CEO, Jose Juan Z Jugo, is confident that the group will continue to achieve growth despite the softer property market, as the sector still offers opportunities. Jugo, who assumed the post in mid-March, is hopeful that the property market will be stronger in the next one to two years, supported by improved government infrastructure. The group will continue to focus on the mass-market residential property segment in the Klang Valley, with houses priced between RM300,000 and RM700,000. MCT recently launched a RM140mil GDV linked townhouse project. It plans to launch three other projects, including affordable apartments and commercial developments, by the end of 2017. (The Edge Markets)

Real estate investment all about timing, says analyst
Real estate investment is all about timing. Many people consider location as the most important factor, which is a common misconception, said Asean renowned real estate analyst, Colin Tan. In understanding the market, it is divided into two types, matured market and emerging market. For example, Singapore before 1997 was an emerging market, in which property can be bought at any time. However, in a matured market, the best time to buy real estate is after a crash or during an economic crisis. The best time to sell is when there is a boom, he said. Malaysia is currently one of the best countries to invest in right now, as it has one of the lowest real estate prices in the world while being relatively developed. (The Borneo Post)

Architect: More to affordable housing than prices
Architect Alan Teh has pointed out that the lack of uniformity in the various affordable housing projects undertaken by the state and federal governments is not the right way to go. He acknowledged that Malaysia was moving in the right direction by leaning towards affordable homes rather than low cost homes, but all the related parties seemed to be working in silos (not sharing information or cohesively working together). Teh said Malaysia should emulate Singapore, where the Housing & Development Board (HDB) oversees, plans and implements the development of public housing projects. The rush to provide affordable housing in Malaysia, coupled with the scarcity of land, had resulted in some projects that were too dense. Ideally, affordable apartments shouldn’t be in blocks that exceed 18 stories or in projects of more than 500 units. (Free Malaysia Today)

MRCB net profit jumps on property sales
MRCB made a net profit of RM10.5mil for 1Q2017, up 2.4 times from the same quarter last year. The developer of transportation hub KL Sentral also posted a 20% increase in revenue during the quarter to RM524.85mil. It attributed the higher performance of the group’s topline and bottomline to property sales in KL Sentral and Melbourne, Australia. From its engineering, construction and environment division, revenue was mainly contributed from refurbishment and upgrading works at the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil and the ongoing construction of MRCB’s property development projects. (The Star Online)

WCT’s 1Q earnings up 3.7 times, led by construction unit
WCT Holdings Bhd’s net profit increased 3.7 times to RM33.08 million in 1QFY17, mainly due to strong contribution from the local construction division. Quarterly revenue fell 2.4% in 1QFY16 from the same period last year. Its engineering and construction division was the primary contributor to the group’s performance in 1QFY17, recording an operating profit of RM30.1 million. It plas to further intensify marketing and product delivery for its property development division, and plans to add new assets into its investment properties portfolio. (The Edge Markets)

Harn Len buys private compare to acquire Johor land
Loss-making oil palm planter and property developer Harn Len Corp Bhd has bought a private company, Midwest Equity Sdn Bhd, for RM24 million to gain access to a plot of land that the latter owns in Johor Bahru. The company is expected to gain from capital appreciation and future development of the land. It is said to be located in the heart of Johor Bahru City Centre and approximately opposite the state’s most strategic development, comprising of six towers — a hotel, a hotel with residences, an office, high rise medical suites, two serviced apartment towers and a mall. (The Edge Markets)

Brickfields iconic landmark closes after 30 years
Sri Kota supermarket, an iconic landmark in Brickfields, will see its shutters rolled down permanently tomorrow. The 32-year-old Sri Kota Supermarket was more than just a neighbourhood store which provided fresh groceries. For the three decades, it was the only place in the area where school children and adults could purchase stationery from colour pencils and erasers to paper of various sizes and grades. The store announced it will close its doors tomorrow, but gave no reasons. (Malay Mail Online)

The Sri Kota supermarket has been a Brickfields landmark for over 30 years. (Photo from Visit Malaysia)