Mah Sing buys KL, Penang land for projects worth RM2.35bil
Mah Sing Group Bhd has acquired two parcels of prime land in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur and Bukit Mertajam, Penang for an integrated development and a business park respectively. The proposed projects would have an estimated combined GDV of RM2.35bil. It is aborting an earlier plan to develop a 85-acre site in Shah Alam, and is spending more than RM300mil to buy the Cheras and Bukit Mertajam land. The 11-acre site in Cheras will be developed into M Vertica, an integrated development with an estimated GDV of RM2.2bil. In Penang, the 10.89-acre freehold land will be used to develop an industrial park using the award-winning iParc concept with GDV of RM150mil. (The Star Online)

Still a market for luxury homes over RM10mil
Malaysia has seen eight transactions on the secondary market for landed residential properties over RM10 million in 2016. According to NAPIC’s 10 Million Ringgit Property Deals of 2016 Report, these properties are located in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Penang. Most of these expensive homes are located in KL — in the premium addresses of Bukit Tunku (or Kenny Hills), Ampang Hilir, Taman Duta and Bukit Bandaraya — and known for their expatriate communities. Also attracting the affluent are houses in Tropicana Golf & Country Resort in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, while in Penang, a double-storey detached home near to the famous Gurney Drive sold at RM11.6mil made it into the list. Due to limited supply, the luxury homes segment will continue to enjoy constant demand due to the homes’ exclusivity and central locations. (The Edge Markets)

Rehda targets RM1bil sales at MAPEX Affordable Housing Carnival
The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (REHDA) is targeting to achieve RM1 billion in sales from around 100,000 units ranging not more than RM500,000 at its upcoming 3 day Affordable Housing Carnival — Malaysia Property Expo (MAPEX). The carnival will be held at the Shah Alam Convention Centre, Selangor from Aug 11 to 13. More than 60 developers and government agencies will take part in the carnival, including Glomac Bhd, IJM Land Bhd, MKH Bhd, UEM Sunrise Bhd, Mitraland Group, Matrix Concepts Holding Bhd and several agencies under the National Housing Department. (The Edge Markets)

Govt urged to set up affordable housing task force
The National House Buyers Association (HBA) has proposed that the government set up an affordable housing taskforce to coordinate and act as a single umbrella for all matters related to affordable housing. The taskforce should be responsible for the collection of data and establish a database of housing units in various stages including planning, construction and completed units, as well as collate data on overhang units that are available for distribution. On the database for house buyers, the National Housing Department is in the process of developing a database named Teduh. To be launched in September, Teduh will provide information on housing such as planned units, approved units, units under construction and completed units, based on area, demand and house buyers’ budget. (The Sun Daily)

Aerial view of Kuching, Sarawak –wiki pic

Sarawak tagets complete road network by 2030
Sarawak has set a target of a complete road network by 2030 for the state to be fully connected, via the Pan Borneo Highway project, to spur further new development along the highway, said Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg. Vital road connectivity would attract more investors participating in various development projects and help to further drive economic activities for the state. To enhance Sarawak’s development status, he said, the state government embarked on several important plans, including the implementation and commissioning of more power plants, dams, port expansion, an LRT line as well as projects under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score). (Malay Mail Online)

McDonald’s Malaysia to spend RM1.4bil on expansion
McDonald’s Malaysia is investing RM1.4 billion to increase the number of its outlets to 450 nationwide by 2025. It achieved year-on-year revenue growth of 16% last year and was confident of continuing the trend this year. The expansion could create 6,000 more jobs on top of 12,000 that McDonald’s Malaysia currently has, and the investment reflected the commitment to serve its growing number of customers. to-date, McDonald’s Malaysia has more than 150 drive-through restaurants, 200 ’24-hour’ restaurants, more than 90 restaurants with delivery services and over 100 McCafes. (The Star Online)

Malaysia-owned Battersea Power Station wins Evening Standard Award
Battersea Power Station has been awarded Property Company of the Year at the Evening Standard’s Business Awards 2017. The development, which beat off strong competition from property heavyweights, was praised for getting the power station project off the ground after over 30 years. Apple was confirmed as a future office tenant and the first resident moving in Circus West Village’s first phase development. Besides new shops, restaurants and office space, 20,000 new homes will be built. There will also be a six-acre public park, a town square and a major extension to the tube line. Restoration of the historic building and regeneration of the wider 16.8-hectare site began in 2013. (Malay Mail Online)

A general view of Battersea Power Station in central London. –AFP PHOTO/POOL/OLI SCRAFF

World Bank: Access to cheap land key to affordable housing
The World Bank said the challenges posed by affordable housing is an issue that is faced by both developing and developed countries, as seen in the Grenfell Tower inferno in Kensington, London. Pockets of extreme wealth and poverty is the biggest problem, as “mistakes are made again and again” and governments “try to subsidise interest rates” for affordable housing. Instead, what is important is land use, with access to cheap land being key to affordable housing. Stakeholders have to look at housing and transport together and neighbourhoods must be planned such that all income levels live together with schools, healthcare and other infrastructure close by. The five areas that determine prices are land cost, labour, building materials, demand/supply and speculation. (The Star Online)