KL, Georgetown, KK among world’s best places to retire
Kuala Lumpur and Georgetown have been named among the world’s best places to retire by Live and Invest Overseas. In its 2017 Annual Overseas Retirement Index, which took into consideration a range of liveability factors, both Malaysian cities scored A’s, alongside Lisbon, Portugal and Abruzzo, Italy. Also in the list are Kota Kinabalu and Kundasang in Sabah, which scored B+ and B- respectively. The Index cited low cost of living, real estate affordability, good infrastructure and low crime rate as the major attractions for retirees to spend their golden years in Malaysia. Portugal’s Algarve was named the best place in the world to retire for the fourth consecutive year, with an A+ score. (NST Online)

HBA: Easing lending guidelines not the solution
Relaxing banks’ lending criteria is not the solution to address the issue of access to affordable housing loans, said the National House Buyers Association (HBA) secretary-general Chang Kim Loong. “The current problem is that house prices are too expensive in relation to the buyers’ income. This has resulted in some prospective house buyers having their loan applications rejected. However, the solution is not to relax lending guidelines but to find ways to lower property prices,” he said. This was in response to Rehda’s call for banks to be less strict in their lending criteria. (The Sun Daily)

Renters told to live within their means
Malaysians who are renting because they cannot afford to buy their own home are cautioned to live within their means. “The lifestyle you want sometimes dictates what you are willing to pay,” said Khazanah Research Institute’s research director Dr Suraya Ismail. Tenants, she said, should not fork out 30% or more of their monthly income on rent. That 30% rate is typically what one would pay to own a home, so when it comes to renting “it shouldn’t be 30% or above”. (The Star Online)

Nazri: Property tourism can attract foreign investments
New developments with iconic architectural designs will be the way forward to attract foreign investments to Malaysia via “property tourism”, says Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz. Projects that could become new iconic landmarks would bring back excitement to the local real estate scene and help boost the country’s economic growth in the property and tourism sectors. Property tourism accounted for a major portion of income for the “Malaysia My Second Home” programme which had contributed RM4.9bil to Malaysia’s real estate sector since 2012. (The Star Online)

Johor to complete 5,490 affordable houses by year end
The Johor state government aims to complete the construction of a total of 5,490 affordable housing units and offer them to buyers by the end of this year, proving its commitment to building some 60,000 units of affordable housing by 2020. The 5,490 affordable housing units comprise 621 units under Johor Community Housing (PKK) (A); 1,444 units of PKJ (B) and another 3,425 units are under RMMJ. (The Sun Daily)

Developers facing difficulties complying with SMA/SMR
Developers are finding it difficult to comply with the requirement under the country’s stata management laws, such as the Strata Management Act 2013 (SMA), to submit the number of share units in a development when submitting their strata plans to the authorities. It is impractical for property developers to determine the entire number of share units before selling the first parcel, because market condition and demands may change over time. This is especially difficult for large integrated developments comprising various components such as serviced apartments, hotels, offices, shopping malls, hospitals and others. (The Edge Markets)

Gadang bags RM475mil Cyberjaya Hospital job
Construction and property development firm Gadang Holdings Bhd has bagged a job to design and build Cyberjaya Hospital in Sepang, Selangor for RM475 million. It accepted the letter of award from government-owned Cyberview Sdn Bhd to undertake the proposed development of the 288-bed hospital. Gadang did not say how long the construction works for Cyberjaya Hospital would take or when it would begin the work. The hospital would span over 4.86ha and would help reduce the congestion at public hospitals in Putrajaya and Serdang. (The Star Online)

Matrix Concepts acquiring 21 parcels of Port Dickson land for RM56.9mil
Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd plans to buy 21 parcels of land in Port Dickson for RM56.99 million to increase its land bank to serve as an extension to its existing Bandar Sri Sendayan development. Its wholly-owned unit BSS Development Bhd signed sale and purchase agreements with individual landowners for the land measuring in total 53.43 hectares. Matrix said it would sustain continuous development in the township, which is surrounded by upcoming developments, and act as a catalyst to increase value to the properties in the vicinity to improve the infrastructure serving the land. (The Edge Markets)

PPR flats

Govt committed to transforming ‘slum’ image of PPR housing projects
The Government is committed to transform the image of low-cost housing projects (PPR) and to give them a facelift to improve the well-being and quality of residents. The Housing, Local Government and Urban Wellbeing Ministry is in the process of transforming public perception of PPR through the provision of better features and facilities. Since 2016, all new PPR projects have more holistic improvements and one of the key features of the new PPR buildings would be a seismic safety feature to reduce the probability of impact on the structure in the event of an earthquake, which has occurred quite frequently over the years. (Malay Mail Online)