KRI: T20 group getting govt aid for homeownership a fiscal burden
The government’s affordable housing programmes have reached the top 20% (T20) of Malaysian households, which is a fiscal burden for the government, said Khazanah Research Institute (KRI). T20 households are those who earn RM8,320 per month and above. According to data from state governments and calculations done by KRI, T20 households now qualify for certain government-assisted schemes, namely 1Malaysia People’s Housing Programme (PR1MA), Rumah Mampu Milik (RMM) Pulau Pinang, Federal Territories Affordable Homes Programme (Rumawip), 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing (PPA1M) and Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd’s RMM. Fiscally, it is a burden to the government to start giving houses from B40 (bottom 40%) to M40 (middle 40%) and now to T20 of households in Malaysia. The private sector should be more efficient, have more and better priced housing to cater to the M40 and T20. (The Sun Daily)

Dutaland may use RM750mil from plantation sale for property
Dutaland Bhd’s sale of its 11,579ha oil palm estate in Sabah may finally give the embattled company the breathing space it needs to rejuvenate its operations, especially as it has land bank in Kuala Lumpur. The sale of the estate for RM750mil to Boustead Plantations Bhd came as timely news to investors. The group currently holds mixed-development land totaling 3.47 acres with a net book value of RM354.21mil all of which are in Kuala Lumpur. The proceeds from the sale will allow it to redirect its attention to its property development division, which recorded a loss of RM4.3mil in its first quarter ended March 31, 2017, owing to a lack of development activities. (The Star Online)

Design Village Penang aims to draw in 2.5 million visitors this year
Design Village Penang Outlet Mall, the northern region’s first premium outlet mall, is looking to attract some 2.5 million visitors this year. For the first seven months of this year, the outlet has attracted 1.1 million visitors with RM66 million in total retail spending. Since it opened its doors last November, it has hosted 1.3 million visitors. It is banking on the year-end crowd to boost visitor numbers. About 80% of the 150 stores have been occupied, with occupancy rates expected to reach 90% by the end of this year. The 10.1ha mall built by PE Land, and marketed by Savills Malaysia, features a coterie of fashion shops, including international and regional brands at discounts. (NST Online)

Design Village Penang outlet mall (Photo from Malay Mail Online)

Sime Darby on track to list plantation, property businesses by year-end
Sime Darby Bhd , the world’s largest oil palm planter by land size, said it was on track to spin-off and list its plantations and property businesses by year-end, after restructuring that would create three standalone units. Restructuring would involve reorganising borrowings and transferring assets within the group. The conglomerate also plans to settle inter-company loans by issuing new shares for spun-off entities, Sime Darby Plantation and Sime Darby Property. Sime Darby Plantation and Sime Darby Property will seek admission into Bursa Malaysia, while its trading and logistics businesses would remain with the parent company that would retain its listed status. (Reuters)

China buyers still keen on Malaysia
Outbound property buying by investors from China surpassed the US$100 billion (RM480 billion) mark last year, according to international property portal It estimated that Chinese outbound commercial and residential property investments last year was US$101.4 billion worldwide. The top five destinations for Chinese investments are the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, Canada and the United Kingdom. Despite the “well-publicised issues” at Forest City in Johor, Malaysia is among the countries that would likely win more Chinese property investments this year, including from individual investors. The Malaysian property market offers significant growth potential that stems from strong economic fundamentals and demographic factors, offering plenty of opportunities for Chinese investors. (NST Online)

Site of detention ponds given to company for mixed development
The Federal Territories Land Office has confirmed that the land where three flood detention ponds are located has been given to a private company for a mixed-development project. The three detention ponds were the Jinjang, Wahyu and Batu flood detention ponds. Kepong and Taman Wahyu residents had questioned the change of ownership of the land, and were against any development except for recreational use. When pressed further for details on the project, how the land was given to the company and if the ponds would be filled for the project, the land office declined to comment further. (The Star Online)

Detention pond at Taman Wahyu (Photo from The Star)

Defaulters owe Miri City Council RM10.46mil
The irresponsible action by many ratepayers who have yet to settle their payments has caused the Miri City Council (MCC) to incur RM10.46 million in outstanding assessment bills. There are defaulters who have not settled their bills since 1980s – some of them even bear RM1 million in arrears on their bills; they remain reluctant to settle the bills even after receiving notices sent their respective properties. In view of this, the council is going to publish the list of top 10 defaulters at the council’s ‘Wall of Shame’ board, starting next month. (The Borneo Post)

Terengganu to open tourism hub in Huaxi, China
Terengganu will be the first state in Malaysia to have a tourism hub in China and it will be set up in Huaxi, dubbed its ‘richest village’, located in Jiangsu province, to attract more Chinese tourists to the state. The provincial government had approved a 0.4-hectare piece of land for the building of a pavilion based on the Terengganu traditional house concept at a cost of RM3 million in the Chinese town. Construction of the pavilion would start anytime from now. The Terengganu pavilion in Huaxi will be a centre for marketing products by the state’s entrepreneurs, and tourism exhibitions will be held from time to time. (Astro Awani)

China Vanke logo (Photo from TheTrendler)

China Vanke aims to be world’s top logistics property developer
China Vanke, the second largest developer by sales in China, is aiming to become the world’s largest logistics property developer, after investing a 21.4% stake in Asia’s biggest warehouse operator Global Logistic Properties (GLP). GLP is already the world’s second-largest logistics property developer, leveraging on Vanke’s presence and resources, they are aiming to become the leader. Vanke has been diversifying into commercial businesses and new businesses such as rental housing as the residential sector struggles under policy cycles and fierce competition. (The Edge Markets)