Almost RM13bil spent to help rakyat own affordable homes
The government has spent close to RM13 billion to assist the rakyat in owning affordable homes and resolving housing issues, especially in urban areas. Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar said six programmes led by the ministry made a major contribution to address problems faced by Malaysians with regards to housing and property. The programmes were the People’s Housing Project (PPR), the Youth Transit Home scheme, the Housing Loan Scheme, the MyHome programme, the MyDeposit programme and the Revival of Abandoned Projects. Besides that, there are also other housing incentives by government agencies such as Integrated Public Low-Cost Housing and housing facilities for land settlers. (NST Online)

Rehda sees risks, currency issues weighing on property market
Rehda is seeing different risks, currency issues and the global environment challenges continue to weigh on the local property sector, as developers continue to hold back on launches and buyers are not buying although there is demand. Key challenges with regards to consistency in policies, rising costs of compliances remain unresolved. With the Budget 2018 proposals to be announced on Oct 27, Rehda has urged the government to address the various issues and not to charge private developers the various infrastructure contributions, development charges and other costs which will ultimately be passed on to buyers. (The Star Online)

Noh: More than 75% of 1 million affordable homes completed
The government has built more than 75% of the one million affordable homes planned for the lower income group, said Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government minister Tan Sri Noh Omar during the recent 20th National Housing and Property Summit 2017. Various government agencies are working closely with the private sector, and private developers have also been requested to come onboard with affordable housing. The ministry has also suggested for Bank Negara Malaysia to consider relaxing requirements for home loan applications, especially for first-timer house buyers. (NST Online)

WCT bags another LRT3 project worth RM640mil
WCT Holdings Bhd, which secured two work packages from Prasarana Malaysia Bhd worth RM1.03bil earlier this year, has won additional LRT3 works valued at RM640mil on Wednesday. This latest win by its unit WCT Bhd – Package GS02 – involved building a 2.9km guideway from Merchant Square to Suria Damansara with two stations. It is expected to be completed within 35 months. (The Star Online)

Hyatt House Kuala Lumpur (Image from Hyatt Newsroom)

Hyatt House set for 2018 opening
Malaysia’s first Hyatt House hotel, a brand of Hyatt Hotels Corporation located in Mont’Kiara, will open its doors on April 1 next year. The four-star upscale residentially-inspired Hyatt House — which is part of Arcoris Mont’Kiara, a development by UEM Sunrise Bhd — will feature 298 guestrooms, restaurants, 3,100 sq ft of meeting space, a fitness centre and a sky pool. The hotel will be targeting both business and leisure travellers. Arcoris Mont’Kiara, which has a total GDV of RM1.2 billion, has four other components, namely Arcoris Suites, Arcoris Soho, Arcoris Residences and Arcoris Plaza. (NST Online)

L&G to launch Sena Parc, Damansara Seresta projects
Land & General Bhd (L&G) will be launching two new property projects within the next four months despite financing remaining a challenge for many buyers. The company will also continue to source for strategic landbank to build its asset base. The two new property projects, namely Sena Parc (GDV RM230 million) in Senawang, Negri Sembilan and Damansara Seresta (GDV RM480 million) at Bandar Sri Damansara, will be launched next month and in February next year, respectively. Sena Parc will consist of double-storey linked houses and semi-detached homes, while Damansara Seresta is the second phase of L&G’s completed Damansara Foresta project. (NST Online)

Penang mulls redevelopment of Hong Seng Estate
The Penang state government is considering suggestions by residents in Hong Seng Estate to jointly redevelop the parcel with the landowner. The residents have appealed to the state government to redevelop the housing estate that has been plagued by regular landslides. The government could work with the land owner and a developer to develop the land and build proper housing for the residents there. However, it will not be easy as it involves about 560 houses. It was suggested that residents in Hong Seng estate be given priority to purchase the state’s affordable housing units. (Malay Mail Online)

On September 29, some houses in the area had partial cave-ins, prompting the immediate evacuation of residents from the four affected houses. — Pictures by KE Ooi/MMO

Apartment owners kick off lawsuit against The Arc @ Cyberjaya developer
A class-action lawsuit involving 137 unit owners, who are seeking the return of outstanding rentals owed to them by Maju Puncakbumi Sdn Bhd, the developer of serviced apartment project The Arc @ Cyberjaya has kicked off on Wednesday. The apartment owners’ claims against the developer include 8% interest on the outstanding rentals, agreed liquidated damages as stated in the agreement, general damages, and/or aggravated damages, as well as exemplary damages. The owners had signed up for a guaranteed rental return (GRR) scheme package when signing the SPA. However, the owners claimed they have stopped receiving their rental after a year, from March last year. (The Sun Daily)

OSK, EPF’s Melbourne Square project first phase to be completed by 2020
The first phase of Melbourne Square, a mixed-development project being developed by a joint venture between OSK Property Holdings Bhd and the Employee Provident Fund Malaysia (EPF), is expected to be completed by mid-2020. The first phase, comprising two residential towers, has a GDV of A$927mil and would kick-off in November. It will be OSK’s first development in Australia and the third for EPF, after London’s Battersea Power Project and Tanjung Pagar Centre in Singapore. Melbourne Square will transform a former car park the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground into a vertical village featuring six towers, and delivered in five stages over eight to ten years. (The Star Online)

Artist impression of the Melbourne Square project (Image from The Urban Developer)