Malaysians’ median monthly income rises 6.6% to RM5,228 in 2016
The median monthly household income for Malaysians in 2016 improved 6.6% to RM5,228 from RM4,585 in 2014, while the mean monthly household income for Malaysians increased 6.2% to RM6,958 in 2016 from RM6,141 in 2014. On consumption expenditure, Malaysians spent an average RM4,033 a month, an increase of 6% from 2014. The survey statistics were revealed at the Household Income and Expenditure Statistics, Malaysia 2016 event in Putrajaya on Monday. Seven states surpassed the national median monthly household income, namely FT KL, FT Putrajaya, Selangor, FT Labuan, Johor, Melaka and Penang. The survey also covered data at district levels for the first time. (The Star Online)

ABM denies Rehda’s claims of difficulty obtaining home loans
The Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) has refuted allegations that house buyers are finding it harder to obtain a housing loan and that loan approval time is increasing. ABM said banks have always been supportive in providing home loans to all eligible borrowers, with approval rates remaining high at 73% of applications in 2Q2017. Further, 72% of housing loan borrowers are first-time house owners under the affordable home category. ABM said its member banks take an average of two to nine working days to process a housing loan application with complete documentation submitted by the applicant. Unsuccessful applicants are generally informed of the status of their application within one to two working days. (The Sun Daily)

Wealthy Malaysians drawn to Thailand, Japan properties
Affluent Malaysians are increasingly turning to Thailand and Japan for their overseas property investments, according to consultancy and marketing firm Prime International Properties. Local high net worth individuals (HNIs) were now branching out from the usual conventional investment markets of Australia, the United Kingdom and Singapore into unconventional markets like Thailand and Japan, with Bangkok in particular becoming very popular due to the many price-point similarities to Malaysia. Japan is the other unconventional market that is witnessing a rise in popularity for Malaysian HNIs, following declining exports, property, tourism and weak yen in 2008. (NST Online)

Mudajaya bags RM1.16bil LRT3 contract
Mudajaya Group Bhd announced that it has bagged a LRT3 construction job valued at RM1.16 billion. The contract was awarded to its wholly-owned subsidiary, Mudajaya Corp Bhd, to undertake the construction of guideways, stations, park and ride, ancillary buildings and other associated works. The project is expected to be completed by February 2021 with a construction period of 39 months. Other listed companies that recently secured LRT3 work packages include Sunway Construction, Gabungan AQRS, and WCT Holdings. (The Star Online)

ECRL cost could balloon to RM70bil with double-track feature
The cost for the upcoming East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) is set to balloon significantly, as the current estimate of RM55 billion has yet to factor in some expenses. Among others, the additional costs will be for the double-tracking of the 688km line from Port Klang in Selangor to Pengkalan Kubor in Kelantan, near the border with Thailand. The current figure does not include land acquisition costs for the railway line. The revised figure could fall anywhere between RM60 billion and RM70 billion. The line is described as “an electrified single track railway line built on a double track formation”, implying that current plans only account for a single-track railway line despite being designed for a double-track. (The Edge Markets)

Solaris Parq (Image from KL Property Talk)

UEM Sunrise targets 50% take-up for luxury Dutamas homes by year end
UEM Sunrise Bhd is eyeing a 50% take-up rate for the first phase of its latest mixed-use development, Solaris Parq in Dutamas, by year end. The first phase is the upmarket Residensi Solaris Parq, which comprises two towers of serviced apartments with 576 units. 75% of Tower A has reportedly been booked during the soft launch, while Tower B will be publicly launched this weekend. Solaris Parq is located on 18.76 acres of freehold land next to Publika Shopping Gallery, and is the third Solaris series development by UEM Sunrise after Solaris Mont’Kiara and Solaris Dutamas. (The Edge Markets)

TA Global scraps RM340mil plan to buy properties
TA Global Bhd has scrapped its earlier plan to use A$100mil (RM340mil) of its proceeds from the sale of its development property in Australia to acquire either properties, assets or business. The property company now plans to use the A$245mil (RM810.70mil) in proceeds to reduce its bank borrowings and also plough part of the remaining funds as working capital for on-going property development project. The company announced in August that it would dispose of the Little Bay Cove project, a 33.6-acre freehold residential development near Malabar in New South Wales, Australia. (The Star Online)

Prestariang unit to buy Sepang offices for RM11.4mil
Prestariang Bhd’s subsidiary Prestariang Systems Sdn Bhd will be purchasing eight-storey semi-detached signature corporate offices or retail suites located in Dengkil from Emkay Group’s subsidiary Joyful Star Sdn Bhd for RM11.41 million. The properties are within an on-going mixed development project known as Star Corporate Park, Star Central @ Cyberjaya comprising of commercial office blocks. The development is 90% completed and will obtain its CCC by 1Q next year. (The Sun Daily)