Upcoming budget to promote home ownership in B40
Promoting home ownership in the low income group, or the bottom 40% (B40) demographic of the country, is expected to be part of the upcoming national budget. Widespread stimulus to lift the property sector out of the slowdown is unlikely, simply because of the elevated household debt level. Beside the continuation of affordable housing policies, the government is expected to help the B40 segment and first-time homebuyers through measures such as lower stamp duty and withdrawal of a higher amount from EPF to service their mortgage. The government may also consider allowing a higher debt-servicing ratio from 60% currently for first-time homebuyers. (The Edge Markets)

Tanjung Bungah landslide: ‘DOE rejected developer’s application’
The developer’s application to build a residential project at the site of a massive landslide that took the lives of nine construction workers was rejected by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry as it was located near a quarry site. The quarry site performed blasting twice a month, the most recent time being on Oct 9. The development also consisted of steep slopes that required a detailed engineering study and possibly, environmental impact assessment approval. (The Star Online)

MIEA-Penang renames Maspex 2017 to include primary properties
MIEA Penang is hosting its fifth property exhibition from Oct 26 to 29 at Queensbay Mall, Penang and for the first time, the event will officially include primary properties in the market. Formerly known as the Malaysian Secondary Property Exhibition (Maspex), the upcoming fair has been renamed the Malaysian Secondary and Primary Property Exhibition. It is currently a buyer’s market in the northern state of Malaysia where secondary property transactions constitute about 70% of the Penang property market. (The Edge Markets)

Related articles: Estate123.com at Maspex 2015 @ Penang!

Eco World to maximise brand value
Eco World’s recent simultaneous launch of five new projects nationwide was daring, unique and a marketing coup of sorts. The five property projects launched on September 30 were Eco Horizon in Bandar Cassia, Penang; Eco Forest and Eco Business Park V in the Klang Valley; Dremien @ Eco Ardence township in Shah Alam and Whitten @ Eco Majestic City in Semenyih. The nationwide launches successfully maximised the brand value of Eco World, as buyers were spoilt for choice. Bank officers and lawyers were also on hand to assist house buyers in terms of housing loans and sale and purchase agreements. (NST Online)

Malaysia’s broad-based economic structure will continue to appeal to investors
Malaysia recorded a total of RM65.4 billion of approved investments in the services, manufacturing and primary sectors in 1H2017, down 28.2% from the same period last year, according to data from MITI. The decline was mainly due to the 41% drop in the number of approved investment recorded for the services sector, in line with the slowing down in the property market. Performance of the services sector was lower by 41%, mainly due to a decline from the real estate and global establishment sectors, which saw industry players go through a period of adjustment to changing consumer demands and policy reviews. Other leading contributors include distributive trade (RM4.7 billion), financial services (RM4.7 billion), utility (RM4.3 billion) and information technology and telecommunications (RM4.1 billion). (NST Online)

Empty homes a health risk
Taman Tasek residents in Ipoh are complaining about abandoned houses that are overgrown with weeds and have become illegal dumpsites. Some of the houses have been vandalised and the door grilles and sewer covers have gone missing. One resident said the overgrown lalang and rubbish posed health risks, and the compounds would become mosquito breeding grounds. A 14-day notice had been issued to the owners to clean up the house compounds under Section 82 of the Local Government Act 1976. Owners are responsible for ensuring that their house compounds are free of health and safety risks and do not cause a nuisance to others. This is applicable even if the premises are not occupied. (NST Online)

Mitsui eyes property in Singapore and Asian consumers for growth
Mitsui and Co, one of the largest general trading houses in Japan, is planning to set up a Singapore real estate investment unit as part of the group’s ambitious transformation. The move, expected by the end of the year, is among Mitsui’s efforts to build new core businesses in mobility, healthcare, nutrition and agriculture as well as retail and services. With the new business unit, the group will not only invest in the Singapore market, but also in South-east Asia. (Business Times)

China property sales will slow in 4Q, prices stable
China’s property sales will slow in the fourth quarter but prices will remain stable, its housing minister said today, as more signs emerge that the country’s nearly two-year housing boom has peaked. Property sales in China dropped for the first time in over two-and-half years in September, while housing starts slowed sharply as cooling measures started to bite. Real estate, which directly effects many other business sectors, is a crucial driver for China’s economy but also poses significant policy risks as the government tries to tamp down soaring prices while avoiding a crash. (Malay Mail Online)