Maybank Islamic launches Rent-to-Own housing scheme
Maybank Islamic, which plans to roll out its rent-to-own (RTO) scheme named HouzKEY to the public in the first quarter of next year, is eyeing a portfolio size of RM1 billion within the first year. The bank has partnered with five developers namely SP Setia, EcoWorld, Mah Sing, Gamuda and Sime Darby for its pilot launch, and will feature housing projects from these developers with a pricing cap of RM1 million. The RTO which is developed based on the syariah principle of ijarah, involves leasing that include the option to purchase after servicing rent for 12 months. Applicants eligible for the scheme are those with a household income of at least RM5,000 and commit to a minimum flat rate rental tenure of five years. The scheme is seen as a move to address the insufficient down payment issue faced by many home buyers. (The Sun Daily)

IJM Corp bags RM1.5bil India highway project
IJM Corporation Bhd has bagged a RM1.5bil contract from the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to build a 109km highway. The contract was to build the Solapur-Bijapur section of the new national highway 52 between the states of Maharasthra and Karnataka. The NHAI will provide a grant of about RM235.86mil for the project. The concession is for 20 years, including a construction period of 30 months. Work is expected to begin in mid-2018 and is scheduled for completion in 2021. (The Star Online)

Approx RM35.5bil in unsold, unutilised properties in Malaysia
Malaysia has unsold and unutilised properties with an estimated value of RM35.5bil and every effort must be made to absorb this, said the Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants in the Private Sector Malaysia (PEPS). The government’s freeze on housing, mall and office space is “a wake-up call to the developers not to overbuild” and to buyers, to be “more discerning and selective” in their choice of purchase. It also stated that the estimated value of residential overhang of 130,690 units is RM20 billion. PEPS said the high unsold and unutilised space was due to indiscriminate building by developers, lack of market studies and financial feasibility studies, lack of coordination among local authorities, indiscriminate approvals, delay in gazetting of local plans which lead to uncontrolled development, higher cost, and artificial demand. (The Star Online)

Ivory Properties ready to launch Grand Connaught in KL
Ivory Properties Group Bhd is planning to launch its RM1bil project Grand Connaught in Kuala Lumpur in the final quarter of 2018. The project, located on a 2ha site, will comprise 800 condominium units. The residential towers would be on top of the retail space with bus-stops, LRT, and MRT stations in the vicinity. The group has other projects in the pipeline, a RM250mil GDV project in Sungai Besi and another in Batu Uban, Penang with RM750mil GDV. (The Star Online)

Ivory Properties is getting ready to launch its Grand Connaught condominium in Kuala Lumpur (Photo from The Star)

Minister: Densely populated housing areas will be redeveloped
The Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government plans to redevelop densely housing areas which are deemed no longer suitable for current needs. The redevelopment would involve one room flats. Its minister Tan Sri Noh Omar said redevelopment can be modelled on Kerinchi Residensi,  the former PKNS Flats in Kerinchi. (Malay Mail Online)

Demand for affordable homes in FT exceeds supply
A total of 170,095 applications was received for the 44,064 units of houses available under the Federal Territories Housing (Rumawip) projects by DBKL. The large number of applications indicated that there was high demand for affordable homes in the city. The Rumawip housing policy is meant to help reduce the burden of the cost of living of the people in the the medium- and low-income groups working in the Federal Territory. Applicants must be city dwellers with income less than RM10,000 per month (singles) and less than RM15,000 per month (married couples). (Malay Mail Online)

Malaysia remains top choice for China property buyers
Malaysia remains a property hotspot for foreign buyers, especially the Chinese, and the top locations are Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru and Melaka, according to, China’s largest international property website. chairman Georg Chmiel said the popularity of the location or project among the Chinese depends on various factors. These include the projects on offer and the efforts taken to market the properties. Other factors are offering financial options to foreign buyers, as well as features and aspects of the community that enhance residents’ safety. The majority of international real estate Chinese buyers are from Guangdong, Shanghai and Beijing. Chinese demand for Malaysian residential property increased 138 per cent in the first half of this year compared to one year earlier, and the demand is expected to grow in years to come. (NST Online)

DBKL allocates RM2.9bil under 2018 Budget
DBKL has allocated RM2.905 billion for its Budget 2018 which includes plans and projects to meet the needs of 1.86 million city dwellers and to realise its world-class city aspiration, by 2020. Through the budget, themed ‘Development and Wellbeing for City Dwellers’, RM1.759 billion or 60% has been set aside for operating expenditure and RM1.146 billion for development. The budget will continue the existing 14 mainstream programmes next year, which would cover, among others, cleaning the city and greenery; maintaining parks and recreational facilities; roads and drainage; street lights and traffic systems; car parks, bus stops and also footpath; health; enforcement as well as hawkers and petty traders. (Malay Mail Online)

Savings trend among Malaysians not promising
The saving trend among Malaysians currently is not very promising with only RM6bil, or 0.9% of household savings recorded in 2014, based on Social Accounting Matrix (MPS). The MPS provides important inputs for income and expenditure distributions in fiscal analysis. Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) chief statistician, Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin, said nowadays, the younger generation were specially happy to spend whatever they could even before the income was earned, for example, to buy a new car or change smartphones through credit. (The Star Online)