New regulations planned to ease redevelopment of public housing
The government plans to introduce new regulations to ease the redevelopment of public housing schemes that are more than 25 years old and to protect the rights of the original residents. The new regulations would also enable the areas involved to be developed without hindrance and in a more systematic manner than for the existing housing projects. The new regulations would be considered for inclusion in the National Public Housing Management Corporation Act which is being drawn up. Redevelopment of old public housing schemes should be carried out with new features such as bigger rooms, sufficient parking area and recreational facilities in keeping with the times. (Malay Mail Online)

CBRE WTW: Property market to be flattish in 2018
The Malaysia property market is expected to be “flattish” in 2018 with low single digit growth in terms of prices with greater pressure on serviced offices home offices (SoHo). CBRE WTW managing director Foo Gee Jen said that in the residential sector, “more strategic adjustments on products, pricing and sale strategies may be observed in 2018”. The hotel and industrial segments have the “most optimistic” outlook this year. Penang’s residential may have bottomed out after three years of downtrend with more interest in landed units in township development in Seberang Prai. (The Star Online)

EWI achieves RM7.7bil sales from UK, Australian projects
EcoWorld International Bhd (EWI) had achieved cumulative sales of RM7.7 billion from property development projects in the UK and Australia as at Oct 31, 2017. Upon completion of the acquisition of a 70% equity stake in Be Living’s residential development business and the new project in Macquarie Park, EWI will have nine projects in the UK and three projects in Australia. The group said its construction of all launched blocks is progressing well, and that it is on track to achieve its maiden handover of two blocks within its London City Island Phase 2 project and one block of the Embassy Gardens Phase 2 project in the current financial year ending Oct 31, 2018. (The Edge Markets)

Construction sector boom to continue in 2018
Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) expects the boom in the construction sector to continue in 2018 with real growth at 9% on the back of Malaysia’s overall GDP growth of 5.3%. It also opined that contract flows will sustain, of which, the momentum should be sustained year-on-year for 2018 with a target of between RM25 billion and RM30 billion. “We have identified RM168 billion worth of mega projects to be rolled out over the next one to two years, with some of the projects led by foreigners.” Most contractors are already sitting on record high orderbooks from strong job wins in the past two years, namely Gamuda, Gkent, and WCT. (NST Online)

Mah Sing partners EduCity for student housing
Mah Sing Group Bhd has teamed up with EduCity Iskandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Iskandar Investment Sdn Bhd, to provide student accommodation at Phase 2 of Mah Sing’s Meridin@Medini Executive Suites in Iskandar Puteri, Johor. It will offer 183 fully furnished apartment units, which would cater to 370 students, out of 583 available units. The project is located 3.6km from EduCity and will be the first external student accommodation provider for Iskandar Malaysia’s education hub. The units come with induction cooker, heated shower, air conditioner, lightings, mattress, wardrobe, study tables, chairs as well as fridge. (The Edge Markets)

Mah Sing’s Meridin@Medini integrated development in Iskandar Puteri, Johor (Image from The Star)

Sunsuria eyeing large-scale infrastructure projects
Property developer Sunsuria Bhd is seeking shareholders approval to expand into construction and large-scale infrastructure development, projecting the new business division to generate more than quarter of its future profits. However, it did not identify any of the projects that it is eyeing to participate in. In April last year, Sunsuria had acquired a majority 51% stake in a construction firm, Sunsuria Asas Sdn Bhd (SASB), which has a grade 7 license issued by Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB). It had also established in June, a joint venture with Hong Kong-based Citic Construction Co Ltd. The company plans to expand and bolster the construction and related businesses including potential listing of the construction division of the group. (The Star Online)

Cyberjaya condo owners sue developer over rental defaults
Dozens of unit owners of a Cyberjaya condominium have launched a class action suit against a property developer for allegedly defaulting on a rental scheme payment. This is the second class action suit pursued against The Arc @ Cyberjaya developer Maju Puncakbumi, after a similar lawsuit was filed and won by another group of 137 unit owners of the same condominium. The suit claimed that the unit owners were now in debt and faced financial trouble after not receiving their promised rental returns as stipulated under the Option Agreement for Guaranteed Rental Returns (GRR) signed with the project developer. (Malay Mail Online)

Liang Liang with the panda cub (AFP photo)

Second giant panda cub born in Malaysia
Liang Liang, a giant panda loaned to Malaysia from China has given birth to a second cub during its stay here, Zoo Negara said in a statement yesterday. The baby panda was born on Sunday to Liang Liang, who has been on loan to Malaysia since 2014 along with a male panda. The first cub, a female called Nuan Nuan, was born in August 2015 and sent to China in November last year as part of Beijing’s agreement with Malaysia that cubs born in captivity must go back at the age of two. (NST Online)