Putrajaya proposing lower house loan interest, even as BNM hikes OPR
Putrajaya said today it will submit a proposal to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) proposing a lower mortgage interest rate, in a bid to reduce the overall financial burden of Malaysian homeowners. the proposal will be a part of the National Housing Policy 2.0, which will also include a review of the freeze on property development projects worth RM1 million and above effective Nov 1 last year. This comes even as the central bank announced today it is hiking its overnight policy rate (OPR) by 25 basis points to 3.25 per cent, the first increase since July 2014. (Malay Mail Online)

KIP REIT claims highest yield of 8%
KIP REIT will distribute RM31.16 million or 6.17 sen per unit for the 11-month period, which translated to an annualised distribution yield of 8%, which it claimed is the highest among (Malaysian) REITs. Its second quarter net property income (NPI) ended December 2017 amounted to RM10.82 million, amid higher occupancy rate, festive season and lower expenses. Its net profit for the quarter stood at RM8.75 million, while revenue was at RM15.68 million. Currently, KIP REIT’s portfolio comprises five KIP Mart properties located in Tampoi, Kota Tinggi, Masai, Senawang and Melaka and a KIP Mall in Bangi. (NST Online)

Eco World sets combined sales target of RM6 billion
Eco World Development Group Bhd (Eco World) and Eco World International Bhd (EWI) are aiming for a combined sales of over RM6 billion in the current financial year ending Oct 31, 2018. Eco World is expected to rake in sales of RM3.5 billion while the remaining is expected to be contributed by EWI. Cumulative sales from both companies, including projects in Malaysia, the UK and Australia, exceeded RM21 billion with the annual sales crossing the RM6 billion mark for three consecutive years. The sales would come from its existing projects, spanning around the Klang Valley, Iskandar Malaysia and Penang. The company would not be launching any sizeable new projects this year, but focus on enhancing the value of its existing landbank. (The Malaysian Reserve)

Capital value of property to stagnate in 2018, says Knight Frank
Capital value of all property sub-sectors in Malaysia is expected to remain stagnant in 2018, as suggested by almost half the respondents in a survey by independent global property consultancy Knight Frank. Knight Frank’s fourth Malaysia Commercial Real Estate Investment Sentiment Survey (CREISS) 2018 also revealed that 35% and 44% of the respondents expect logistics/industrial and healthcare/ institutional assets to increase in value respectively. The strong sense of optimism for the logistics/industrial and healthcare sub-sectors is based on several ongoing large scale infrastructure developments, including the MRT, that will continue to be supportive of the local property market. (The Malaysian Reserve)

Guocoland’s 2Q profit lower without land sale proceeds
Guocoland (M) Bhd, the property arm of Hong Leong Group, saw its net profit for 2QFY18 drop to RM965,000 from RM110.81 million a year ago as the previous year had recorded a higher share of profits from an associate following a land sale. However, its revenue for the quarter grew 253% year-on-year thanks to higher topline contribution from residential projects in Damansara City and Oval. Although the overall short-term prospects of the property industry are expected to remain challenging, it believes there will still be demand for properties in prime locations with good accessibility to amenities and attractive pricing. It will continue to focus on monetising its inventories, leasing out vacant spaces and completing its developments in a timely manner. (The Edge Markets)

Hua Yang slips into red in 3QFY18 on soft property market
Property developer Hua Yang Bhd slipped into the red in 3QFY18, posting a net loss of RM957,000 compared with a net profit of RM10.42 million a year ago. “Our financial results are reflective of the soft property market that continues to impact the industry. While we expect the remaining FY18 to be relatively flat, we are optimistic of remaining profitable,” said Hua Yang chief executive officer Ho Wen Yan. Its projects in Johor Baru were the largest contributors to revenue, followed by the Klang Valley, Perak, Penang, and Negeri Sembilan. The group plans to launch several products in the upcoming months. (The Edge Markets)

New Penang mayor to rejuvenate old Perak Road Market
The new Penang Island City Council (MBPP) mayor Yew Tung Seang, who has been sworn in just a week, has already started to address the wish list of Penangites. The request for the Perak Road market is now going to be answered as MBPP has just launched a national-level ‘Rejuvenation Design Idea’ competition. The council is calling all registered architects and planners to submit their proposals to upgrade two plots of land in Perak Road, with a focus on sustainability and feasibility. The 5ha plot of land is under residential and mixed development zone consisting of 111 squatter units, seven temples, a health clinic and a market complex with existing traders. (The Star Online)

The 5ha plot of land in Perak Road (centre) which is to be developed. (Photo from The Star)

World Urban Forum next month to showcase KL heritage
The diverse and cultural heritage of Kuala Lumpur will be one of the main highlights at the 9th World Urban Forum 9 (WUF9). The WUF9 Village, which is located at Medan Pasar, will exhibit ideas and innovation that can help in creating better cities, complete with two full-scale micro houses to illustrate the concept of communal living. The communal living concept is a social experiment installation aimed at studying the conversion of under-utilised spaces or older commercial buildings in the city centre into micro housing as a means to repopulating the city. (Malay Mail Online)