MAREC’18 to focus on tackling challenges in digital age
More than 300 real estate industry players across Malaysia and overseas are expected to attend the upcoming Malaysian Annual Real Estate Convention 2018 (MAREC’18) on March 2 and 3 at Sime Darby Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur. Organised by the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA), the annual convention will see real estate practitioners re-examine the way businesses are conducted in the digital age and identify new strategies in order to enhance their relevance. The theme “Embracing changes with innovation” was chosen for the conference to reflect the challenges faced by the real estate industry brought on by new technology and rapid technological changes. The event will also cover broader issues such as changes to Act 242, which now includes regulating and registering property managers under the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVAEP); the future of sustainable developments and buildings; opportunities in tenancy administration; and future hotspots in Malaysia. (The Edge Markets)

GCI Development debuts in KL with Taman Bukit Desa hilltop villas
GCI Development Sdn Bhd is making its debut in Malaysia with a boutique development comprising eight luxury villas in Taman Bukit Desa, Kuala Lumpur, following four projects in Singapore. The freehold 0.45-acre Residensi Millenia, with a GDV of RM38mil, offers 6-storey villas with a basement, four levels of living space and a rooftop terrace. The official launch will be after Chinese New Year, and the villas are expected to be completed in two years. GCI Development has completed several niche luxury residential projects – two landed and two non-landed – in Singapore, namely Costa Este, D’ Kenaris, Casa Meya and Resi @ Limau. (The Edge Markets)

PPA1M housing offer open to only one child of government pensioners
One of the children of a government pensioner now has the opportunity to buy affordable houses under the 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing Programme (PPA1M). The application for the initiative had been opened since January. The government’s decision would allow the children of government pensioners to buy houses ranging from RM150,000 to RM300,000 for landed or strata unit. (The Star Online)

First council home in KL to be built by next year
The Pangsapuri Dewan Badaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) at Kampung Sungai Udang in Segambut will be the first council home in the federal capital once construction is completed next year. The 1,200-unit apartment building was being built specifically for youths and young married couples to live in temporarily before owning their own residence. Tenants need to pay RM800 in rental for five years to DBKL, where RM300 from the amount will be kept in deposit for them and returned once they can afford to buy their own home through the Federal Territories Affordable Housing Programme. Two more council homes with a similar concept will also be developed in Kampung Kerinchi and Bandar Tun Razak. (Malay Mail Online)

Encorp Bhd registers RM28mil loss in 4Q17
Property firm Encorp Bhd, a unit of Felda Investment Corp Sdn Bhd, posted a RM28 million net loss 4Q17, as revenue dropped more than a quarter to RM106.8 million. Encorp attributed the weak financial performance slower sales, coupled with losses in fair value of its property investment asset and land under possession for development. (NST Online)

Abandoned house in SG where skeletal remains found going up for auction
One of Singapore’s most storied houses at Sembawang Hills Estate in Upper Thomson where skeletal remains of two sisters were found about 10 years apart will be put up for sale by auction by the government on Feb 27. The Public Trustee’s Office took ownership of the house at 17, Jalan Batai in 2015 after it remained in a dilapidated state for more than a decade. The house belonged to a pair of reclusive sisters, Pearl Tan Leen Hee, a former civil servant, and Ruby Tan. They would have been 81 and 68 respectively in 2006. In 2006, a human skeleton was found in a toilet; in 2015, workers clearing rubble found another set of bones. The house sits on 1,720 sq ft of land, about the size of two HDB flats. The Public Trustee’s Office declined to say what reserve price it has set for the property. (The Star Online)

The abandoned house put up for auction.