Malaysia set to become world’s 24th largest economy by 2050
Malaysia, a medium-sized economy, is expected to improve its ranking to be the 24th largest in the world by 2050. Malaysia, already in the 27th position in terms of GDP contribution to the global economy, needs to invest in technology and education to further improve its ranking. Malaysia has always been a trade- and investment-friendly country with ease of doing business. Its economy would be on a steady growth path over the next 20 years, despite some short-term ups and downs, as would be expected from a growing and emerging economy. In addition, it would need to tackle the issue of wage increase in tandem with the higher economic growth of the country in order to be able to effectively benefit the people. (NST Online)

Developers launched the highest number of properties in recent times, in 2H17
Malaysian property developers have launched 15,082 units in 2H 2017, the highest number for the same period in the last few years surveyed by Rehda. In comparison, 9,089 units were launched in 1H 2017. The survey revealed that residential and commercial properties saw significant increase in the number of launches. The top three types of residential properties launched were two- and three-storey terrace homes, serviced apartment and apartment/condominium with slightly more than half of launches priced at RM500,000 and below. For 1H 2018, 27,853 units are expected to be launched, with majority of the properties being in the strata category. (The Sun Daily)

Rehda: No housing glut as Malaysia needs 3.2mil more homes
While there is an oversupply of shopping complexes and office spaces, it is not the case with residential properties as Malaysia is still short of 3.2 million homes, said Rehda. It is also concerned over the number of commercial, office and retail spaces that are coming to the market, as incoming numbers definitely outstrip the demand. Malaysia’s population is expected to increase by almost 2.8% from 32.1 million to about 32.99 million by end-2018, while the latest data from the National Property Information Centre (Napic) showed that there are only 5.1 million homes in the market. Housing demand is poised to grow as the market sentiment, global and domestic economies, and the ringgit are expected to improve going forward. (The Edge Markets)

Rehda calls for more incentives to build affordable homes
Rehda has urged the government to provide more incentives to encourage developers to build affordable homes. Its president Datuk Seri FD Iskandar said its members have requested for reduction in development charges, exemption of capital contribution and lower land conversion. He said these charges on affordable homes should not be the same rate for luxury homes. Besides incentives, another method the government could consider is to buy unsold homes from developers at a discount and offer these homes under the rent-to-own (RTO) scheme. (The Sun Daily)

‘Time for govt to introduce cooling measures for non-housing loans’
In order to pare down the current household debt-to-GDP ratio from an “unsustainable” level of 84.3%, the government should introduce cooling measures to reduce the size of non-housing loans, said Rehda. Although Malaysia’s household debt-to-GDP ratio has gone down from 88.3% in 2016 to today’s 84.3%, mainly owing to the cooling measures in the real estate sector, it is still higher than the comfortable levels of 60% to 65% set by the World Bank. Malaysia’s current household debt stood at some RM1.1 trillion, of which only about 52% are housing loans. Developed countries have around 75% of their total household debt comprising housing loans. The only way to effectively bring down the household debt is to reduce the highly depreciative non-housing loans, such as car loans and personal loans — which were the top reasons for one to go bankrupt last year — together with mortgages and business loans. (The Edge Markets)

No CCCs for over 700 properties due to water shortage
More than 700 completed properties in the Klang Valley are unable to obtain the Certificates of Completion and Compliance (CCCs) due to the water supply issue. Buyers whose houses are already completed cannot get their CCCs and they cannot take their keys and move in, because of the water issue. The process of the water restructuring exercise between Selangor and Putrajaya has sparked disputes as the process is yet to be concluded after many years have been spent. (The Edge Markets)

‘Maintain original names of places to preserve national heritage’
State governments should maintain the original names of places to preserve their historical significance, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said. He said the names given to places carried a significance to its area, and should not be changed for the sake of new projects. For example, the Bangsar South development should have maintained the original name of Kampung Kerinchi, while the KL Eco City should have maintained its original name of Abdullah Hukum. The National Heritage Department, a wing under his ministry, took the naming of new developments seriously, in its efforts to maintain the original names of these places. (Malay Mail Online)