KL is Asia’s fourth least expensive city for construction work
Kuala Lumpur is the fourth least expensive city in Asia to build in, according to the International Construction Costs 2018 report published by Global Design & Consultancy firm for natural and built assets Arcadis. Hong Kong is the most expensive city in Asia, followed by Macau and Singapore, while the three least expensive cities to build are Bengaluru, New Delhi and Mumbai. In the same survey report published last year, Kuala Lumpur was ranked the second cheapest country to build in Asia. San Francisco, New York and Hong Kong were the top three most expensive cities in which to build in the world. (The Edge Markets)

Confidence in property building up, says Savills
There will be renewed confidence in the local property market with the expected rise in demand for properties across the board as the new government promises clean and fair governance. Savills Malaysia executive chairman Datuk Christopher Boyd said 2018 would be significant for the Malaysian property market, although the second quarter would be relatively quiet for property transactions due to the Ramadan fasting month. He said the condusion of the 14th General Elections (GE14) would encourage residential property buyers who had been holding back transactions. “Generally, we foresee prices firming up in 2019, and it will be in early 2020 before developers can respond by stepping up supply. In short, particularly in Greater KL and Penang, there has never been a better time to buy,” he said. (NST Online)

Malaysia’s debts and liabilities soar past trillion ringgit mark
Malaysia’s total debts amounted to RM1.087 trillion, or 80.3% of gross domestic product (GDP), at the end of last year after official debt, contingent liabilities and lease payments for public-private partnerships were tabulated together. The Finance Ministry said official debt amounted to RM686.8bil (50.8% of GDP). In addition, the government guarantees for various entities that were unable to service their debts were RM199.1bil (14.6% of GDP) and commitments to pay for lease payments through public private partnerships were RM201.4bil (14.9% of GDP). Based on the official debt of RM686.8bil and the guarantees for companies that cannot repay their debt, the federal government debt would amount to RM885.9bil, or 65.4% of GDP as highlighted by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday. (The Star Online)

Chinese investors confident of continued investment in Malaysia
Chinese investors have voiced their confidence in providing continued investment in Malaysia given that the new Pakatan Harapan-led government can provide a secure investment environment as well as political stability. Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce president, Tan Yew Sing said, the peaceful change of government has inspired confidence among Chinese investors. “I feel that Malaysia in the long term will be even more competitive and effective. For example, the anti-graft initiatives will reduce such activities in the country,” he said. Chinese investment in Malaysia, he said, has equal importance as investments in other countries, but noted that Malaysia could be “reviewed” to benefit both parties. The issue of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and Chinese property investments in Malaysia were raised during the meeting with the Council of Eminent Persons, but the details have yet to be ironed out. (NST Online)

Vital to build high-end properties in the right area
Luxury property sales in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) will remain good, driven by sustained economic growth and increasing demand from local and foreign buyers. Property analysts said even when overall market conditions are negative, traditionally there is more resilience among ultra-wealthy individuals. “Developers have to identify the city that matters most to the rich and super rich. If they build a tower in KLCC offering more than 200 units of luxury residences, they may be able to sell just about 20% to 30% in the first few months,” said an analyst. Developers who planned to launch new projects this year in the KLCC area are cautioned to consider the current market prices that have fallen in the past two to three years. Rahim&Co executive chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman said in February that luxury residences in the KLCC area are no longer selling as high as RM2,500 psf but below RM1,800 psf. (NST Online)