Name change to Kerinchi unlikely to move property prices
Property experts have dismissed concerns that the change of Bangsar South’s name back to Kampung Kerinchi will drive down prices of properties in the area. A lawmaker had recently requested for the name change, but netizens have aired their concerns that it could push down the price of property in the area. However, industry experts have allayed fears on this matter. “You can change the name to Kampung Kerinchi, but for the investment community it will remain as Bangsar South because the development is way too established. Perhaps if it wasn’t as well developed, then there could be [some price volatility],” said MIEA past president and Axis REIT head of investments Siva Shanker. “long-term investors or property owners need to look beyond [the name]. Location, infrastructure, connectivity, and availability of services are crucial elements to support and sustain the value,” said CBRE|WTW managing director Foo Gee Jen. (The Edge Markets)

House prices in Malaysia up 5.8% in 12 months to March
House prices in Malaysia rose 5.8% for the 12-month period ended March 2018, according to Knight Frank’s Global House Price Index report. In the past six months between the third quarter of 2017 and the end of the first quarter this year, house prices were up 2%, but they fell marginally by 0.1% in the past three months. Worldwide, Hong Kong registered the highest gain in property prices with an increase of 14.9% in the past one year. The index is compiled on a quarterly basis using official government statistics or available data from central bank. (The Sun Daily)

Penang wants urgent amendments to Housing Developers Act 1966
Penang wants the Federal Government to see the urgency in amending the Housing Developers Act 1966 now to prevent any owners of low and medium cost housing units from leasing their properties to third parties, including foreign workers. State Housing, Town Planning and Local Government committee chairperson Jagdeep Singh Deo said the leasing of thousands of affordable housing units to foreigners nationwide has become a social issue as these later tend to cause a public nuisance in the area. “Owners of affordable housing units are essentially prohibited from leasing out the units as they should be the rightful occupants. But many of them abuse this (legislative) loophole and they are now getting away with it.” To properly house foreign workers, Jagdeep has informed Zuraidah to emulate a Penang guideline; which was to build several hostel projects for workers, especially for those employed in large-scale production-driven factories. There are now four such projects underway in Penang. (The Sun Daily)

Zuraida: Affordable housing council operational in August
All affordable housing agencies will be placed under the proposed Affordable Housing Council to coordinate housing development especially the People’s Housing Project (PPR). The Cabinet paper on the proposed establishment of the council was being prepared and would be submitted next month. All state executive councillors in charge of housing and the local government authorities (PBT) would be involved in the formation of the Affordable Housing Council. “The council will ensure housing development will not be focused only in certain areas, in fact matters regarding the price, design and management which became issues previously can be resolved,” said Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin. (Malay Mail Online)

UOA REIT to sell Wisma UOA Pantai to CIMB Bank for RM120mil
UOA REIT is disposing of Wisma UOA Pantai at Off Jalan Pantai Baru to CIMB Bank Bhd for RM120 million cash. UOA REIT said the property was operating at a low occupancy rate of 19% as at April 2018 and the disposal is in line with its objective of maximising returns to the unitholders. The net sales proceeds of approximately RM118 million will be utilised to reduce existing bank borrowings of UOA REIT. The disposal is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2018. (The Edge Markets)