MIEA confident of property market through 2018
The Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) foresee the Malaysian property market to gradually improve in the years ahead through to 2020. President Eric Lim Chin Heng said the association envisages the market will continue experiencing ‘confidence gaining growth’ as fundamentals improve under the new government. Real estate investors are looking forward to coming back to the market, he said. The property market bottomed out last year with transaction volumes hitting the lowest point since 2012, amounting to 311,824 transactions in 2017. MIEA also foresee the implementation of new policies by the government to boost the property market, which include plans to introduce and manage the supply of affordable housing and the forthcoming budget. (NST Online)

Market may stabilise this year, says Napic
The property market may stabilise this year, says the National Property Information Centre (Napic), but property developers are not taking any chances, due to the challenges they have been facing in the last few years. Malaysians are still concerned about buying a house, despite the abolishment of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). With GST,there was a once-off in crease in property prices across the board. While developers did not bill house buyers for GST, they transferred the costs implicitly via the sale price. Since June, when the GST became zero-rated, sales have in creased for new housing projects and properties in the secondary market. However, the buying trend is expected to die down soon as the SST is re-introduced in September. Napic said it expected the favourable economic out look, accommodative monetary policy and continuous incentives for the housing sector would help sustain the momentum in the property sector. (NST Online)

Axis REIT acquires RM18.5mil industrial asset in Negeri Sembilan
Axis REIT has paid RM18.5 million cash for an industrial facility in Senawang, Negeri Sembilan, which yields some 7.7% before financing costs. The property acquired from Gandour (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd has a land area of 183,342 sq.ft comprising a three-storey office annexed with a 1.5-storey warehouse factory and other ancillary buildings. The freehold property is located within the Senawang Industrial Park. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of 2018, and will increase the number of properties owned by Axis REIT to a total of 45 properties. (The Edge Markets)

Singapore curbs may make property a buy, says CapitaLand CEO
Singapore’s latest round of property curbs are probably enough to cool the market, and may present buying opportunities. “With the recent property curbs, we see new situations, new opportunities arising,” CapitaLand Ltd CEO Lim Ming Yan. Singapore took additional steps to reign in property prices last month after a sudden rebound in speculative demand threatened to undo years of carefully implemented curbs. CapitaLand had been reducing its exposure to Singapore’s residential market and now, as prices soften, may be in a position to look at potential buying opportunities that arise. He expects housing prices to moderate post the curbs. (The Edge Markets)

Touch’nGo to stop selling SmartTAGs, kick off RFID system
Touch ‘n Go and key highway concessionaires expect to roll out RFID (radio frequency identification) system for toll payment across all highways in Malaysia starting January next year. The system uses a sticker embedded with an RF chip which will be pasted on the vehicle. The sticker, which is unique to each vehicle, will be linked to the Touch ‘n Go eWallet. The RFID sticker is expected to eventually replace the current SmartTAG devices. In line with the plans to commercialise RFID, Touch ‘n Go will no longer sell SmartTAG devices. Existing SmartTAG devices can still be used at all highways. In addition, highway users can continue to use their Touch ‘n Go cards and MyKad for toll payments as per normal. Starting September, Touch ‘n Go will be carrying out an extended RFID pilot phase with members of the public who are interested to test the system. (The Star Online)

Tolls using SmartTAG and the test RFID (Photo from MSN.com)