PNB awards Merdeka 118 shopping mall contract to WCT-TSR JV
PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn Bhd, the developer of the Merdeka 118 project, has awarded the contract to build an eight-storey shopping complex at the former site of Stadium Merdeka to a joint venture between WCT Holdings Bhd and TSR Capital Bhd. The RM676.8mil job will commence on Jan 2. The shopping complex will be part of the integrated Merdeka 118 development comprising the PNB 118 Tower, the Park Hyatt Hotel, and an observation deck. WCT will take a majority 51% stake in the joint venture company, with TSR Capital the holding the rest. “The scope of works for the contract generally includes the construction and completion of an eight level shopping complex podium, including the architectural works for the basement, retail area, residential drop-off and core, tower link bridge and external works,” WCT said. The project is expected to be completed within 30 months, or two-and-a-half years. (The Star Online)

Unsold completed residential properties increase by 48%
Malaysia is entering 2019 with unsold completed residential units rising to 30,115 units as at Sept 30, 2018, an increase of 48.35% from a year ago. According to the Valuation and Property Services Department’s (JPPH), the total value was RM19.54bil, a 56.44% rise from a year ago. Should serviced apartments and small offices home offices (SoHos) be included, the overhang value rose to RM27.38bil. JPPH defines an overhang as completed unsold units nine months after issuance of certificates of fitness, signifying from the authorities that a dwelling is fit for occupation. The bulk of the overhang are priced RM500,000 and above, with more than 12,000 units. The government and the Real Estate Housing Developers Association (REHDA) are planning to launch a national home ownership campaign in January to resolve the issue. (The Star Online)

Affordability tops housing issues in 2018
The year 2018 has been a year of consolidation for the property industry. The supply and demand mismatch in the affordable houses category remained a key issue despite various initiatives taken by the previous government. Most of the houses were built for the upper B40 or lower M40 group, who have no access to financing as conventional bank terms were not modelled to meet their requirement, said lawyer Chris Tan. “The (PH) government has been very open in finding alternatives in helping people own their first house and developers too are being assisted in reducing the overhang of properties,” he added. The government announced several moves to boost the property sector and increase homeownership in the recent Budget 2019. (NST Online)

Land scam victims to file suit against property law firm
More than 10 victims who had been duped into buying Malay reserve land at unbelievably cheap price will file a suit against a property law firm. Lawyer Bhavanash Sharma said the victims were believed to have bought the reserve land for as low as RM60,000 from a real estate company. One of the victims felt she had been deceived because after two years there were no further news on the land which was said to be located at Tanah Mukim in Dengkil. He said over 100 buyers have been deceived by the property law firm and some of the victims had engaged his services to bring the case to court and to get their money back. (Malay Mail Online)

SPAD has approved 11 e-hailing apps, says MyCC
The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has approved 11 applications for e-hailing services, which is expected to promote competition in the e-hailing market and provide consumers with better choices, according to the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC). Current e-hailing applications available in the market include Grab, Mula, EzCab, Dacsee and Mycar. (The Edge Markets)