WCT and Chinese partner to jointly develop first residential project in TRX worth RM1.1b
WCT Holdings Bhd and China-based China Communications and Construction Group (CCCG), will jointly develop the first residential project at the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) here, with an estimated GDV of RM1.1 billion. The JV company with CCCG, CORE Precious Development Sdn Bhd is 20%-owned by WCT and the other 80% is owned by CCCG. The development features two serviced residence towers and one serviced apartment tower and is scheduled to be completed around the end of 2022. CORE Precious is still in the midst of tendering the project to a main contractor. The project will be opening exclusively for sales preview by July this year and will be officially launched to the public in November. (The Edge Markets)

Auction properties attract buyers amid expensive property market
Often associated with inheritance of bad luck, auction properties — or infamously known as “rumah lelong” — are gaining traction among potential homebuyers, attributed to rising prices of residential properties, particularly in the high-end segment. There has been a drastic spike in demand for auction properties since 2014, auction property consultant Mohd Izwan Abdul Latiff said. “People are looking for alternatives to buy affordable properties via auction as you can secure below market value deals. As developers continue to increase the launching prices of residential projects, the demand for auction properties rises in tandem,” he added. (The Malaysian Reserve)

RPGT poised to impact long-term investors
Among the measures that stood out the most in Budget 2019 is the imposition of 5% Real Property Gain Tax (RPGT) on gains from disposal of property after the fifth year of owning it. Industry experts feel that the impact is more on long-term property investors than short-term speculators who gain from flipping properties. However, the valuation for RPGT will be taken from year 2000 onwards, which applies to properties bought at that time. The imposition of 5% RPGT from the sixth year and onwards in perpetuity means that residential owners are now being treated as commercial owners just as properties bought under a company rather than as an individual. The RPGT would affect the gains made by owners who held properties to preserve their wealth or as a form of a long-term investment to finance their children’s education or for retirement. (NST Online)

Khalid: Individual quit-rent for stratified properties next year
The Federal Territories Ministry will be implementing the individual lot quit-rent system to replace quit-rent on individual building for stratified properties from 2020. Its Minister, Khalid Abd Samad said it is a tax on strata ownership and it has been implemented in Selangor and would be imposed in Penang and Melaka. “The individual lot quit-rent system will provide many benefits especially for high-rise residential properties or related areas as the tax used to be lumped with other fees by the Joint Management Body,” he said. (Malay Mail)

Limited share price upside seen for property sector
Rising interest rates, Malaysia’s slowing gross domestic product growth and unfavourable government policies will limit share price upside for Malaysian property development companies, said CGS-CIMB. “The property sector has garnered more interest lately due to its attractive valuations, but we believe the sector is cheap for a reason and this could be a false dawn. We believe developers could miss their new property sales targets for 2018, and are likely to set lower new sales targets for 2019,” it said in a report. CGS-CIMB does not see much room for housing loan growth given the existing low interest rate environment, limited buyer’s affordability and possible interest rate hike. (The Sun Daily)