Strengthen buyers’ trust, real estate agents advised
While statistics show a large segment of property buyers rely on the Internet and digital marketing, they will eventually seek advice from trusted real estate agents or real estate negotiators (RENs). “Real estate transaction is a big-ticket item, so the buyer is very careful. It is necessary to keep this conventional way as the human touch is still very important, which is why all real estate agents and RENs need to be ethical and not interrupt the trust bridge between buyers and agents,” said MIEA president Eric Lim. “We should consider a mechanism to rate the level of services provided by our RENs,” he said. Lim said education and training was key to elevate the level of services and professionalism among real estate personnel. (The Star Online)

Govt reviewing state-offered lands for affordable housing
The Federal Government is currently reviewing the suitability of lands that have been offered by state governments for affordable housing purposes, said Housing Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin. “Each state has offered lands deemed suitable for the development. The Ministry of Housing and Local Government is currently conducting site visits on the lands to determine their suitability, namely the locations and [availability of] appropriate infrastructure,” said Zuraida. Zuraida added that the government has issued request for proposals for at least three housing projects. (The Edge)

Permaju Industries, OCR to develop RM1bil project in Kota Kinabalu
Permaju Industries Bhd has teamed up with OCR Group Bhd to jointly develop a RM1bil project in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Permaju Industries’ 70%-owned subsidiary Hardie Development Sdn Bhd (HDSB) has inked a MoU with OCR’s wholly-owned unit O&C Construction Sdn Bhd (OCCSB) to jointly develop the 44.28-hectare Princess Heights project in Menggatal, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The Princess Heights project is a residential and commercial development that comprises shops, shop-offices, terraced houses, townhouses and a four-storey hypermarket. It is also earmarked for the future development of an e-commerce and lifestyle hub. Upon completion of Phase 1E of the Project, which consists of the four-storey hypermarket, it will be leased to MYDIN for 20 years. (The Star Online)

PPIM wants banks to simplify housing loan applications
The Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) wants financial institutions to make it easier for property purchasers when they apply for loans. Its chief, Nadzim Johan, pointed out that applicants for loans were now required to submit not just the sale and purchase agreement (S&P) but also a deed of assignment and power of attorney to the bank. He said that by dropping these requirements, the banks would be seen to be more “humane” towards their clientele. Malaysian Arbitral Tribunal Establishment (Mate) president Tan Sri Prof Muslim Yacob said that in essence, the S&P was good enough for the banks. He urged Bank Negara Malaysia to come up with a standard agreement that banks could use when approving applications for loans. “This will benefit both parties,“ he said. (The Sun Daily)

(Source: NST)

Foreign companies eyeing stake in Malaysia Airlines, says Daim
Several foreign companies, including from Europe, Asia and the Middle East, are keen to acquire a stake in Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB), says the Council of Eminent Persons chairman Tun Daim Zainuddin. He said they do not necessarily take over the whole company, but may hold only part of the national carrier’s interest that is currently 100% owned by Khazanah Nasional Bhd. Daim said the aviation sector is increasingly complex and complicated, and huge funds and expertise are extremely important to grow the business. Consequently, he said if part of MAB’s interest is sold to a foreign company, it will get capital injections and expertise, indirectly restoring the company. However, he does not see the need to review the proposed merger of Malaysia Airlines and Airasia as previously mentioned. “It is better that they compete … (We get) better value then,” he said. (The Star Online)