Property auctions and losing face
Selling properties by private auction can sometimes offer better exposure, said the Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants in the Private Sector, Malaysia (PEPS). There is a difference between private and public auction, which involves a foreclosure process, and the end point is the public auction. Buyers in a public auction cannot view the property but they are able to do so if it is a private auction. A couple of institutes representing estate agents view private auctions as rather limited because of the stigma attached to auctions. Until and unless the fear of “losing face” disappears or is diminished greatly from the local culture, sale of properties by private auction will not pick up, said the Malaysian Institute of Professional Estate Agents and Consultants (MIPEAC). The sub-sale secondary market is somewhat slower than in previous years but is largely dependent on property type, price range and location. (The Star Online)

Rental market in the Klang Valley growing
With high house prices making it prohibitive for young Malaysians to buy their dream home, renting seems to be the only alternative for now. However, it is uncertain whether a renting culture or a sustainable renting environment is something Malaysians are prepared to face. “Based on the current practice, any dispute arising from the tenancy agreement shall be settled vide legal proceedings under the law of contract, which is costly and time-consuming,” said Chur Associates founder and managing partner Chris Tan. Although the Residential Tenancy Act has been proposed to be developed in two years’ time, there is currently no specific Act to govern the residential rental market. It is estimated that out of the over 2 million households in the Klang Valley, about 70% are owner-occupiers. The rest are renters. More people are renting due to weak purchasing sentiment, low confidence in big-ticket items like residential property, difficulty in getting loans, and personal choices. (The Edge)

KRI: Realistic poverty measures show more Malaysians poorer now
The number of poor Malaysians is higher than official figures if the relative poverty line reflects today’s reality, Khazanah Research Institute (KRI) said. It reported that the number of relatively poor Malaysian households rose to 1.54 million in 2016 from 1.08 million in 1995, after it raised the threshold to measure incidence of relative poverty to 60% of the median household income. Currently, the government defines relative poverty as families earning between the official poverty line income (PLI) and below the 50% national median household earning, which was still the lowest among other countries with similar median income level. In 2014, the poverty threshold was RM930 in peninsular Malaysia, RM990 in Sarawak and RM1,170 in Sabah and Labuan. Household incomes of below RM580 in peninsular Malaysia, RM660 in Sarawak and RM710 in Sabah and Labuan were categorised as “hardcore poor”. (Malay Mail)

Picture by Shafwan Zaidon/Malay Mail

PNB to divest 3,642ha of domestic land bank to developers
Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) is looking to monetise 9,000 acres (3,642ha) of its domestic land bank upon maturity by selling them to property developers, said group CEO and president Datuk Abdul Rahman Ahmad. The asset manager, whose total assets now stands at a massive RM301.4 billion, is in the midst of rebalancing its domestic real estate portfolio. “After the completion of PNB 118 (pic) and PNB 1194, we don’t intend to be a property developer. We own land bank and when it matures, the plan is to actually monetise and divest to property developers,” he said. Divestments have begun on small parcels of its domestic land and it still has big pieces of land in Kota Seri Langat, Selangor, and Kota Seriemas in Negri Sembilan which it plans to sell. (The Malaysian Reserve)

Oxley, Aspen tie up to develop mixed-use integrated project in Penang
Malaysian developer Aspen (Group) Holdings announced over the weekend that it is teaming up with Singapore-listed Oxley Holdings to develop a mixed-use integrated project in Penang. The project is proposed to be developed in phases, comprising residential towers with communal facilities, serviced apartments, lifestyle retail facilities and a private clubhouse. Aspen Group expects this new development to be the key driver in contributing to its topline and bottomline from 2021. Sitting on elevated ground, the land is strategically located within a mature neighbourhood in the middle of Air Itam, Farlim and Paya Terubong. (The Straits Times)