Condo, apartment units below RM300k dominate property overhang list
Condominium and apartment units priced between RM200,000 and RM300,000 dominate the list of property overhang in the country, mainly in Perak and Kedah. Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Wira Amiruddin Hamzah said condominium and apartment units made up 43% of the total property overhang in the country, whereby a majority of these real estate were in the “affordable” range. Property overhang units must not be confused with unsold stock. The government has defined overhang units as properties that are completed and issued with Certificates of Fitness for Occupation or Temporary Certificates of Fitness for Occupation, but remain unsold despite having been in the market for at least nine months. Amiruddin urged developers to build houses that caters to the demand of buyers in terms of the property type, location and price range. (The Star Online)

China’s CPCG leads consortium to invest RM3b in Terengganu
Chinese integrated construction company Pacific Construction Group Ltd (CPCG) is leading a consortium of investors to invest some RM3 billion in Terengganu for, among others, an industrial park, a free trade zone and affordable housing. The initiative will be led by it’s Malaysian subsidiary CPCG Holdings Sdn Bhd. CPCG Holdings’ director Zhou Ya Dong said the consortium plans to invest the money over the next five years in the areas of infrastructure development, including those mentioned above. “This strategic investment is in line with the Chinese government’s pursuit of the One Belt, One Road initiative, as well as the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL),” he said. Last year, CPCG founder Yan Jiehe said the group was planning to invest up to RM10 billion over the next decade in Malaysia — with some 65% of that to be invested in the construction and infrastructure sector. (The Edge)

Housing loans hit RM11b for 1st time since 2014
Approved mortgages in Malaysia’s banking system hit a near five-year high in July this year at RM11.12 billion, largely driven by sales from the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) and an accommodative monetary policy. The last time loans approved for purchase of residential property breached the RM11 billion mark was in December 2014 with RM11.37 billion worth of mortgages approved, according to data from Bank Negara Malaysia. Despite the jump in mortgages, overall system loan growth remains sluggish and is likely to continue slowing, analysts cautioned. Yet, the uptick in housing loan applications and approvals is unlikely to turn things around for banks, as slowing global growth and the ongoing US-China war continue to outweigh incentives such as the HOC. (The Malaysian Reserve)

Finance Ministry: Property transactions up to RM68.3b in 1H19
The property sector recorded 160,172 transactions worth RM68.30 billion in the first half of this year, 6.9% higher in terms of volume and 0.8% higher in value over the same period last year, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) said. Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Wira Amiruddin Hamzah said the residential sub-sector continued to drive the market, accounting for over 60% of total transactions and nearly 51% in terms of value. The Malaysian House Price Index continued to increase at a moderating trend of 194.8 points in the second quarter of this year, up 0.9% on an annual basis. Amiruddin said the Malaysian property market is expected to remain resilient in the second half of this year. (Malay Mail)

Ministry launches Malaysia Smart City Framework
The Housing and Local Government Ministry today launched the Malaysia Smart City Framework, a book that will serve as a guideline for local governments all across the country to develop cities into smart cities. Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said this guideline serves as a reminder for the respective local governments to take progressive steps to upgrade connectivity, infrastructure and effectiveness of communication with the people. She said five pilot cities will undergo projects to be upgraded into smart cities, and they are Kulim, Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir said the framework is the federal government’s commitment in its essential role in ensuring that cities are on track to be smart and sustainable. He also said the emphasis towards turning Malaysian cities into smart cities would be one of the highlights in the upcoming 12th Malaysia Plan. (The Sun Daily)