Be financially secure before buying a house
Buying a house is a good investment but one needs to be sure he has the financial ability before making the commitment. Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Seri Iskandar senior lecturer and property expert Dr Azizul Azli Ahmad said those making plans to own a property need to have the right strategy from the start. According to him, the eight strategies include why one needs to buy a house at a young age, what is the right property to own for first time buyers, and why one has to expect less for the first house. He said house buyers need to understand these strategies so that they will not regret later. Azizul added until one was really financially able to own a house, it was wiser to rent. (NST Online)

Asking prices for properties on the decline
Asking prices for properties across Malaysia declined quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) with Penang taking the steepest dip. A report by a local property portal found that Penang’s price index was down 1.5% in 3Q19, following consistent growth since Q3 2018. It attributed the growth over the past year to increased demand following the 2019 Budget’s stamp duty exemptions and other incentives, as well as increased sentiment concurrent with the national Home Ownership Campaign (HOC). However, the discounts and other promotional measures associated with the HOC may have had a downward impact on asking prices in the long term. Asking prices for properties in Kuala Lumpur fell 0.9% in Q3 this year, following a brief spike in the second quarter. Sellers in Selangor also adjusted asking prices 0.8% downwards in Q3 2019, while Johor was the only state among the major markets to showcase positive trends in Q3 2019, with a long-term uptrend in asking prices since Q1 2016. Dampening factors include ongoing US-China tensions, with slowdown effects for countries with high China exposure, such as Malaysia. (NST Online)

New economic corridor can boost investment, HSR chances, says Fitch Group unit
The proposed economic corridor from KL to Johor that Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali disclosed could spur investments and the resumption of the KL-Singapore High-Speed Rail project. Fitch Solutions Macro Research (FSMR) said beneficiaries include towns and cities such as Port Dickson, Melaka, Muar and Batu Pahat, where investments will likely take the form of enhanced inter-city transportation links, such as improving the southern segment of the North-South Expressway, and real estate development within these cities. A key project that will likely be included in the proposed economic corridor will be the HSR. However, the project is still suspended, with an announcement expected to be made in May 2020 regarding its fate. (Malay Mail)

Leases on industrial land will be renewed, says Penang CM
Investors were assured today of renewal of leases on state-owned industrial land in Penang, some of which are due to expire in 10-15 years. Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the leasehold on industrial lands was usually for 60 years. “We want to keep the industries here in the hopes that they will expand their operations and create more jobs,” he said. “As such, the issue of lease extension does not arise. We will definitely want to extend but we have to study the implication of the premium on the cost of operation.” He said a study will be conducted to determine the amount of land premium that the state can charge for the new 60-year lease. (Free Malaysia Today)

Mini tornado damages eight houses in Alor Setar
Eight homes were badly damaged by a mini tornado that hit Kampung Padang, Mukim Tajar on Saturday afternoon. Kota Setar district civil defence force officer Captain Md Zain Baharom the agency received a report on the incident at 6.30pm and rushed to the scene to provide assistance. One of the affected residents said the strong wind only lasted a minute but it had ripped apart the roof of his house, causing almost RM8,000 in damages. “I am thankful that my daughter quickly dashed out of the house, otherwise she would have been hit by broken bricks and woods after the roof was blown away. Although damage is estimated to be more than RM10,000, I am just thankful that my daughter is safe,” said another resident who was away when the incident occurred. (Malay Mail)

(Source: Malay Mail)