Govt must move to lower food prices’

The government must deliver on its promise to lower food prices so that Malaysians can see their cost of living being reduced, says Tun Daim Zainuddin. He stressed that there was no time for excuses. Reiterating his proposal of creating income through modernising agriculture, he said this was the way forward to rejuvenate the country’s growth, cut poverty, as well as reduce food costs and dependency on imported goods. Daim said there was no serious allocation for the agriculture sector in Budget 2020. Modern precision agriculture via the application of information and communications technology, he said, would improve Malaysia’s self-sustainability level, food security and food safety. By focusing on smallholders and farmers, Malaysia, said Daim, could work towards poverty alleviation and eradication. (The Star Online)

Malaysian residential real estate prices to climb in 2020

Malaysia’s residential real estate prices, rents, and sales numbers will increase significantly next year and in 2021, according to a survey of 386 Malaysian real estate agents. executive chairman Georg Chmiel said Malaysia is attracting companies and operations that otherwise might have gone to China. “The lower price threshold for foreign buyer purchasing will also help absorb some of the unsold inventory that has been weighing on the market.” The survey was conducted in November 2019 by Juwai IQI, one of the largest real estate groups in Southeast Asia with more than 7,000 agents. On Malaysia, the survey findings showed the states with the most robust price-growth outlook are Kuantan (9.4%) and Ipoh (7.6%). States with the weakest outlook for price growth are Penang, with 2.1% forecast growth, and Sarawak with forecast growth of 3.4%. (NST Online)

Plaza Damansara units sold en bloc for quicker disposal

Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) said it sold its units at Plaza Damansara en bloc when presented the opportunity to do so, as selling the units individually would have taken a longer period of time. PNB group chairman Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said the disposal was part of the fund’s strategy to recycle its capital, which will allow it to reinvest in other assets to generate higher returns. PNB president and group CEO Jalil Rasheed said occupancy for the units at Plaza Damansara was very low, at about 60%, and that the stratified nature of the multiple management corporates that were managing the shop lots made things complicated. The Edge was able to obtain the transaction figures for 130 of the 137 units, where 54 units were sold for more than the asking price, while 76 were disposed of at below the asking price. (The Edge)

Property sector improving on positive consumer sentiment

The overall performance of the property sector in Malaysia is deemed to have improved slightly in terms of transactions following the Government’s initiatives to enable more Malaysians to buy their first house. MIEA CEO Soma Sundram Krishnasamy said based on a technical study, the sector, which has been declining since 2012, has been on a rebound since the end of 2018. He said the residential property segment has been looking good up to the first half of this year but the full-year performance will only be known in April 2020 when the National Property Information Centre (NAPIC) report is out. While the industrial and factory segments are resilient and are currently sustaining, the office segment has been quite flat, he noted. Commenting on the drivers that would improve the property sector, he said consumers’ confidence is a key factor. (The Edge)

Berjaya Land aims to launch luxury properties in Okinawa

Berjaya Land (BLand) aims to launch luxury residences and villas on the island of Okinawa, Japan in the third quarter of next year, says its CEO Syed Ali Shahul Hameed. The developer is building the Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences in Okinawa, including the villas and a spa, with construction slated to start by June next year. This is the first phase of development for the 100 acres of beach front land owned by BLand. Phase 1 will use up 33 acres which will include 122 private residences and 28 villas , and completed in 2023, said Syed Ali, adding that the total development cost is US$400 million. Plans are being finalised for the remaining 70 acres, which may include more luxurious residences. (NST Online)