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www.propertyinsight.com.my

MARCH 2018

COVER STORY

UEM SUNRISE BERHAD MD/CEO

ANWAR SYAHRIN ABDUL AJIB UNVEILS THE COMPANY’S PLANS ON ISKANDAR PUTERI AREA FOCUS: Presenting The Art Of Living In Rawang BOVAEP: MUCH AWAITED CHANGES IN THE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SECTOR Changes To Benefit Home Owners And Investors MARCH 2018 RM7.50(WM) RM9.00(EM) KDN PP 18181/04/2013 (033492)


Recognising Excellence 4 MAY 2018 Submission for nomination before 31 March 2018

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CONTENTS

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06 12 16 20 24 2

• Mar 2018

Celebrating Pristine Living At Iskandar Puteri BOVAEP: Much Awaited Changes In The Property Management Sector Knight Frank launches inaugural New Frontiers: The 2018 Report Sanctuary of Serenity at Residensi Suasana@Damai

The Rapid Rise of Rawang

29 30 34 36 37

Rawang Area Food Trail

New Age Real Estate

Sustainable Energy: The Future is Here

A Different Point of View

Rent-To-Own Scheme


EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Dato’ KK Chua kkchua@propertyinsight.com.my Editor Yvonne Yoong yvonneyoong@propertyinsight.com.my

Building From Blueprints Men have been building structures, shelters and homes since the very beginning of civilisation. In fact, having a roof over one’s head has been inherently built into the DNA of people since the beginning. Buildings have been the cornerstone of civilisation almost as long as time. Taking a leaf from the example of the ancient Egyptians, we are awed even today of this most prolific of ancient civilisations whose pyramids continue to astound the world with their innovations in architecture, mathematics, infrastructure, literature and medicine that were ahead of their time. Empires too have been characterised by buildings denoting their respective era of their time. Today’s empire builders so to speak, in the form of developers, continue to launch projects based on leveraging and improving on successful blueprints of past projects to add immeasurable value to the areas they are developing in. Having made a strong name for itself in the delivery of townships spanning various types of developments for townships, UEM Sunrise Berhad’s success story is phenomenal. It continues to make headway with its ambitious plans in developing Puteri Iskandar in Johor as seen in this month’s cover story. It is after all, the flagship company overseeing the township and property development businesses of UEM Group Berhad and Khazanah Nasional Berhad, with UEM Group being wholly-owned by Khazanah, an investment fund of the Government of Malaysia. Plans are underway to transform the sleepy hollow of Rawang into a residential enclave of choice as seen in Bandaraya Development Sdn Bhd’s (BRDB) “The Art of Living” initiative taking place there. Other developers like Mah Sing Group Berhad, Gamuda Land and Guocoland (Malaysia) Berhad are also transforming Rawang into an upcoming robust area to live in by introducing their launches there. Flip through this March’s issue gather more insights in how China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative is bound to benefit Malaysia in the overall scheme of things as seen in Knight Frank’s 2018 report, etc. Till next month, keep looking out for the best property investment deals in town.

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PropertyInsight

Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib

UEM Sunrise Berhad MD/CEO

Although every reasonable care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, neither the publisher, editors, writers nor employees or agents can be held liable for any errors, inaccuracies and/or omissions. The contents of this publication do not constitute investment advice. It is intended only to inform and illustrate. No reader should act on any information contained in this publication without first seeking appropriate professional advice that takes into account their personal circumstances. We shall not be responsible for any loss or damage, whether directly or indirectly, incidentally or consequently arising from or in connection with the contents of this publication and shall not accept any liability in relation thereto. The views by our contributors expressed here are their personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect Property Insight’s views. The publisher does not endorse any company, organisation, person, investment strategy or technique mentioned in this publication unless expressedly stated otherwise. The publisher does not endorse any advertisements or special advertising features in this publication, nor does the publisher endorse any advertiser(s) or their products/services unless expressedly stated to the contrary. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, including photocopying and imaging without the prior written permission of the publisher.

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NEWS & EVENTS

M101 Recognised as Asia’s Most Outstanding Developer M101 Holdings received an award for Asia’s Most Outstanding Developer in the “Best New Arrival” category in Hurun Report’s 2018 14th Year Best of the Best Awards. The award was presented by Rupert Hoogewerf, Chairman and Chief Researcher of Hurun Report. M101 Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Seth Yap said they are truly honoured to receive the award.

Mah Sing Launches Charm of Chinese New Year Campaign To celebrate this festive season, orange trees, Chinese lanterns, and all things oriental popped out in photo-art installations across Mah Sing’s sales galleries nationwide. Adding to the excitement of the Lunar Year celebrations, Mah Sing will be having a series of Chinese New Year themed events throughout the month of February such as the Charm of CNY Instagram Contest from 1 February until 31 March.

SkyWorld Hits Records 80% Take-up for Its First Residential Project SkyWorld unveiled “The Valleys”, the first residential project at Setiawangsa where it has received overwhelming response for its 369 units snapped up within three hours. According to Lee Chee Seng, Chief Operating Officer of SkyWorld, The Valleys has proven to be a highly sought-after residential development, having received more than 5,000 registrations of interest since November last year. The Valleys offers 1,309 units of residences spread across three towers with built-up size ranging from 800 sq ft to 1,318 sq ft priced from RM392,000. The residential area is strategically located only 5 kilometres away from the city centre.

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Central I-City Celebrates Chinese New Year Prosperity with Retail Partners

Sime Darby Property Ushers in “Yin Xiin Xhun” Chinese New Year Promotion Sime Darby ushed in the Year of the Earth Dog with a special promotion for all its valued customers. Themed “Yin Xiin Xhun” to welcome the new spring and fresh beginnings with open arms, customers who purchase selected properties are entitled to a special rebate of up to 8%, along with easy home ownership, booking fees from as low as RM5,000 and more. The promotion is applicable from now until 31 March.

Central Pattana Public Company Limited (CPN)’s maiden international regional shopping centre, Central i-City announced its anchor tenants recently which include Sogo Department Store, Village Grocer and TGV Cinemas at a retailer appreciation luncheon held in conjunction with Chinese New Year at i-Gallery in i-City. Central i-City is a 940,000 sq ft shopping centre with a total Gross Development Value (GDV) of RM850 million that include partnership with anchor tenants. Representing a joint venture between CPN and I-City Properties Sdn Bhd (ICP), Central i-City Shopping Centre, located in i-City, is expected to open in 4Q18.

Sunway Property Launches RM2 Billion Under The Sun Campaign

Seri Austin Brings Cheer to Handicapped and The Mentally Disabled During Pre-CNY Visit Sunway Property announced that it will be launching RM2 billion worth of properties across eight locations this year. To help out new home owners, Sunway Property will be offering “Under The Sun Certainty+” Financing Campaign as the new convenient way to participate in Sunway Property’s growing communities for purchasers and Investors. The financing will include low down payment, cash rewards during the construction period, guaranteed loan, deferred payment, voluntary exit plan and differentiated sum instalments by the developer.

UMLand Seri Austin brought an early Chinese New Year celebration to the residents of Persatuan Kebajikan Orangorang Istimewa, located near Kempas as a part of the developer’s annual corporate social responsibility (CSR). Chief Executive Officer cum Acting Group Director of UMLand Township, KK Wong along with 30 staff gave out goodies and lunch sets purchased from Marrybrown Resident for at least 50 residents of the centre aged between 20 and 50.

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COVER STORY

Celebrating Pristine Living At Iskandar Puteri Master developer of Iskandar Puteri, UEM Sunrise Berhad (“UEM Sunrise” or the “Company”) is transforming the area – one of the five flagship zones in Iskandar Malaysia - into a regional city with its series of captivating projects BY YVONNE YOONG Poised to become the latest crown jewel in the Southern region of Johor characterised by a series of princely offerings comprising various developments, attention is turning to Iskandar Puteri, representing one of the five flagship zones in Iskandar Malaysia. The reasons are strikingly obvious as public-listed UEM Sunrise, lines up its plans to transform the flagship zone into a regional city as it takes on its role as the master developer of Iskandar Puteri in stride. Iskandar Puteri is one of the economic zones of Iskandar Malaysia. Upon completion, Iskandar Malaysia is envisioned to become the largest fully integrated urban development in Southeast Asia that will provide significant investment, financial and business opportunities to the economic growth and development of the region. According to Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib, Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of UEM Sunrise, “We are bullish and committed to the development of Iskandar Puteri as the area that benefits from being within an economic corridor which has been identified as one of the main catalyst developments to spur the growth of the Malaysian economy. Strategically located, in proximity to Singapore, which is only a few kilometres away via the Second Link Expressway, the North-South Expressway and the Coastal Highway, it also has ready access to international airports and sea ports.” “Iskandar Puteri is highly liveable due to the infrastructure and connectivity, healthcare services, employment and economic activities, education opportunities and lifestyle amenities which have been tremendously enhanced as the result of the careful planning and successful execution, and completion of some milestone components of Iskandar Puteri in which the role of UEM Sunrise as the master developer has been instrumental. Our main focus now is to create vibrant communities, more commercial and industrial activity as well as new employment which will support and sustain further growth of Iskandar Puteri, and Iskandar Malaysia in general, as the largest urban integrated development in Southeast Asia,” added Anwar.

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Expectations are running high for the transformation of Iskandar Puteri into a polished gem of a thriving regional city, riding on the sterling reputation of UEM Sunrise, having rolled out a succession of developments here as well as overseas. UEM Sunrise’s reputation as a developer par excellence is after all founded the already implemented successful blueprints it has developed for various townships in Malaysia and abroad.

Developer of Distinction UEM Sunrise, famous for its formidable reputation as the flagship company for the township and property development businesses of UEM Group Berhad and Khazanah, has after all, already carved a reputation for itself as one of the nation’s formidable property developers. This is by virtue of it having launched successful awardwinning and up-market high-rise residential, commercial and mixed-used developments in the affluent Mont’Kiara international enclave in Kuala Lumpur, including 28 Mont’Kiara, Arcoris Mont’Kiara, Residensi22 Mont’Kiara, Residensi Sefina Mont’Kiara and Residensi Solaris Parq in Dutamas. Also notably significant lies with it launching the concept of creative retail space in Publika, Solaris Dutamas. Other projects in the Central region undertaken by UEM Sunrise are located in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre besides two other joint ventures in Shah Alam and Seremban. Counted among its other developments is the nature-inspired 448-acre integrated township of Serene Heights in Bangi. In addition to this is Symphony Hills, an exclusive residential development in Cyberjaya.


Besides developing on local shores, UEM Sunrise’s presence overseas is reflected in its 4.8-acre completed mixed-use development – Quintet at Minoru Boulevard City in Richmond, Canada. In Australia, its 92-storey Aurora Melbourne Central is the tallest development in the Central Business District (CBD), while the inspiring 42-storey Conservatory located on Mackenzie Street boasts panoramic views overlooking the historic UNESCO World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens. Its following Mayfair development situated on the prestigious St Kilda Road, further sealed its mettle in being able to develop this ultra-luxurious project emphasising a bespoke lifestyle.

Gerbang Nusajaya, the second phase development of Iskandar Puteri comprises a 4,551-acre project which features various catalytic developments, including Nusajaya Tech Park, Fastrackcity, Melia Residences and other residential development such as Estuari Gardens, Denai Nusantara and Serimbun.

In Durban, South Africa, it owns 30 acres of joint venture beachfront mixed-development land. Adding to its list of credentials is the fact that UEM Sunrise is the appointed project manager responsible for the development and marketing management of the mega mixed-use developments of Marina One and DUO in Singapore developed by M+S Pte Ltd, jointly owned by Khanazah and Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd. UEM Sunrise’s core competencies in macro township development, high-rise residential, commercial, retail and integrated developments besides property management, project and construction services enable the visions of building townships to be turned into successful realities.

Developing A Regional City in Iskandar Puteri Bringing along with it a wealth of experience and expertise, UEM Sunrise’s ambitious goal is aimed at transforming Iskandar Puteri to becoming a regional city. Already completed are more than 8,000 homes while another inflow of 2,300 units are anticipated within this two years.

Aerial view of Gerbang Nusajaya

Estuari Gardens nestled in a 394.41 acre of Estuari Puteri Harbour is estimated to be completed by the third quarter of 2018. This development consists of premium two-storey superlink houses. This award winning residential is a gated and guarded development surrounded by 13-acre designer crafted landscape area of mature trees. Added with a 4.9-acre of lush greenery of the Central Garden too. An attractive and scenic lake is also located just next to Estuari Gardens which adds value to its natural surroundings.

High-end residential developments in Iskandar Puteri counted among UEM Sunrise’s projects include Ledang Heights and East Ledang. Mixed-use developments meanwhile include Imperia, Teega, Almãs at Puteri Harbour in Iskandar Puteri. Township developments include Nusa Idaman and Nusa Bayu while counted among the industrial developments are Southern Industrial & Logistic Clusters (SILC) as well as Nusajaya Industrial Park.

Aerial view of Estuari Gardens Residential Area

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COVER STORY

Out of this list of projects, Melia Residences spanning 73.64 acres of freehold land represents the first landed residential precinct introduced in Gerbang Nusajaya that promises lakeside living within a gated and guarded development with comprehensive lifestyle facilities and amenities. The development counts a clubhouse, gymnasium, sauna, tennis courts, children’s playground and a recreational park. Serimbun meanwhile represents the latest landed residential development in Iskandar Puteri launched in February that is located nearby the mature Bukit Indah township area in Johor. The low-density development which spans across 23.74 acres of freehold land and commands a Gross Development Value (GDV) of approximately RM139.3 million has close to 80% take up on its first day of launch in early February 2018. Generous space characterises the development in which nine units are allocated per acre with a total of 215 residential units that are slated for completion in 2020.

Melia Residence Lakeside Living

UEM Sunrise launched its third phase of Melia Residences in May 2017 following its overwhelming demand of its two earlier phases recording over 93% sales. The strong take-up rate in no small part is due to Melia Residences being situated approximately 800 metres from the HSR Station. Façade of Serimbun’s Type A

Denai Nusantara, Iskandar Puteri

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Façade of Serimbun’s Type B


Serimbun’s landscaped park

Balcony View of Serimbun – park and façade

Zest Garden at Estuari

Gerbang Nusajaya will be developed over a period of 25 years and will include components such as lifestyle and retail parks, campus offices and industrial parks as well as residential precincts. It is also within easy access of future Transit Oriented Development (TOD) sites and the High-Speed Rail Station (HSR) in Iskandar Puteri, connecting Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

Iskandar Puteri High Speed Rail (HSR) in Gerbang Nusajaya.

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COVER STORY

Organising Community-Centric Activities at Iskandar Puteri There will never be a dull day at Iskandar Puteri, if UEM Sunrise has its way.

Meanwhile, the breathtaking Puteri Harbour Marina was transformed into a beehive of activities as witnessed by the presence of the Challenge Iskandar Puteri Village with merchandise booths as well as food trucks at the Fun & Fit Zone taking the spotlight.

Exemplifying its commitment towards the development of Iskandar Puteri through sports, fitness and leisure is legendary, championing community-centric activities is key to its aspirations for Iskandar Puteri.

In addition, there was a showcase of UEM Sunrise’s Southern region development projects featuring Melia Residences, Twin Villa, Residensi Ledang, Teega and Estuari Gardens at the event area.

This can be seen in it having organised a series of events which included “Challenge Iskandar Puteri 2017” whereby Puteri Harbour in Iskandar Puteri, Johor played host to triathletes from all over the world. Representing the sixth race in the Global Challenge series of full and half triathlon races that unfolded from 22 – 23 September 2017, UEM Sunrise held court as the title sponsor for the event.

Also equally huge is the Iskandar Puteri Jazz Festival 2017 in which UEM Sunrise together with Khazanah and Themed Attractions Resorts & Hotels Sdn Bhd successfully organised the inaugural Iskandar Puteri Jazz Festival 2017 last April at Puteri Harbour in Iskandar Puteri.

Triathlon participants swimming 1.9km

Triathlon participants cycling 90km

The jazz festival showcased Southeast Asia’s assorted jazz talents to Puteri Harbour’s local and international guests while bringing together music lovers and some of the world’s greatest jazz celebrities – including Havana Social Club from Cuba, Michael Pignéguy & The Awakenings Ensemble from Australia, Evelyn Feroza and Asiabeat featuring Lewis Pragasam from Malaysia, Sound of Siam featuring Koh Mr. Saxman from Thailand, etc. to Puteri Harbour. The success of the event was evidenced in the turn-up of over 5,000 people.

People dancing to the beat of the music Havana Social Club from Cuba at Iskandar Puteri Jazz Festival 2017

Winners of Challenge Iskandar Puteri 2017 with event organisers

The Challenge Iskandar Puteri’s last year’s edition alone saw the main race attracting more than 800 international and local athletes – a 100% increase from 2016. In addition to this, the “Challenge Iskandar Puteri 2016 - 5km Fun Run” – a by-event organised a day before the main race, attracted more than 1,000 local participants. An air of camaraderie was also present at the casual tournaments entailing fun sports that were held later. The enthusiastic crowd took part in the street soccer, mini basketball and floor ball challenge besides testing their strength at the Titan Games as well as taking part in the Arm Wrestling activities. The Zumba dance session also had the crowd swaying to the beat of the music.

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In addition to this, UEM Sunrise and Khazanah as well as Iskandar Investment Berhad joined forces in presenting ISKARNIVAL 2017 at Iskandar Puteri spanning over two weekends filled with arts, culture and sports, etc. The sixth installation of ISKARNIVAL showcased a bigger and bolder line-up of activities for all ages focusing on arts, culture and creativity in the ever expanding community of Iskandar Puteri which will soon be officially awarded with a city status recognition. ISKARNIVAL 2017 presented two separate agendas; namely ISKARNIVAL Kool held in November that spotlighted local culture, creative communities and new trends in entertainment and lifestyle at Puteri Harbour in Iskandar Malaysia. It was also a platform to showcase local initiatives and talents as well as enable participation by guests which also enabled the sharing of ideas on better living and community empowerment. A colourful series of creative workshops, treasure hunts, live music, outdoor and recreational activities, photo and video competitions were also held.


The festival also saw the launch of the new Iskandar Puteri City and Community Portal, a dedicated point of reference online for the Iskandar Puteri community also seen as a move towards the creation of a more digitally-empowered and engaged community in the region. The two-day ISKARNIVAL Kool event representing the first instalment of ISKARNIVAL 2017 attracted more than 65,000 visitors. Meanwhile, ISKARNIVAL Aktif that took place in December at EduCity Sports Complex offered a variety of sports and fitness events ranging from international sports tournaments to demonstrations as well as a series of workshops. Musical and cultural performances spread over both weekends spotlighted free concerts by several renowned artists such as Alleycats, Datuk Sheila Majid, Yuna and Datuk Zainal Abidin.

The Spartan Race Iskandar Puteri 2017 represented an opportunity to showcase SIREH Park @Iskandar Puteri, the largest public park in the Malaysia with 343-acre land to encourage aesthetic appreciation of planted areas as well as outdoor activities such as jogging, trekking, mountain biking, boating, kayaking and canoeing at Iskandar Puteri. The race was also held in conjunction with SIREH Park’s recent opening to welcome fitness, recreational, festivals and sporting events to Iskandar Puteri. The successful athletes received their finisher medals after a gruelling journey as the terrain at SIREH Park was specifically designed to push athletes to their limits ranging from steep hill climbs to forest trails and water crossings.

SPARTAN RACE ISKANDAR PUTERI 2017 ISKARNIVAL 2017

Spartans at the Starting Line Malaysian Legend and Songstress, Datuk Sheila Majid graces the stage with her commanding presence at ISKARNIVAL Kool 2017

Spartan Race participants running across fire

Yuna performing a song at ISKARNIVAL Kool 2017

Water flyboarding activity at ISKARNIVAL Kool 2017

Complementing the series of events was the Spartan Race Iskandar Puteri 2017 Challenge attracting more than 6,000 participants organised by UEM Sunrise in partnership with the Spartan Race. The event saw the successful hosting of the world’s largest obstacle course race – the Spartan Race Iskandar Puteri 2017 at SIREH Park, Iskandar Puteri, Johor last December.

A Spartan on the monkey bars to ring the cowbell

The inaugural race featured three categories – The Ultra Beast (40km and over 60+ obstacles), Beast (20km and 30+ obstacles) and Sprint (5km and over 20+ obstacles). Participants came from around Malaysia, Singapore, China, Indonesia, Philippines, USA, etc. It was the final event of the 2017 Spartan Race in Asia Pacific as the year drew to a close.

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MAIN FEATURE

BOVAEP: MUCH AWAITED CHANGES IN THE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SECTOR WILL BENEFIT HOMEOWNERS AND PROPERTY MANAGERS The recent launch of the Property Managers Register was hailed by many quarters as a much awaited and much welcomed change to the property management sector. The launch of the Register was a result of the bill that was passed in Parliament in August last year which amended the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act, 1981 (Act 242) to further regulate the practice of property management which is under the purview of the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVAEP) via a separate Register. Such is the significance and importance of this amendment that it has taken two Ministries, namely the Ministry of Urban Wellness, Housing and Local Government (KPKT) and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) to join hands to bring this to pass. To put things into perspective, there are at least 19,000 strata schemes throughout Malaysia in which 7.5 million people have made their homes. That’s 35% of the total urban population. This indicates that a significant number of home owners could potentially be adversely affected because the majority of property managers out there are not licensed and therefore do not have any form of accountability towards a professional governing body. There are numerous cases of gross mismanagement with impunity by the unregulated non-registered property managers that had been reported to the National House Buyers Association (HBA), Commissioners of Building (COB), police force and BOVAEP. Last year alone, the collective number of complaints received was around 16,000. Chief among the complaints received were poor management of properties and mismanagement. It is no surprise that BOVAEP (formerly BOVAEA) has been pushing for this amendment for the last 13 years while HBA has also been supporting this change for about 10 years now.

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Sr. Kamaruzaman Jamil

Tan Sri Noh Haji Omar

“Under BOVAEP, we have a strict modus operandi to investigate complaints lodged by the public,” says Sr. Kamaruzaman Jamil, a senior member of BOVAEP. While some parties may be apprehensive towards this change - citing that it will raise the barrier to entry into this sector, Sr. Kamaruzaman assures them that it is otherwise. “The registration of property managers liberalises the practice of property management. Everybody can enter the industry now, provided that they meet the criteria set by BOVAEP. Before that, only Valuers can conduct property management,” adds Sr Kamaruzaman. Ultimately, the launch of the Property Management Register which now regulates the practice under one roof and one standard of practice actually brings many benefits to both homeowners and property managers. “Property Management that is well-governed will lead to the well-being of the nation and confidence from investors,” asserts Tan Sri Noh Haji Omar at the recent launch of the Register of Property Managers.

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MAIN FEATURE

Sr. Haji Nordin bin Daharom

Benefit to Homeowners: 1. Homeowners can rest assured that their overall well-being and safety are in good professional hands which comes from strict regulation and continuous training, compulsory professional development and professional indemnity insurance. You can avoid having to deal with middle of the night emergencies, evicting people from your property or dealing with tenants who wreck your property, engage in rental scams and of course - piles of paperwork. 2. Homeowners can be assured that property managers are answerable not just to their agencies, but also to a neutral governing entity, namely BOVAEP. 3. Homeowners finally have recourse to get their complaints heard and problems rectified in a timely and professional manner. BOVAEP has inquiry and investigatory systems and dedicated professionals in place to handle cases in the most accurate, efficient and timely manner. 4. Homeowners can be sure that their properties will be better managed in all the usual problematic areas such as parking management, cleanliness, inter-floor leakages, security, maintenance and repairs. 5.  Homeowners can be confident that with proper and professional management, the value of their strata property will appreciate or at the very least, be preserved. Preventative maintenance is the operative word. Professional property managers would put systems in place that deal with

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maintenance and repair issues early on - before they grow into larger and more costly problems. Good maintenance and repairs keep tenants and owners happy and preserve the value of their investment. 6. Homeowners can also have peace of mind that incidences of embezzlement will be reduced significantly because professional keeping of accounts and accountability can now be enforced. 7. Homeowners can rest assured that the quality of neighbours will improve community strata living with proper screening processes put into place. The responsibilities of the property manager are indeed very challenging because they will need to manage all kinds of situations, having to be wise in dealing with many parties apart from having solid technical expertise in order to solve problems. “I need to emphasise that property managers need to be a Jack of All Trades in order to maintain that respect for the profession,� said Sr. Haji Nordin bin Daharom, the Yang Dipertua of BOVAEP.


Benefits to Property Managers 1. The launch of the Register allows all existing nonregistered property managers with sufficient experience and competency to be registered during the first 12-month moratorium window-opening period which commenced on January 2, 2018. 2.  Property managers will receive international recognition similar to property managers in other developed countries who are also under a Government-sanctioned Board or professional body. 3. Property management will enjoy an elevation in professional status as it is now recognised by two Ministries. 4.  Property managers will benefit from the compulsory continuous education that will contribute greatly to their very demanding jobscope comprising budgeting and proper bookkeeping; Mechanical and Electrical (M&E) installations and systems; project managing repairs, renovations and refurbishments; care and maintenance of communal facilities; security services, landscape maintenance, cleaning services, pest control services and understanding of the laws and bylaws that govern strata properties. 5. Property managers who are registered will more quickly earn the trust of Joint Management Bodies (JMBs) and Management Corporations (MCs) because they know that they now have valid credentials from the rigourous training that they have to go through under this newly amended act. 6.  Property managers will be able to deal effectively with eviction according to the law and in the best interest of all parties concerned. 7. A registered property manager is exempted from providing the RM50,000 bond per scheme required under the Strata Management Act 2016 (Act 757).

Of course, the above present very ideal situations but it is the mission and vision of BOVAEP and its stakeholders so that society, strata-homeowners and property managers will benefit in the long run. Some temporary adjustments are expected but the positive outcome will far outweigh the inconveniences. As the old adage goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions, “ so none of the above-mentioned benefits would take place if homeowners, JMBs and MCs do not insist on hiring only registered property managers, and if the property managers themselves do not want to get registered and trained. As with any policy change, there will be many moving parts and stakeholders involved, and all will need to do their part to make it work. Homeowners need to be responsible to escalate their complaints through the right channel, which in this case is via writing to BOVAEP at info@lppeh.gov.my Practicing property managers can register with BOVAEP by filling in Form C which they can obtain from http://lppeh.gov. my/WP2016/forms, and submit it to BOVAEP. The last date for submission for the window period is December 31, 2018.

REGISTER OF PROPERTY MANAGERS Criteria

Description 1

Qualification

SPM

Certificate

Diploma

Other Diplomas

Degree

Other Degrees

Recognition

SPM, MCE O-Level or equivalent

Recognized by BOVEAP

Recognized by BOVEAP

Recognized by BOVEAP

Recognized by BOVEAP

Recognized by BOVEAP

2

Course Discipline

Full Certificate

Property Mgmt., Facilities Mgmt., Building surveying

Property Mgmt., Facilities Mgmt., Building Surveying, REA, Quantity surveying, Architecture, C&S engineering, M&E engineering

Architecture Law and others

Property Mgmt., Facilities Mgmt., Building Surveying Quantity Surveying, Architecture, C&S engineering, M&E engineering, REA

Architecture Law and others

3

Minimum Experience

8 years

6 years

3 years

5 years

2 years

4 years

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MAIN FEATURE

Knight Frank launches inaugural New Frontiers: The 2018 Report Malaysia Ranked Among Top 10 On New Belt and Road Index

Knight Frank, the independent global property consultancy, today launched its inaugural New Frontiers: The 2018 Report. The report is aimed at helping Investors understand potential opportunities that China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) could generate beyond its borders. The report’s Belt and Road Index assesses 67 countries considered core to China’s initiative. The index is classified into six categories: Economic Potential, Demographic Advantage, Infrastructure Development, Institutional Effectiveness, Market Accessibility and Resilience to natural disasters. Values for these six categories have been normalised from the various data sources and are assigned specific weightage that commensurate with their perceived importance to investment decisions. Notably, Malaysia (US$2.37 billion), is one of the top recipients of Chinese outbound real estate investment into Belt and Road countries totalling US$10.2 billion over the last four years, alongside Singapore (US$3.87 billion) and South Korea (US$2.74 billion). Slightly over half of this total amount (US$5.2 billion) was spent on purchasing development sites, while another third (US$3.1 billion) was spent on office buildings.

Highlights of The Belt and Road Index: •  Singapore, Qatar and United Arab Emirates topped the Index. •  Southeast Asian countries ranked favourably - especially Malaysia (ranked 6th) and Vietnam (ranked 19th). Apart from Singapore, many Southeast Asian countries are confronted with major infrastructure financing deficits. Chinese companies are well-placed to plug those gaps. • Middle Eastern countries diverge in their BARI rankings, reflecting the potential and challenges that co-exist in the region. While Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia are in the top half, Iraq and Yemen sit in the bottom half.

Nicholas Holt, Head of Research, Knight Frank Asia Pacific, says, “The Belt and Road Initiative is a long-term strategy that will play out over decades, not simply years. Therefore, it will take patient capital that is prepared to look at new frontier markets with greater levels of country risk and at greenfield projects that have a long-term time horizon. For many, this transition away from pure-play, low-risk investment, requires detailed market knowledge and advice in terms of deal sourcing, evaluation, execution and asset management.” Kevin Coppel, Regional Head, Knight Frank Asia Pacific, says, “The Belt and Road Initiative is one of the clearest manifestations of China’s vision and influence. The infrastructure and investment underpinning the BRI will streamline trade flows and lift economic activity in much of Asia, the Middle East, and North and Eastern Africa. While the vision will bring huge opportunities for investors and developers, the BRI will also change the face of corporate China, which will have an enormous influence in the 21st century as Chinese brands become household names around the world.”

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CHINESE OUTBOUND REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT INTO BELT AND ROAD COUNTRIES FROM SEPT 2013 TO OCT 2017 (US$ BILLIONS)

Russia

0.17

Czech Republic

0.31

New Zealand

Croatia

0.10 Others

0.33

0.34 Singapore

Malaysia

3.87

2.37

Sources: Real Capital Analytics, Knight Frank Research

South Korea

2.74

Mar 2018 •

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MAIN FEATURE

Industrial activities to see increasing capital inflows from Chinese investments Township developments expected around major ports in Malaysia Knight Frank Malaysia also launched its new report recently entitled Chinese Corridors in Malaysia which assesses the investment opportunities that are arising in Malaysia, equipping Investors with insights for real estate investment decisions. Looking into 2018 and beyond, Knight Frank Malaysia expects to see greater capital inflow from China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) into Malaysia. The country’s rail and port projects continue to attract Chinese Government-linked Investors whilst developers and Investors seek opportunities into real estate, particularly in industrial driven township developments.

Sarkunan Subramaniam, Managing Director of Knight Frank Malaysia says, “China’s BRI is the catalyst that will turn the balance of power towards the east. Its BRI policy comes at a time that many of its neighbours need China’s capital to boost their economy. Whilst the capital controls will slow China’s private capital investments in the BRI, the State-owned companies continue their plan to invest in Port and Rail infrastructure to ensure “All roads now lead to China”. Malaysia’s strategic location in the BRI can propel the country as a key regional ally to China’s initiative, reaping economic benefits in the process.”

Allan Sim, Executive Director of Capital Markets, Knight Frank Malaysia says, “Industrial and mixed-use assets in Malaysia will be buoyed by rising interest from Chinese Investor into the manufacturing sector where Chinese manufacturers are expected to set up production facilities here. Similarly, the industrial sector will also benefit from China playing a pivotal role in developing Malaysia’s digital economy, alongside the rapid development in Malaysia’s logistics and warehousing sectors. And in the longer term, we can also expect a flow-on effect to business activities, creating a demand for hospitality related services.”

Nicholas Holt, Head of Research, Knight Frank Asia Pacific, says, “With Beijing’s tightening of regulations leading to slower inflow of Chinese capital, we now see more developers from China making inroads into the local development scene via joint-venture arrangements where there is less strain on capital flow rather than the outright purchase of land.”

Highlights of Chinese investments and interests in Malaysia: • According to the Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA), China invested a total of RM4.77 billion in 33 Malaysian manufacturing projects and became the main source of foreign direct investment into Malaysia in 2016. • The appointment of Jack Ma, Founder of China’s Alibaba Group as Malaysia’s Digital Economy Adviser leading to the formation of the KLIA Aeropolis Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) Park in Sepang, Selangor is expected to put Malaysia on the global logistics map. • In the real estate segment, Malaysia continues to attract Chinese investors looking at good investment value balancing between quality and costs. Chinese participation comes in the

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form of Investors, developers and construction companies. • Pull factors attracting Chinese interests to Malaysia include-: - The Belt and Road Initiative; - Strong bilateral relations between the two countries; - Tightening of China’s housing policies and its moderating economy; - Malaysia’s strategic position within the Asia Pacific and ASEAN region; and - A stable Government, good growth potential, investorfriendly guidelines and lower entry cost for property developers.


Mar 2018 •

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PROJECT OF THE MONTH

Sanctuary of Serenity at Residensi Suasana@Damai This best-kept secret of a development aims to raise the happiness index for residents with its peaceful and tranquil concept based on healthy living in harmonious and safe surroundings with urban parks - making this the latest coveted, reasonably priced discovery in the Klang Valley BY YVONNE YOONG

Residensi Suasana@Damai offers a myriad of facilities and amenities in close proximity to lifestyle hotspots and modern amenities for the young and young at heart Serene living takes centrestage at Residensi Suasana@Damai that offers a peaceful living environment The development with a GDV of approximately RM400 million is conveniently connected via excellent rail and highway links

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There is no price tag too hefty when it comes to the premium to be paid for healthy and harmonious living amidst lush surroundings complemented by the luxury of access to four parks teeming with greenery within nearby distance. And, that’s not to mention safety in the form of the presence of three-tiered security via a gated and guarded safe neighbourhood that is huge on connectivity and recreation.

Sounds Too Good To Be True – But It Is!

This may seem like an elusive dream for denizens of the city but the emerging reality of Residensi Suasana@Damai – a development tucked in the heart of Damansara Damai at a prominent address adjoining Bandar Sri Damansara situated in the north of Petaling Jaya - promises all that and more, especially considering its strategic location and affordably priced properties.

“Damansara Damai is a township spanning 400 acres which we started developing in 1998 with the first project being affordable housing and developed in line with the then Government’s intention to have and promote affordable housing, within the Klang Valley. To date, we have developed more than 14,000 units and the current population here is estimated at around 100,000. The units – starting with low cost housing then were priced from RM42,000 each and went all the way to RM80,000 for the medium cost units respectively.” he recalls.

“Healthier, safer and harmonious, we consider Residensi Suasana@Damai Residensi as a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) that promotes spacious and recreational living for residents,” says Mustafa Kamal Hawari, Senior General Manager of Medan Prestasi Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of MK Land Holdings Bhd. “The potential of Damansara Damai as a mature township – with the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line as an added facility for the neighbourhood that will be completed in 2021 - has given a very big boost to Damansara Damai. Furthermore, we are coming back as a developer who places strong emphasis in working with the community to foster a better, healthier and safer environment for them,” he opines. The target market for this development he adds, are the middleincome group, upgraders and investors.

Expressing confidence in the development, Mustafa says that the pricing of the units here far outweighs the value attached to the development per se. In addition, the unique and generously sized units come in a “u-shaped design” away from otherwise cookie-cutter conventional designs.

According to Mustafa, the Residensi Suasana@Damai development was first launched in July 2016 with Phase 1 comprising 260 units of condominiums. In all, he shares that there will be a total of three phases. Each phase will have one tower it comprising 260 units respectively. So in all, there will be 780 units.

Value Creation via Affordably Priced and Generously Sized Units “The price of a typical Phase 1 unit spanning 1,076 sq ft is from RM450,300 while a corner unit measuring 1,451 sq ft is priced at RM440 psf. The development is competitively priced as compared to other projects in the surrounding vicinity which are priced at RM450 psf – RM500 psf,” he says of this project which has a leasehold of 99 years expiring in 2103. “The main point of this development is the fact that the units spaciously designed ranging from 1,076 sq ft to 1,451 sq ft are affordably priced from a minimum RM450,300,” he enthuses stressing state-of the-art living space design that is perfect for raising families besides being a worthy investment. Phase 3 will be the next launch that will be announced at a later stage. The total land area for Phases 1, 2 and 3 spans a total area of 5.56 acres.

Mar 2018 •

21


PROJECT OF THE MONTH

Capitalising On Connectivity, Recreation and Greenery Mustafa doesn’t discount the fact that Mass Rail Transit (MRT) access is a key selling point, with the development being situated 1.5km away from the Sungai Buloh Kajang (SBK) station along MRT Line 1 which has been in operation since last year. The upcoming Sungai Buloh Serdang Putrajaya (SSP) station on MRT Line 2 will be located 700 metres away from the project. MRT Line 2 is under construction and will be completed by 2021. That’s why the project has become a TOD. Furthermore, the development boasts easy accessibility to other locations in the Klang Valley via the New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), North-South Expressway (PLUS), Duta Ulu-Kelang Expressway (DUKE) and Lebuhraya DamansaraPuchong (LDP). Besides these expressways, it is also easily accessible via trunk roads as well – promising great accessibility to prime hotspots. The beauty of this whole development in Damansara Damai he asserts lies with this township that is huge on nature and recreation, as it is complemented by the presence of four urban parks totalling around 43 acres in size. The nearest “Urban Park” to the development alone spans 12.28 acres. “The urban parks have been handed over to Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MPPJ). We are maintaining them as urban parks for the recreational purpose of the community,” he explains. “Phase 1 of the development comprising 260 units are completely sold out while Phase 2 of the development comprising the same number of units was just launched in Dec 2016 and 70% of the units are already sold,” he elaborates. According to Mustafa, the construction for Phase 1 has already reached 40% while the foundation and substructure for Phases 2 and 3 have already been completed. “We are looking at the completion of Phase 1 in Oct 2019 and the overall completion of the development including Phases 1, 2 and 3 by 2021,” he discloses. Mustafa is confident that the remaining units will be snapped up in no time by virtue of Damansara Damai being a mature township. Located nearby are the I-Coop College, KFC, retail lots and shops, mini markets, petrol stations and night market. The surrounding extended neighbourhood also feature shopping centres, primary and secondary schools as well as a hospital and specialist centre.

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Furthermore, the development complemented by threetier security will be equipped with a one-acre facilities deck on the fifth level adjoining the 3 towers which comprises sauna, spectacular infinity pool, children’s pool, gymnasium, playground, multipurpose hall, barbecue (BBQ) area, cafeteria space, half basketball court, volleyball courts, meeting room, nursery room, kindergarten, kiosk room and also surau. Each unit comes with two car parks and will be fitted with three to four air-conditioners depending on the size. With approximately 100,000 people now currently residing in Damansara Damai, he opines that this best-kept secret of a development will be an open secret in no time.

Fast Facts Launch Date (Phase 1) 23.07.2016

Launch Date (Phase 2) 17.12.2016

Land Tenure Leasehold 99 years Expiry Date 5 March 2103 Phase 1 (Block A) 260 units

Phase 12 (Block B) 260 units

Typical Floor 15 units per floor Selling Price (Phase 1) Min. RM450,800 Max RM700,000 (Min. RM444 psf)

Land Area (Phase 1,2 &3)

5.56 acres

No of Storey Phase 1 & 2 - 21 storey Phase 3 – 22 storey Phase 3 (Block C) (Next launch) 260 units

Total no of units

780 units

No of lifts 3 (including service lift) per block Selling Price (Phase 2) Min. RM488,000 Max RM788,400 (Min. RM464 sf)


AREA FOCUS

The Rapid Rise of Rawang No longer just a sleepy hollow, the rustic side of Rawang wakes up from its slumber to embrace “The Art of Living” ushered in by BRDB, complemented by other developers’ foray into this neighbourhood including Mah Sing, Gamuda and GuocoLand BY YVONNE YOONG

An artist’s impression of the aerial view of BRDB’s Tamansari development named Camelia

Just like quaint and rustic neighbourhoods tucked away in the outskirt areas far from the bustling city, Rawang, situated over 30 minutes away from the heart of Kuala Lumpur has an oldworld charm attached to it. Although it has not totally risen from its slumber and awoken to the trappings of modernity and the high life – this humble town that has seen it flourishing as a tin mining town back in the early 19 th century when it was first founded has witnessed layers of change taking place. Since the 90s, this quaint town has expanded and has grown into a massive township.

Malaya. Today, Rawang is a connected and bustling town, developing rapidly with the construction of new commercial and residential hubs. Rawang is also home to a diverse community of different races. Major establishments have also arrived here, such as a 55,000 square feet shopping mall by AEON Jusco, diverse financial institutions and a series of food and beverage outlets. Several international schools are also in the pipeline, along with the launch of essential amenities such as the KPJ Rawang Specialist Hospital.

Rawang itself is also rich in culture and heritage. It was one of the first mining satellite cities of Kuala Lumpur with a thriving industry of rubber estates in the 1970s. Rawang is claimed to be the first place electricity was made available in British Malaya. Culture and heritage wise, it finds meaning in being rich in diversity.

Boosted by the presence of enhanced infrastructure, public amenities and connectivity from Sungai Buloh, Petaling Jaya and the Kuala Lumpur city centre, Rawang’s potential is coming to the fore as an emerging residential enclave.

Located between 30km and 35km north of Kuala Lumpur, Rawang was one of the earliest satellite towns, having been a thriving and important mining town in the early 19th century. It was also the first towns to be supplied electricity in British

The recently completed scenic Rawang bypass, and the KLKuala Selangor (LATAR) Expressway enable residents of Rawang to enjoy an easier commute to and fro Kuala Lumpur through the Guthrie Corridor and North-South Expressway while area is also served by buses such as RapidKL, Metrobus and SJ Buses.

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Turning Rawang Into A Residential Destination of Choice Of late, Rawang has already started to pique the interest of many developers who have already started or are keen to launch their project developments here. Admittedly, life adjusts itself to a slower pace where eateries abound with the likes of steamed fish doused in garlic and ginger servings and Indian snacks taking pride of place at neighbourhood coffee shops where residents meet up regularly to indulge in chats. However, all that seems to be changing. The town is now no longer a totally sleepy hollow where time stands still and Rawang has not escaped modernity altogether – as evidenced in the golden arches of McDonald’s making a modern statement tucked amidst shop lots that are begging for a fresh coat of paint. The old cinema that screens Indian films though is still up and running – testimony to this charming town being able to balance the best of both old world charm in the context of modern life. Indeed, touches of the old and new co-exist harmoniously in Rawang where tradition and culture meets modernity. Residents here will recall how Parkson was the mall before AEON Jusco was built. Like various townships situated at the outskirts of town, Rawang has been undergoing a transformation of late, with established property players such as BRDB Developments Bhd among the developers also recently making a beeline here - not to mention Mah Sing Group Berhad, Gamuda Land and GuocoLand (Malaysia) Berhad, etc.

Elevating “The Art of Living” In Rawang The fact that BRDB Developments Sdn Bhd (BRDB), renowned for its journey of building iconic communities in Bangsar since 1965, and has over the years, grown to be one of Malaysia’s most trusted and respected property brands with businesses in property development, management and property investment makes its presence felt here speaks volumes about Rawang’s growing potential as the next residential enclave to watch out for. Intending to do for Rawang what it has done for Bangsar, Kajendra Pathmanathan, Chief Executive Officer of BRDB shares that the group’s “Art of Living” initiative here aims to bring life to communities through the arts as an inclusive tool. This project is part of the township’s new brand deployment to emphasise its Tamansari at Rawang as a residential destination of choice.

Kajendra Pathmanathan, CEO of BRDB

The “Art of Living” concept draws inspirations from the rich history of Rawang as one of the earliest satellite mining towns of Kuala Lumpur and a major producer of tin and rubber until the late-1970s. The first phase of the project will feature the works of four established Malaysian artists including Ramlan Abdullah, Umibaizurah Mahir Ismail, Haffendi Anuar and Jun Ong, each bringing their unique perspectives through artworks that inspire trust and mutual respect, providing context for social interaction as well as the enjoyment of shared experiences. The project he explains further is a unique outdoor art and cultural endeavour to enrich the living experience of its residents and visitors. It aims to bring art and life to the township where placements of monumental free-standing sculptures, experimental projects, and many other artworks will be scattered within the landscaped tropical gardens in Tamansari. “We think this project will bring a new dimension to Tamansari. It will make it a remarkable place where people connect, where the Tamansari community and the Rawang community will grow and thrive,” he says. “Art is multifaceted – it evokes colour and human emotions in our everyday lives and community spaces. One can appreciate a stunning piece of artwork with family, neighbours and friends, creating opportunities to bring communities together, or one can admire it in isolation too,” he adds.

Mar 2018 •

25


AREA FOCUS

“At BRDB, we offer beautiful quality homes and build communities that inspire. The ‘Art of Living’ project is a testament to our relentless pursuit of excellence. Through this new initiative, we envision a vibrant and happening district where residents and visitors at Tamansari can come together, connect and express creative ideas collectively,” he enthuses. “We believe Tamansari will appeal to home buyers as it is beautifully designed, competitively priced and strategically located,” he opines. BRDB’s Tamansari freehold development situated within a gated and guarded community that is expected to be completed by 1Q19 will see units here spanning built-up sizes from 3,100 sq ft with selling prices from RM894,000. An artist’s impression showcasing an aerial view of BRDB’s Tamansari development named Amaryllis

Elaborating further, he says that “The Art of Living” project has several components. “Of course, there’s art. This will encompass sculptures and pieces of art scattered across the landscape of Tamansari. Scattered across the tropical gardens of Tamansari, we see these art pieces as focal points to bring together residents of Tamansari and the residents of Rawang and visitors to Tamansari that will generate a sense of community feeling. This is how we will build a community character in Tamansari. Art is specia and. It has the ability to evoke emotion and colour. “You can look at a piece of culture and you can share that experience with your family, community, with your friends, neighbours – or you can appreciate art in isolation by yourself. It evokes emotion and you can see a beautiful piece of art in the landscape and you can feel joy and happiness. You look at the same piece of art three days later and you could be overcome with a sense of melancholy. A week later, you look at the same piece of art and it uplifts your spirit. Art evokes emotion. And via emotion, it connects to people and when we connect to people, we will build a community. This is the inspiration behind the project ‘The Art of Living’,” he enthuses. Then, there is the other component of “The Art of Living” dealing with is culture and heritage which is an integral part of our lives. “They give us a sense of identification, it gives us a sense of belonging. It makes us human. We know we are part of a group of community,” he shares. Indeed, all the sensibilities from BRDB’s prestige projects are evident in Tamansari. Amaryllis, Tamansari’s first phase of garden homes are fully sold. Sales are now open for Camelia, the second phase of super terrace garden homes at Tamansari.

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Sweetening the deal for prospective buyers, only 1% down payment is needed to own a unit while legal fees for the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) and the loan will be absorbed by the developer. In addition to this, a complimentary 12 months service charge will be paid by the development. There is also a complimentary five-year club membership with additional incentives for limited units booked before 24 March including a RM3,888 ang pau to be offset from the downpayment while the stamp duty and disbursements for the loan will be absorbed by the developer. The flourishing Tamansari development is a freehold, gated community with 24/7 integrated perimeter security for each separate phase, and CCTV surveillance system. It comprises of beautiful garden terraced homes, a lakeside commercial hub and artwork masterpieces placed in close proximity to living spaces. “Today, Rawang is a thriving township. It is growing rapidly. Financial institutions are abundant in Rawang. New F&B outlets continue to arrive in Rawang daily on a daily basis. The commercial component is in Rawang when it relates to connectivity to Sungai Buloh, Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur via roads - the new Pantai Expressway, the scenic Rawang route, Rawang is minutes away from all of us. With all this going for Rawang, BRDB feels that Rawang will be the next place to be and at BRDB, we are with Tamansari,” he continues. The project is a unique outdoor art and cultural endeavour to enrich the living experience of its residents and visitors. It aims to bring art and life to the township where placements of monumental free-standing sculptures, experimental projects, and many other artworks will be scattered within the landscaped tropical gardens in Tamansari. The “Art of Living” draws inspirations from the rich history of Rawang as one of the earliest satellite mining towns of Kuala Lumpur and a major producer of tin and rubber until the late1970s.


Developing In Rawang Mah Sing is not to be left out of the equation in Rawang either – boasting three pieces of land here spanning a total 480 acres of township presence in the area. “The first two parcels of land has been developed into a residential township showcasing M Residence 1 (226 acres) and M Residence 2 (157 acres) while the third parcel of land will be developed into a township, M Aruna (96.7 acres),” says Datuk Ho Hon Sang, Chief Executive Officer of Mah Sing Group Berhad.

Datuk Ho Hon Sang, CEO of Mah Sing Group Berahd

An artist’s impression of the M Aruna development

“We saw the potential of Rawang from early on. First of all, it is known that location is the most important factor when it comes to selecting a property. With the continued urbanisation in KL, residential location has been spreading out and we see Rawang as one of the preferred locations as it is only a 20-30 minutes’ drive away from the central business district (CBD) area with good connectivity by road and rail,” he shares.

“Therefore, our first township M Residence catered to the needs of this group. We were proven correct when overwhelming response for M Residence allowed us to tap on spillover demand to acquire approximately 157 acres of prime land,” he adds.

Aside from that he says that Rawang has a space for growth so residential units with bigger built-ups and layouts are able to be built.

Gamuda Land’s two developments here include Gamuda Gardens spanning 810 acres and the 89-acre Kundang Estates, a low-density boutique development where residents can enjoy tranquil countryside living.

“From our in-house study and analysis, there is a demand for property purchase from the emerging growth and expansion of the Malaysian middle income group. This group does not mind travelling 20-30 minutes to work as long as they have a goodsized landed home in the form of either a link house, semi-dee or bungalow.

Gamuda Land and GuocoLand are also two other developers with a big presence in Rawang.

Phase 1 of Gamuda Gardens’ two-storey link homes is fully sold and the township will be introducing its first high-rise residential development called Gaia Residences this month.

Mar 2018 •

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AREA FOCUS

GuocoLand, the property arm of the Hong Leong Group with its Emerald Rawang development spanning across a 1,000acre master planned township comprises link, cluster and semi-detached units besides townhouses, condominiums and bungalows. With this, there is added value to the township - attracting more developers, retailers and educational institutions to settle in Rawang. Its Emerald Rawang

development banks on serene open spaces fringed by multiple lakes and green landscapes here also lend a modern flair to the urban setting. Chloe Residence, occupying 14 acres of Emerald West in Rawang is the group’s latest development.

NEW LAUNCHES (2017/2018) Emerald Rawang Product

Masterplan Re-planning

Chloe Residence

The Rise (Phase 2)

12 Points (Phase 3H)

Land Size

360 acres

14 acres

26 acres

1.26 acres

Land Tenure

Freehold

Freehold

Freehold

Freehold

Product Type

• O-Lot Bungalows • Townhouse • Terrace Houses • Condominiums

2 & 2.5 Storey Terrace

2 & 2.5 Storey Zero Lot Bungalow

2&3 Storey Shop Office

Size (Typical Unit)

N/A

22’ X 70’

50’ X 80’

22’ X 70’

No. of units

N/A

142 units

106 units

12 units

Total GDV

2.5 bil

120 mil

200 mil

20 mil

“It’s the similar thing that happens in every large city in the world. When cities become more prosperous and prices go upwards, populations have no choice but to move out and into properties that are cheaper,” he observes. Admitting that although there are drawbacks like lack of transportation, he opines that as these outer line areas continue to develop, the infrastructure there will improve. Furthermore, amenities will continue to go into the location with the mushrooming of food and beverage (F&B) outlets, schools and hospitals which continue to expand so life will be alright.

Siva Shanker, Past President of Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) and Head of Investment Axis Reit Managers Bhd

Tapping On The Potential of Rawang Past President of Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) Siva Shanker and Head of Investment Axis Reit Managers Bhd alludes this to the fact that as land gets more and more scarce and increasingly costly, developers are moving further away to develop their projects on the outskirts of the city. “As property prices keep going up and more and more, properties become unaffordable to many around KL and the suburbs. Hence, people will have no choice but to move further away from the city. This is not a new phenomenon that is exclusive to Kuala Lumpur.

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“What used to be faraway 15 years ago is not the case now. Thousands of people travel some 45 minutes journey from Seremban to KL so, as KL becomes more and becomes prosperous – places like Rawang, Semenyih, Banting and Seremban - which were once considered the Boondocks will very soon become KL suburbs. This is a phenomena of modernisation and growth and we just have to accept it,” he reflects. Developers like BRDB and Gamuda who have invested here are forward thinking as they are future proofing themselves. EcoWorld which has invested big time in Semenyih by way of infrastructure will become more and more desirable. They may not be as attractive now as other places but if you belong in the middle-class – buying something in Cheras, Kajang, Selayang or Gombak are long gone as prices have gone up a lot,” adds Siva.


Rawang Area Food Trail Restoran Lan Je Rawang is famous for its steamed fish specialty regarded as almost an institution among foodies. Among the favourite dishes here is the famed tilapia served up with a generous dose of spicy ginger, garlic and chilli complemented with savoury soy sauce for full effect. Hmm nothing like sinking the teeth into the fish’s natural sweet flesh bursting with freshness. A dollop of rice forms the canvas complemented by a blanket of delicious sauce comprising a medley of chopped spices. Yummy! Team rating: 8.5/10

Source: Johorkaki.blogspot.com

Restoran R. Cheng Fei Zhou Yu Wantan Mee A favourite food haunt in Rawang, this restaurant in a residential area serves six special fish dishes – served steamed with straw mushrooms; tau chu; soya soy; deep fried soy sauce; curry and tom yam. Claypot dishes include duck, pork ham, peanut braised pork, black fungus mushroom braised pork, kam heong dried chili pork ribs and curry pork ribs. Testimony to its popularity, the homemade spring rolls and chicken wings were sold out when it was time for the food review. The steamed tilapia with accompanying ginger and garlic doused gravy weighing around 300gm served piping hot in a metal plateter with home-made wontan noodles made from duck egg was a piquant treat indeed! Washed down with a cooling cincau drink to beat the heart. The ginger duck in claypot ordered as a side dish was a sure winner bursting with aromatic spices. Team rating: 8/10

Nelsen Curry House Situated on Jalan Welman, regular crowds gather and quickly snap up the array of South Indian cakes freshly made in and placed on banana leaves. Settling for the usual suspects of fried banana fritters, papadam and curry puffs washed down with teh Tarik, there’s really nothing like a Malaysia tea time treat. The fluffy appam served with a side coconut milk was a sweet treat indeed. Team rating: 7.5/10

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MAIN FEATURE

New Age Real Estate How technology and the new Millennial lifestyle will transform the real estate industry In the last decade, we witnessed how the way people shop has changed - from retail shopping mall to online e-commerce. In the coming decade, will we see changes in the way people go about owning (or non-owning) and living (or co-living) in a property? Real estate is primarily a bricks and mortar business. For most of us, real estate represents the largest commitment and investment in our life. It is probably our biggest asset class in terms of investments. People certainly do not make hasty decisions when it comes to the purchase of a property hence, real estate is one of the most conservative industries.

What Has Changed? 1. With technology, the internet is accessible via a smart phone - anywhere, anytime in the world. Thus, people need not be physically present at the property per se in order to purchase, own and manage the unit. The younger generation typically expect everything to be smart phoneenabled. 2. Lifestyle changes – people are getting more and more busy, demanding instant information on the go. 3. A shared economy is inevitably created as properties are becoming less and less affordable to the general public at large so people may resort to shared living or shared ownership of the property.

The Emergence of PropTech PropTech is a new word to many of us. In short, it is about using technology for property information, transactions and management. It started with the usage of personal computer and computer software solutions for data entry and data processing of commercial properties. Those days, without the internet, these solutions work on offline and localised basis, restricting the usage between the internal office PC and internal server. This is the origin of PropTech which we term as PropTech 1.0.

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• Mar 2018

Vertical and Horizontal Pillars to PropTech:Professor Andrew Baum, having studied the workings of PropTech says PropTech 1.0 started with the invention of the computer which then progressed onward to PropTech 2.0 with the availability of internet. We are still in Proptech 2.0, but moving towards 3.0 with the emergence of the blockchain technology. There are three vertical and horizontal pillars to PropTech as shown below:-

Information Transactions/ Marketplace Management/ Control

Real Estate Fintech

Shared Economy

Smart Real Estate

P

P

P

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P P

Proptech To Malaysians PropTech 1.0 In Malaysia, PropTech 1.0 started some 30 years ago. The IFCA Software solutions are applicable to property developers, construction companies - providing project consultants contract accounting solutions while managing and tracking accounting and progressive billings. There were other property management solutions designed for building managers and shopping complex managers to manage their properties particularly on accounting and payment. Data was shared using the local server or transferred manually using a disk (how ancient is that!) or compact disc (CD). PropTech 2.0 The later stage of PropTech 1.0 and early stage of PropTech 2.0 arose in tandem with the internet becoming more widely used. This all started off with “information technology” which paved the way for a host of online property portals with listing of properties and search machines or engines for properties on sale or property for rent.


The first online portal started as early as a decade ago which later saw other online portals also extending their scope to online project marketing for developers. Some of these sites also provide content on property education for home buyers as well as investors. The next group of property listing tech startups included rooms, hostels and student accommodation platforms, etc. Some of these platforms serve as a market place for the landlord and tenant or seller and buyer to deal directly with each other without the presence of a middleman. Some familiar names include hostelhunting.com, roomz. asia, ibilik.com, hostelworld.com, myrent.my and mudah.com. These sites target mainly students who are seeking rooms for rent near their college or university. In addition to this, some of these listings provide hostels and rooms for working adults from outstation. From normal rooms and hostels, some startups even went into the professional working adults market by providing co-living spaces at a premium. One such example is thekatil.com. Following suit are the startups that provide property management services to the landlord and owner of the property. As landlords and owners find it a chore to manage their property on demand by tenant, they rely on companies and applications that help them do their job. Applications like kaodim.com and servicehero.com serve as platforms to link up property owners and tenants to all the servicemen they need – plumber, electricians, cleaners, handyman etc. RT Management Services is an online platform which caters to the needs of the landlord in between. With the tagline, “global investment, regional management”, they tackle issues such as pre-house rental, rental period and the post-house rental period with full service support and rental collection.

About The Contributor

Meanwhile Airbnb, homestays and short stays have become a hit in this region with a number of property owners and investors starting to convert their serviced apartments into short stay homes. The opportunity gives rise to new applications for online renovator and interior designer platform like furmingo.com, and property service startups like widebed.com and hostastay. com that are providing on ground service support to property owners. Then, there is Iglohome.co - a startup online platform originating from Singapore that supplies digital smart lock particularly for Airbnb operators. In essence, with the wide spread of internet usage, the ability of communities to provide and exchange information freely online has given rise to various property forums. Property buyers can also seek and receive advice from their peers online. For example, a property buyer can share with his peers feedback and comments on a project or developer. The authenticity of the information and its source on the other hand, are entirely different issues. Ultimately, users of these sites can make their own judgment wisely. Besides the forum, there are also property community service platforms that can provide real feedback directly from end users on a property or neighbourhood to help property buyers make better and more informed decisions on their property buying process by providing non-biased recommendations. Education and research are also inevitable before one commits to purchasing the property. Even this process has gone online too as seen in the likes of 1balcony.com – an online platform covering all aspects of real estate investment by providing news and articles, online investment on education, online TV, real estate market and online bookstore. (Article continues on the next page)

Elizabeth Siew is a Real Estate Lawyer turned Technopreneur who is Deputy President of Malaysia PropTech Association. She can be contacted at liz.siew.w.k@gmail.com

Mar 2018 •

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MAIN FEATURE

According to Viral Chhajer Co-founder & CEO Stayabode, in the real estate industry, right from design concept to construction until the end distribution, technology is opening new doors. "Technology enables people to find homes and stays without having to go around physically. The ease it has brought to the real estate sector in the past few years is great to observe. As providers of communal living facilities for the mobile savvy generation, we depend on technology and innovation to give us the edge. Being able to explore new areas, tactics and marketing techniques using digital tools and advanced applications is fantastic," said Chhajer. From the perspective of property developers, technology plays many roles to make their transactions smoother and speedier. Property hunters used to go from one sales gallery to another to look for their dream home. However, with the introduction of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), home hunters may be able conduct the viewing of many development projects from the comfort of their home. Alternatively, developers may set up one major VR showroom to showcase to property buyers all the various projects from different locations at one virtual showroom. And, the beauty of VR is that a person gets to experience the actual unit that he or she chooses. For example, the prospective buyer may prefer unit 8 on level 18 but may wonder how the actual view may be from that height and frontage. With VR, he or she will be able to experience the actual perspective from unit 8 on level 18, including the feel of sunset and sunrise. One such company is VR Lab Malaysia. Having recently launched its V Prop Touch, prospective property hunters can freely “walk about” to check out the dimensions of the various rooms while interacting with the property. The technology is so advanced that it enables prospective buyers to check out how the unit may look like at different times of the day with even the option to instantly change the flooring from wood to tiles. With VR technology, property buyers from thousands of miles away can even “sign” a booking form by virtual reality. During the sale and marketing period of a project, many developers may engage the services of multiple agents. Managing the inventory of a project on real time basis is not easy hence, the introduction of various online real time booking management applications. This type of online portal will enanble buyers to make live bookings anytime, anywhere in the world. As most of these system and platform providers engage on a Business to Business (B2B) network, they are not generally known to the property buyers at large.

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SMART HOME LIVING

This online platform deals with the IOT (internet of things) and gadgets that connect to the digital ecosystem of the home. Soon home dwellers will be spoilt with many smart living gadgets when they purchase a property. They will expect to have remote control access to their lighting, sound system, temperaturecontrolled environment, bathtub, AI fridge that can tell them what grocery is running short, remind the folks to take medicine, act as a personal assistant and even remind couples of their anniversary celebrations and even suggest gifts idea.

Google HOME –

Powered by Google Assistant, just ask it questions and direct it to do things. Just start with Ok Google to get answers from Google, play your favorite songs, tackle tasks for the day, enjoy your entertainment and control your smart home. And, when you ask for something, the Assistant provides information thats personally tailored just for you since it can distinguish your voice from others.

Amazon ALEXA

Using nothing but the sound of your voice, you can play music, search the Web, create to-do and shopping lists, shop online, get instant weather reports and control popular smart-home products — all while your smart phone stays in your pocket.

Facebook

Allegedly developed by Facebook’s Building 8 lab which was founded to create hardware that locks people into Facebook’s ecosystem, a new device is reportedly being developed and reportedly has a wide-angle camera, microphones and speakers. It’s said to be powered by AI, although Facebook apparently isn’t sure whether to power the device with Android or its own custom operating system. The camera could be able to scan for people in the room and lock onto them which could enable it to do things like zoom into a child’s painting while speaking to a parent away from home.


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STRATEGY

Sustainable Energy: The Future is Here Envisioning the future of electricity At SEDA Malaysia, we always believe that the future of electricity is framed by the 6Ds:- Decentralised, Distributed, Deregulated, Democratised, Decarbonised and Digitised. Perhaps by now, we owe readers a quick explanation of the 6Ds. As one would probably be aware, conventional electricity systems are marked by large power plants (typically coal and gas) and electricity is transmitted unidirectional from the transmission backbone down to the distribution networks and finally to the consumers. The fuel for power generation (coal and gas) will need to be transported to these centralised power plants. The new electricity paradigm takes into serious consideration the climate agenda and the need for true national energy security. Only renewable energy truly addresses both climate and energy security. Renewable energy addresses the climate agenda by not generating harmful GHG emissions during power generation and also offers energy autonomy as energy is available domestically. Furthermore, it is never ending in supply. In this aspect, the future of energy will be decarbonised. As renewable energy is typically harnessed in-situ (e.g. via solar, wind, hydro and geothermal), the decentralised and distributed electricity system is more suitable than the centralised configuration. However, this provides additional challenges as some forms of renewable energy are variable in nature (e.g. solar and wind) and that would require some intelligence in the network to balance the grid in terms of the dynamics of the electricity supply and demand. This is where digitisation comes in represented in the form of smart grid. Digitisation can also be extended to other forms of applications such as electricity management in buildings or homes, energy trading among prosumers (i.e. producers and consumers) as well as wholesale electricity trading including cross border trading. Finally, the market concerning electricity as well as the industry should be deregulated so consumers have the choice to be suppliers and/or producers concurrently. In this way, the market for electricity is democratised so consumers have the choice of deciding their electricity source (much the same as mobile phone users subscribing to their service provider) as the industry permits greater participation of distributed Renewable Energy (RE) generations.

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The Upcoming 4th International Sustainable Energy Summit (ISES) 2018 SEDA Malaysia will be organising the 4th ISES 2018 together with the Ministry of Utilities, Sarawak which will be held on 10 - 11 April 2018. It is the first time the summit - co-hosted by the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water Malaysia together with the Sarawak State Government is being organised outside of the Klang Valley following the theme “Sustainable Energy: The Future is Here”.

Addressing Energy Transition to Facilitate Greater Adoption of Sustainable Energy? In order for the energy transition to be effective, multipronged approaches area needed to address several issues. At the highest level, there is a need for a future energy framework that supports a greater contribution of renewable energy so plenary sessions on electricity market transformation at ASEAN, national and state level have been organised. Sarawak is a strategic host to the 4th ISES 2018 as the state has the highest renewable energy contribution in the electricity mix, with over 70% of it being hydro electricity in nature. At the ASEAN level, the panellists, comprising Government and international sectors will discuss what the future electricity market will be like, the countries’ aspirations on sustainable energy, and their targets to meet their climate obligations as pledged under the Paris Agreement. The existential challenges of scaling up sustainable energy in their electricity mix, the effective intervening policies, and the role of regional cooperation to achieve the common goal of decarbonising the electricity sector will be addressed in detail. At the national and state levels, the panellists will discuss the strategies needed to achieve energy balance and security, affordable electricity while institutionalising climate agenda in electricity transformation. Discussions will include developing policy frameworks that will decouple economic growth from increasing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and resource constraint, and technical and entrepreneurial skills required for the new energy paradigm.


Addressing the three-feet operationalizing of energy transition Besides framing the overarching energy framework, the summit will also address the three-feet operationalising of energy transition. Operationalising the energy transition will involve discussions such as integrating large-scale distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to the grid and best practices on auctioning largescale renewable energy projects which presents opportunity to design more effective renewable energy policies. Financing is a crucial component of the energy transition so each ISES will also cover financing sessions. At this summit, financing will encompass access to international funds including the Green Climate Fund. Technology-specific sessions will be held including topics covering the global market and industry outlook for solar PV, and bioenergy sectors. Sarawak Energy Berhad will helm two of the deepdive workshops (DDWs) on sustainable hydropower and electricity access catering to remote communities. At this summit, Malaysia takes on the role of hosting some key meetings of the Photovoltaic Power Systems under the International Energy Agency (IEA PVPS). In this regard, some of the experts from the IEA PVPS will also contribute to solar PV deepdive workshops.

Emerging Trends at The 4th ISES 2018 There are several strong trends emerging in the renewable sector. First, is the rise of energy storage solutions (ESS). ESS are particularly critical to scale up variable renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. For the longest time, critics of variable renewable energy have highlighted the high capital cost of investment and the intermittency concerning these areas. However today, solar and wind have gone beyond coal-parity in certain countries and the only excuse left standing is their intermittency and subsequently, their threat to the grid. The good news is that ESS is picking momentum, partly thanks to the rise of electric vehicles and greater global commitment to reduce pollution.

About The Contributor

Today, there is an array of energy storage solutions (ESS) to address intraday, intermediate and long haul low renewable energy supplies in highly overcast days and no wind. The summit will dedicate a DDW to discuss on the various forms of ESS, spanning from the rising lithium-ion, comeback of hydrogen fuel and the innovative use of reservoirs as pumped storage. ESS is an important component in the energy balancing market and can help delay expensive grid upgrade to accommodate greater injection of variable renewable energy to the grid. Lastly, to recap, the future of energy will be digitised. In many sectors of the industries and markets, digitisation is adopted in massive scale and perhaps, the energy sector is among the last few sectors to be truly digitised. Today, there are many emerging information technologies such as the internet-of-things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics, 3-D printing, robotics, virtual realities (VR), and the blockchain. SEDA Malaysia has decided to focus on blockchain as a possible platform to scale up greater renewable energy in the electricity mix. Blockchain is a technology that embeds trust within the platform thereby reducing chances of fraud. It also removes the need for intermediaries and in doing so, increases efficiency and reduces the cost of transaction.

Concluding remarks The Summit will bring a wealth of knowledge and platform for business networking in the sustainable energy sector. This Summit is expected to spawn new innovations from the policy, technology, human capital development and financing perspectives so that sustainable energy agenda can be augmented. For more information on the summit taking place in April, log on to www.ises.gov.my

Catherine Ridu is the CEO of Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) Malaysia

Mar 2018 •

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STRATEGY

A Different Point of View Don’t Sell Your Properties. Hold on to Them Forever! • One of my workshop participants recently asked me this question, “Mark, what cost do we incur when we sell our properties?” • I was stunned for words. Taken slightly aback, I didn’t know the answer, which was inexcusable. However, I also realised that I didn’t know the answer because I have not sold any of my properties before during the last 17 years. • Warren Buffet is an idol of mine. He doesn’t believe in selling his stocks, and holds them “forever”. He reasons that if the businesses he invests in are good, stable and generate sustainable returns, why should he sell? Instead, he would rather let his returns compound over time. The same principle applies to your properties too.

If I Don’t Sell Anything, How Will I Buy Other “Better” Properties? • Many people justify to me that it’s okay to sell their properties in order to buy something else which can potentially generate a higher return. Folks, please don’t kid yourselves. Are we saying that our earlier properties are perpetually “mediocre”, and we can always find “better deals”? • Personally, I shy away from exciting hotspot areas with the so-called potential to shoot upwards by 40% or whatever. Why is that? Well, new hotspots appear every single year. However, long term investors do not “chase after” the latest fads every year. Instead, they would rather buy blue chip properties in areas with proven and sustainable returns. • By the way, it is inaccurate to assume that mature or stable areas are “expensive”. To those of you who are unaware, I focus mainly on properties in Petaling Jaya and certain Kuala Lumpur suburbs. There are still many properties which you can get below RM 500,000. Don’t believe me? Just do a simple “search and filter” online. You’d be surprised at what you may discover. • Hence, my rationale on why I wouldn’t want to sell any of my properties is because their returns tend to compound over time. Therefore, I will just challenge myself to buy other investment grade properties WITHOUT SELLING any of my earlier investments.

About The Contributor

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• Mar 2018

How Do I Raise Funds To Buy More Units If I Don’t Sell Anything? • One method of raising cash is to make sure that you boost your earned income. The more you earn, the more you can invest and leverage on your income. That way, you can continue buying other properties too without forcing yourself to sell any of your existing properties. Let’s face it – there’s only so much you can do with RM 3,000. Try earning RM30,000 instead. • The second method is to refinance and cash out on your existing properties. I am a serial refinancer. I cash out on my property equity whilst maintaining control over my assets. Furthermore, the cost of refinancing is cheaper than that of selling. I only pay loan agreement fees and stamp duty on the incremental cash out amount. • After reaching a certain scale, co-investing with one or two trusted Joint Venture (JV) partners is also key for capital and resource efficiency. Call me old fashioned but I do not believe in JVs with 20 or 30 people. Quality over quantity always. Give me a couple of “Lowyat Legends” as JV partners, anytime, any day. (Note – Lowyat Legends are some seasoned property investors that I met a long time ago during the Property online forum days).

M Oral Of The Story? • Not surprisingly, investors that are just constantly obsessed with the latest fads, hotspots and flavour of the month tend to underperform in the long term. • Secondly, engaging in high frequency “pasar malam” buying and selling may be detrimental as well. Do not kid yourself that you constantly have to sell something in order to buy something “better”. Why not buy properties that are investment grade and hold them “forever”? • Guys – I do not mean to imply that the strategies above are the absolute truth. Please form your own views. Respectfully, I just believe that conformity breeds complacency. I just believe that our thought process should always disrupt the status quo.

Mark Chua

is the bestselling author of the book “WHO SAYS”. He was a former Senior Vice President of a bank and an avid lover of properties. He is living proof that one can be successful in one’s career and property investments. He can be reached via hello.markchua@gmail.com or www.facebook.com/MarkChuaMY


Rent-To-Own Scheme: A Solution for Homeownership for Low-and-Middle-Income Classes? The Rent-To-Own (RTO) scheme provides an option for potential buyers to own a property by renting the unit out for a certain timeline as per the agreement outlined by the scheme provider and buyer. Low-and-middle-income Malaysians are in a constant dilemma whereby they just can’t afford to own a house due to the current economical climate given the higher living costs for expenses such as basic items, transportation, food and etc. - leaving them no room for savings. Meanwhile, house prices are escalating at a faster pace than income growth. Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) latest data showed that house prices have propelled upwards to 17.6%, outpacing the average household income growth of 12.4% from 2012 to 2014. To compound matters, BNM has revised the loan guidelines, making it hard for buyers especially for low and middle classes to apply for housing loans. Without sufficient savings to pay the remaining housing loan amount of 80% to 90%, owning a home is slowly turning into a faraway dream for many low-and-middle-income earners.

How Does The RTO Scheme Works?

Is This Good or Bad Solution? A few industry veteran opine that the introduction of the RTO scheme is applaudable as this could help potential buyers from low-and-middle-income groups to “own” a house through renting it at first while building up their credit score for the next two or three years. At the same time, it can also help the sellers (or developers) to fill in the vacancies of their residential units. The bad news, however is that the RTO scheme may not be a suitable choice for developers due to the impact of cash flow. It also could be a gamble for homebuyers especially if the scheme is introduced by unestablished developers without a good track record.

What’s New Regarding The RTO Scheme? The plans for RTO have been received well-accepted among the Governments, banks and developers. The new Budget 2018 announced an emphasis on boosting the residential rental market that entails a 50% tax exemption on rental income for residential properties up to RM2,000 per month for Malaysian residents.

Economists agree that the RTO concept may be an effective way to help middle-income earners on the road to own the first residential property.

The Government also included the RTO concept into the 1Malaysia People’s Housing Programme (PR1MA) which successful applicants whose housing loan applications have been rejected, will be able to rent a PR1MA home up to 10 years and decide to buy it at the end of fifth or tenth year at a pre-determined price.

RTO works as a contract between the seller (property developer) and the buyer whereby the latter can rent for a specific period and will be able to choose to purchase the property at a fixed price according to the lease agreement at the end of the rental period. The accumulated rent will be credited to the property’s sale price.

Recently, Maybank unveiled the HouzKey scheme which provides a new way for Malaysians to own a home by just paying a slightly higher monthly rental price as compared to a housing loan instalment without having to place a down payment. Moreover, property developers are open to concept of rent-first and buy-later concept such as TAHPS Group Bhd’s “Stay and Own” scheme and Selangor Dredging Bhd’s (SDB) “Reside and Purchase (RAP) programme.

About The Contributor

Dato’ KK Chua

is the Strategic Adviser and Managing Director of Armani Media. He is also a registered Real Estate Agent and an investor with more than 10 years experience in the industry. He can be contacted at kkchua@propertyinsight.com.my

Mar 2018 •

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Property Insight March 2018  
Property Insight March 2018  
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