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VISTAS ABOVE THE ORDINARY 4 -Storey Green Court yard Villas


70% SOLD

2 & 3 -Storey Semi-D Villas


semi-Ds and 4-storey courtyard villas is enveloped in pristine rainforest tranquility, complete with cascading creeks and waterfalls. Nature’s magnificence meets urban

Wangsa Walk Giant



Minutes away from highways and KL city | Mountain fresh air | Cascading creeks |


"Good fengshui for good living" endorsement from Master Kenny Hoo




Fairview International School


Exclusive clubhouse | Perimeter fencing | Cool temperatures | Scenic city views |

SMK Taman Melawati

SR Agama Muwafaqah

AKLEH Gleneagles Medical Centre

Sayfol Great International Eastern School Mall


inspiration - make it your daily experience.



TAR College


with sweeping panorama of the world below, this elite enclave of 2 & 3-storey

Seri Utama School



Luxury homes perfected for the ultimate in urban green living. Perched on a hilltop

Sungai Ampang Waterfalls Sri Inai School Mutiara International School ISKL Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital Ampang Point JLN AMPANG


GPS Coordinates: 3.219305, 101.760982


PT 18223 T/Supply Jalan Melati Indah 2, Kemensah Height Taman Melawati, 53100 Kuala Lumpur.

Download the Titijaya free app on your smartphone or tablet for more info!

MS No.: 05 100 14023

MS ISO/IEC 17027 : 2011 QS 16122006 CB 05

Brought to you by Titijaya, winner of the prestigious Asia Pacific Commercial Property Awards 5 Star Best Mixed Use Development Malaysia 2010.







Vibrant with city conveniences including established amenities, excellent highway

80% SOLD

access and three clubhouses in its vicinity. The ultra-stylish H2O residence supports a new style of living that is current and exhilarating. Final chance to enjoy a lifestyle


coveted by urbanites.


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Unique swimming pool with marine life display | Natural ventilation & lighting maximised | Premium views: Garden, pool, airport or Saujana greens* | Resort-style facilities

Subang Airport Sime Darby Medical Centre The Saujana Hotel Japanese School of KL

Jalan Lapangan Terbang Subang

Depending on unit type and location


Saujana Golf & Country Club

Oasis Mall Oasis (upcoming) Business Centre H2O Sales Gallery @

Citta Mall



LRT Station Ara Damansara

(under construction)

LRT Station Lembah Subang

(under construction)

NKVE Glenmarie Golf & Country Club

Subang National Golf Club


Federal Highway


GPS coordinates: 3.114759, 101.576682


A-G-6, Block A, Oasis Square, Jalan PJU 1A/7A, Oasis Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. T 03.7734 5022

AMAN KEMENSAH SDN BHD (429811-K) | EPOCH PROPERTY SDN BHD (955473-D) (A MEMBER OF TITIJAYA GROUP) N-16-01, Penthouse, Level 16, First Subang, Jalan SS15/4G, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor. T 03.8022 9999 F 03.8022 9988 AMAN KEMENSAH SDN BHD Developer License No.: 12369-1/08-2015/0476(L). Validity: 17/08/2013-16/08/2015. Advertising & Sales Permit No.: 12369-1/08-2015/0476(P). Validity: 17/08/2013-16/08/2015. Approving Authority: Majlis Perbandaran Ampang Jaya. Approve Building Plan No.: (9) dlm MPAJ.BS.KB.740-1/2-03/13. Tenure of Land: Pegangan Bebas. Expected Completion Date: Dec 2016. Land Encumbrances: Malayan Banking Berhad. No. of Units: 51 unit. Selling Price: RM1,590,000(min) - RM3,500,000(max). Diskaun Bumiputra: 7%. EPOCH PROPERTY SDN BHD Developer Licence No: 13556-1/06-2016/0591(L). Advertising & Sales Permit No.: 13556-1/06-2016/0591(P). Validity Period: 20/06/2014 – 19/06/2016. Approving Authority: Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya. Approve Building Plan No.: MBPJ/120100/T/PT10/36/2014. Tenure of Land: Freehold. Expected Completion Date: Dec 2017. Land Encumbrances: HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad. No. of Units: 1,357 units. Selling Price: Block A, B and C: RM520,800.00 (min) - RM1,253,035.50 (max), Block D: RM335,730.00 (min) - RM934,719.75(max). Discount Bumiputra: 7%. The information contained herein is subject to change and cannot form part of an offer or contract. All renderings are artist’s impressions only. All measurements are appropriate. All plans are intended to serve as a guide only and are subject to approval by the relevant approving authorities and may be modified or amended as directed by the approving authorities and/or project consultants. All built ups indicated are approximate measurements only and are subject to final survey/confirmation by the land surveyor/appropriate authorities. While every reasonable care has been taken in preparing this material, the developer cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracy. The numbering and postal address for the said/parcel when issued by the appropriate authority may not be the identical description as stated in this advertisement. Any dispute arising therein shall not be the subject matter of any claims for damages, compensation and/or whatsoever. Disclaimer: The developer cannot be held liable for the security of the occupant and users of the property or for any injuries, death, loss or damage to property or self in connection with the provision and maintenance of the service or lack or shortcoming thereof. Hourly patrolling is subject to developer’s discretion.

PL E A S E C A L L :

6 019 - 5 8 7 6 8 8 8 6 0 17- 3 8 2 1117 6 012 - 2 9 3 10 3 3

R3_Lakeville_May issue .pdf



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IconCity 210 x 285 (OL).pdf



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Magazine 1 175.00 lpi 15.00째 4/8/15 75.00째 0.00째 45.00째 4/8/15 Process CyanProcess CyanProcess MagentaProcess MagentaProcess YellowProcess YellowProcess Black









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11:47 AM

PI Publisher/ Editor KK Chua Sales & Marketing Janet Loh 012-2050 911 Andy Fam 012-6019938 Chong Wei Yeen 012-627 2863 FOR ENQUIRIES:

Publisher Armani Media Sdn Bhd (1032085-H) No. 32-3, Jalan Pekaka 8/4 Sec 8, Kota Damansara 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Tel : +603 6156 3366 Fax : +603 6156 3399 Printer KHL Printing Co Sdn Bhd (235060-A) Lot 10 & 12, Jalan Modal 23/2 Seksyen 23 Kawasan Miel Phase 8 40300 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia

PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE ince the beginning of 2015, the equity market saw investors shying away from property stocks and underweighting the sector as a result of declining oil prices and the depreciating Ringgit. Then came April 1 with the 6% Goods and Services Tax (GST) being implemented, posing a challenge for buyers and developers alike. I believe the ETP (Economic Transformation Programme) projects, already in the pipeline, should continue to support Malaysia’s economic growth. The proposed mega infrastructure projects approved under Budget 2015 are expected to boost private investments. These include the third light rail transit (LRT3) from Bandar Utama to Johan Setia, the second mass rapid transit (MRT2) line from Sungai Buloh to Putrajaya, the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project, as well as the Pan-Borneo Highway connecting Sarawak and Sabah. Properties in the long run are always good investments and a hedge against inflation. One should view the current weaker Ringgit as an opportunity to purchase property and preserve the value of his or her savings. Fundamentals would remain strong due to the expected growth in population and earning capacity, coupled with low unemployment rate in the country. These factors warrant a sustainable and even growing property market in Malaysia. Going forward, the domestic property market is expected to remain stable as house buyers and developers exercising caution with the GST implementation. Nevertheless, the market would readjust itself upon interaction among the various market forces. The next six months post-GST is crucial for the sector to monitor developments and assess the direction of the property market in Malaysia. Let me conclude with this saying: “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” - Confucius


Happy Investing ! Disclaimer

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 and 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 personal circumstances. We shall not be responsible for any loss or damage, whether directly or indirectly, incidentally or consequentially 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 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.


KK Chua Armani Media Sdn Bhd

4/18/15 1:09 PM

MCity iProp May.pdf



5:53 PM

Content 24

DEVELOPER OF THE MONTH Building Sustainable Communities



20 1 5

Sime Darby stands out from the rest by building sustainable developments


Malaysian Property Market 2014 Report NAPIC forecasts the property market would remain stable in the coming year



Light at The End of an Oily Tunnel


Wonderlist-A Listing Like No Other

World is keeping an eye on plummeting crude oil prices

Redefining negottiator’s professionalism in the real estate industry

Wellness themed resort by the leading developer, MB GROUP

36 40 42 44



Contemporary Living Amidst Mother Nature Come and experience the daily wonders of spacious and luxury living, within the peaceful natural environment

Perfect Dream Homes Located within the sanctuary of upscale homes in Bandar Seri Putra, The Apex is definately a right place for you to call home

56 62 68

Worry-Free in Golden Years GreenAcres retirement village offers an active lifestyle for Malaysian senior citizens in a secure,resort-like living

PERSONALITY OF THE MONTH Beyond Borders International law firm Antonio Viñal & Co. Abogados capitalises on its multi-disciplinary expertise to assist and boost investments in the real estate markets of Southern Europe

FEATURE Don’t Get Conned Check with BOVAEA when you have doubts

72 74

FINANCE Do You Really Need Rm2 Million For Reasonable Retirement Lifestyle?

The Ultimate Guide of Refinancing


The transformation of one man’s life through propert investment


Buying HDA Properties

STRATEGY Distinguish Between Good & Bad Real Estate Agents


Distance, Duration & Objectivity in Buying a Property


Properties: Assets or Liabilities?

TRD_Property Insight_Ad_21cmWx28.5cmH_FA_OL.pdf



8:31 PM


PIPDA award – A night to be remembered

Winners of Property Insight Inaugural Prestigious Developer Awards (PIPDA)

restigious and grand best describes the Property Insight Inaugural Prestigious Developer Awards (PIPDA) night that took place on March 30, 2015. Despite the event taking place on a Monday night, the attendance for the event at the Westin hotel was full house. The Minister of Tourism and Culture YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz was the guest of honour and presented the awards to the winners. Beyond than just recognising quality development, this inaugural award also acknowledges and defined Malaysia’s best landmark projects that contribute in the continuation of making Malaysia as a First World nation by year 2020. This award brought the crème-de-la-crème of Malaysia’s property developers and also financiers. Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) went on to bag the Most Innovative Financier award. MBSB, a subsidiary of EPF, has evolved from being the first property financier to a financial provider that offers a spectrum of innovative products and services. Dato’ Ir.Jamaludin Osman, the Group Managing Director of I&P Group received a chorus of applauds when he went on stage receiving the Personality of the Year award. Jamaludin, a registered professional engineer with the Board of Engineers Malaysia, led the formation of I&P Group Sdn Bhd and held his current position as the Group Managing Director since 2009. MKH Bhd, Gamuda Land Sdn Bhd, Glomac Bhd, IJM Land Bhd, Mah Sing Group Bhd, Sime Darby Property Bhd, Sunway Bhd, Tropicana Corporation Bhd, UEM Sunrise Bhd and UOA Development Bhd were the winners and the recipients for



MAY 2015 |

KK Chua giving his speech

the top 10-developer award. The judging criteria are based on developers’ EBITDA figures, market cap, GDVs, along with brand value and brand awareness as chosen by the Malaysian Property Investors Association (MPIA), the Property Insight editorial team and Property Insight readers who voted via Property Insight’s online platforms, and the Award is audited by professional accounting consultant firm HML & Co. “This grand event is among the efforts by Armani Media to foster growth in industry sector, along with our many other events such as expos, showcases, exclusive private events, study tours and PRISM - Property Investment Summit & Expo in Malaysia, the largest property summit and expo in the country,” said Property Insight inaugural Prestigious Developer Award chairman Chua Kee Kian. Chua further mentioned that “the award will bring together the best minds and people behind the property development industry of Malaysia. It creates a precious opportunities to network with the giants and crème de la crème of the field at a Gala Dinner in Kuala Lumpur.” Dato’ Nazri, the Minister of Tourism and Culture, pointed out that Malaysia is the top 3 countries behind Ecuador and Panama where foreigners would come and choose as a place to spend their retirement. He said this means their need for quality property is fulfilled here as the properties in Malaysia are known for its low purchase cost and also the

Mr. Ngan Chee Meng, COO of Gamuda Land (third from left) and his management team

From left: Tan Sri Michael Yeoh, Ter Chen Yi (Director of Sales & Marketing, Suez Capital Sdn Bhd) and KK Chua

Full house: Minister of Tourism, Dato’ Seri Mohamad Nazri giving his speech | MAY 2015



YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri with KK Chua enjoying the performance

relatively low taxes. He also highlighted that Malaysia rank 2nd in residential property value according to The Global Property Guide last year. Nazri enthuses, “A few ago, CNBC actually highlighted Malaysia as the 9th most popular real estate market in the world.” “Propelled by the rising trend of foreigners investing in Malaysia, the property rental market boomed, leading to the steady price appreciation in growth areas like Iskandar in the southern tip of Johor, Perak, Sabah and also Melaka,” further stated Nazri. He revealed the success of Malaysia My Second Home program was largely due to property developers playing a vital role in building residential and commercial properties that are able to tap onto the demand of foreign tourists who seek out not only for a quality living, but also a dining and shopping experience. Nazri also took the opportunity in thanking the developers for their consideration in developing and providing certain amenities and services that were requested by tourists who visited Malaysia. He gave an example where the halal tourism market is emerging globally and applauded developers who provided prayer rooms and prayer mats in hotels. According to Nazri, “The property development industry is central to the financial health of over 100-related sectors and hence, it is a key driver of the Malaysian economy, He congratulated all the property developers present in the event for playing an important role in the tourism industry, by not only providing world standard hotels

From left : YM Raja Datin Aliza Raja Aziddin, Zaini Yusof, Amber Chia, Dato’ Ir. Jamaludin Osman (Group Managing Director, I&P Group), Datin Noor Aizila Mustaffa, Nora Nordin, Azlina Baharom 14

MAY 2015 |

From top left: Dato’ Foo, Mr Brandon Ong From bottom left: Datuk Edmund Kong, Fatimah, Dato’ Azman, Dato’ Simon Leong, Ong Chee Bin

and resorts to meet the increasing demands for tourists, but also tapping into the huge potential new markets in property and tourism.” With the implementation of GST beginning April 1, 2015, the minister also urged property developers to remain vigilant in their cost measures to ensure that properties are still attractive and that home prices are within reach, first and foremost, for Malaysians. Nazri cited the idea of having responsible developers to take the lead in overcoming the problems of overdevelopment. He hoped that socially responsible developers will continue their good efforts by partnering with the government to achieve progress by offering quality and affordable products to the masses. Nazri emphasised the importance of having healthy growth in sectors especially the tourism and construction sectors as it will certainly result in abundance of opportunities for further property developments. “I think tonight event was well organised, the organiser were trying to make the developers like stars, the whole flow of the event actually when very well,” said Hatten Group head of marketing & sales Cassandra Tio. Hatten Group was the recipient for the Outstanding Developer – Southern region. She mentioned that she believes the award recognition put Hatten Group on the national level, which was a very big confidence booster for the group as the company has

From left: Ir. Kenny Chong, Ridzuan Ramly, Datuk Charlie Chia

been working very hard to actually be recognised and to put Melaka as one of the spot for investors. Smart Niche Group (SNG), a joint venture of two companies (Rivertree Group headed by Dato’ Simon David Leong and Imaxland Sdn Bhd headed by Dato’ Dr Colin Lee). Smart Niche Group Sdn Bhd won the Best Affordable EcoUrban Development award. Dato Simon David Leong said, “I like the event very much, this award will motivate us and push us even harder to go extra miles to create value for our clients.” Armani Media Sdn Bhd also contributed a donation totalling RM30,000 to Kechara Soup Kitchen as part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme during the award night. | MAY 2015


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4 18

MAY 2015 |

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4/17/15 4:36 PM


MALAYSIAN PROPERTY MARKET 2014 REPORT NAPIC forecasts the property market would remain stable in the coming year alaysian economic PROPERTY MARKET ACTIVITY Volume of transactions across growth was at 6.0% The performance of overall property the sub-sectors showed insignificant in 2014, higher than market made a marginal rebound from movements. Residential, commercial 4.7% registered in 10.9% contraction recorded in 2013. and agricultural sub-sectors recorded 2013. The positive A total of 384,060 transactions worth growths of 0.4%, 3.6% and 2.0% growth in the economy supported RM162.97 billion were recorded, respectively while industrial and the slight increase in the property indicating a marginal increase of 0.8% development land sub-sectors sector, which grew at a marginal of in volume and 0.7% in value. each recorded a slight downturn of 0.8% in market volume and 13.5% in 3.8% and 1.9% respectively against market value. The cooling measures 2013. Value of transactions moved that resulted in the moderation of independently with residential, Com me market activity in last two years industrial and development rci al have seen market corrections, land sub-sectors recorded In which ensued the slight d double-digit growth of pick-up in market activity 13.9%, 17.7% and in 2014. Measures such 13.5% respectively as the imposition of whereas commercial higher Real Property and agricultural subGains Tax to curb sectors recorded speculative actividownfall of ties and spiralling 10.5% and 4.3% property prices respectively. have also shown positive signs. This RESIDENTIAL is evident from PROPERTY the moderating There were increase in the 247,251 Malaysian House transactions Price Index over the worth RM82.06 last three years. billion recorded The Consumer in the review Sentiments Index period, up by (CSI) stood at 83.0 0.4% in volume points in Q4 2014, and 13.9% in Development the lowest in the land value. Residential four quarters (2013: continued to 104.3 points), as Residential Commercial Industrial Agricultural Development land drive the national cautionary sentiproperty market, ments continued to Property Market Activity by Sub-sector accounting for linger on household 64.4% and 50.4% finances as well as of the volume and value respectively. a growing concern on employment The residential sub-sector led the Selangor, Johor and Perak remained and financial outlook. MIER’s Business overall property market, with 64.4% the three leading states in the Condition Index (BCI) dropped to contribution. This was followed by residential segment, each with 24.6%, 86.4 points in Q4 2014, due to the agricultural sub-sector (18.8%), 15.8% and 11.0% market share. A depreciation of Ringgit and the falling commercial (9.3%), development land mixed performance was seen across oil prices. These low note MIER’s (5.5%), and industrial (2.1%). In terms the states. Seven states recorded indicators have in part influenced in of value, residential took the lead with upward volume movements whilst the commercial property sub-sector 50.4% share, followed by commercial nine states recorded otherwise. as volume grew by a marginal 3.6% (19.5%), development land (13.3%), industrial (8.9%) and agricultural Selangor and Perak however recorded whereas value dropped by 10.5%. (7.8%). downward movements at 5.2% and


ial tr us






MAY 2015 |








0.0% 2010







Volume of Transactions

Value of Transactions

Source: NAPIC


25.0% 20.0%







5.0% 0.0%


-5.0% 50,000 0 Volume % Change

-10.0% 2010
















Source: NAPIC | MAY 2015



RM200,001- RM500,000 RESIDENTIAL VOLUME TREND RM200,001-RM500,000 Residential Volume Trend

200,000 180,000










140,000 120,000






29.9% 80,000


60,000 40,000


15.0% 40,000













10.0% 5.0%




















0.0% -5.0%


35.0% 102,081





RM500,001 andABOVE above ResidentialVOLUME VolumeTREND Trend RM500,001 AND RESIDENTIAL 45.0%

45,000 38,595

40,000 35,000







25,000 20,000







20.0% 20.9%
















Source: NAPIC

3.0% respectively. Johor and Pulau Pinang remained on positive track, up by 15.9% and 4.0% respectively. In terms of value, all states recorded upward movements with the exception of Labuan, Pahang and Kelantan. In the primary market, developers remained positive of the market as seen from the higher number of new launches recorded in 2014. There were 68,351 units of new launches, up from 62,376 units recorded in 2013. The rise was partly due to the high numbers of condominiums and service apartments, which formed nearly 44.9% of the new launches. Sales performance was moderate 22

MAY 2015 |

at 44.7%, amongst the better performance over the five year period. Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Johor were the three leading states with higher number of launches, accounting for 18.0%, 17.4% and 16.8% of the total respectively. Sales performance across the board was moderate, led by Kuala Lumpur, Negeri Sembilan, Kelantan and Sabah, securing more than 50.0%. By property category, there was a fair balance between the landed (49.7%) and high-rise (49.6%) units launched. In terms of performance, landed units achieved higher overall take-up of 34.4% as compared to 11.1% obtained by its high-rise

counterpart. By type, terraced houses formed the majority of the new launches, accounted for 37.7% of the total and secured 36.9% sales performance. Service apartment was the next highest with 27.8% share but its sales performance was low at 5.5%. The residential overhang showed positive signs as the numbers receded to 11,816 units worth RM4.04 billion, down by 12.8% in volume and 15.9% in value. However, the unsold under construction increased by 6.0% to 55,156 units. Similarly, the unsold not constructed units recorded an 8.5% growth to 15,227 units. By state, Johor continued to record the highest



















Units Sold






New Launches











Sales Performance%


Source: NAPIC

number of national overhang units, accounting for 30.2% of the total. Nevertheless, the numbers reduced by a slight 0.2% though value shot up by 32.4% to RM952.43 million. The state also held the highest number of unsold under construction (30.5%) and not constructed (40.8%) in the country. Construction activities showed uptrend. Completions increased by 18.7% to 96,879 units, starts up by 6.8% to 155,667 units whilst new planned supply increased by 22.3% to 186,174 units. The Malaysian House Price Index portrayed a moderating trend. As at Q4 2014, the Malaysian All House Price Index stood at 213.1 points (at base year 2000), an increase of 7.0% on annual basis (y-o-y) though lower compared to a higher growth of 9.6% in Q4 2013 and 12.2% in Q4 2012. The index softened slightly by 0.2% on quarterly basis.

OUTLOOK FOR 2015 The revised expected growth in Malaysian economy to 4.5% to 5.0% for 2015 is in line with the IMF’s

revision of the global growth estimate of 3.8 per cent to 3.5 per cent. The confidence of Bank Negara Malaysia on the continued growth momentum in 2015 is supported by the committed investments as well as those on-going infrastructure projects, which have taken off earlier. On 20 January 2015, the reconstructing on the annual Budget 2015 are deemed necessary so as to accommodate for the external uncertainties, shrinking crude oil prices and the depreciation of Ringgit seen in the last few months. The restructuring is to ensure that our economy remained on positive path on the on-set of strong domestic demand. The on-going ETP projects are expected to remain supportive to the country’s economic growth. The retained infrastructure projects as proposed in the Budget namely the Kuala Lumpur – Singapore High-Speed Rail project, the Pan-Borneo Highway, the LRT 3 Project from Bandar Utama to Shah Alam, the second MRT Line from Selayang to Putrajaya as well

as investment in the construction sector and the oil and gas industry i.e the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex are expected to drive the private investments.

CONCLUSION Looking forward, it is expected that property market would remain stable in the coming year given the confidence in the economic growth. The cautionary sentiments amongst developers and home buyers, in particular towards the GST implementation is to be expected. With the implementation, the interplay of market forces is expected, ensued by market readjustments in due time. The following six months post-GST is deemed as crucial for the industry to monitor the signals to indicate where the property market would be heading. Nevertheless, given the positive projection of the economy and the accommodative financial environment, property market should be able to sustain in the coming year. | MAY 2015



Bandar Universiti Pagoh

BUILDING SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES Sime Darby Property stands out from the rest by building sustainable developments By: Daniel Sim

uiz: Which property developer do you think has the largest landbank in Malaysia? If you guessed Sime Darby Property, you answered right. The origin of Sime Darby can be traced back from the integration of the property arms of the former Golden Hope Plantations Berhad, Kumpulan Guthrie Berhad and Sime Darby Berhad in November 2007. Today, Sime Darby Property is a premier community developer in Malaysia involved in property development and property investment. The company is now an integrated property player with a global presence, having established itself as a leader in building sustainable communities. It is committed to the cause of developing a sustainable future, by continually innovating and adapting itself to deliver sustainable communities, bespoke townships, distinguished developments and sophisticated lifestyles. Sime Darby Property is the first Malaysian property developer to be awarded the International FIABCI Prix dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Excellence Awards twice for its Subang Jaya and UEP Subang Jaya townships. The company had also received

Q 24

MAY 2015 |

numerous Malaysian and international accolades in various categories. More than just winning awards, Sime Darby Property is also the first property developer in Malaysia to receive all four ISO management system certifications which promote worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards. Besides being a company with the largest land-bank in the country, another key differentiation point of Sime Darby Property, compared to other developers is that the company has been positioning itself as a leader in developing sustainable communities. Sime Darby Property also manages some of the prominent high-rise office buildings in Malaysia, namely Wisma Sime Darby, Wisma Guthrie, Sime Darby Pavillion and the 168,800 sq. ft. headquarters of Sime Darby Property division which is located at the Oasis Square in Ara Damansara, Selangor. It should come as no surprise as that Sime Darby also ventures into leading hospitality and recreational centres, projects in Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Vietnam. In Malaysia, Sime Darby Property operates PNB Darby Park executive suites, Sime Darby Convention Centre (SDCC),

and also the prestigious Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC). DEVELOPING COMMUNITIES THAT LAST “For us, it is seen as a game changer as it aims to differentiate ourselves from competitors,” enthused, Sime Darby Property senior vice president of Property Malaysia, Mohd Salem Kailany. “Sustainability is a global focus for Sime Darby Property, where we wholeheartedly embrace our tagline ‘Developing Sustainable Communities’. We feature the element of sustainability into almost all of our products.” Salem adds on to say that sustainability initiatives must have a focused approach such as targets and guidelines. Sime Darby Property has come up with a Sustainability Blueprint which sets out targets like lowering carbon emissions and efficient energy consumption. It has also put in place a sustainability index (SUSDEX) to measure the sustainability level of the townships and business units. Sime Darby strongly believes sustainability to be a part of life and it has an important responsibility to create a successful business that supports quality of life, based on international practices. Best practises have always been a key driver across the value chain where sustainability principles are embedded across all business platforms to meet the needs of its customers and stakeholders. Salem informs, “The guiding success for this so far is in becoming a company that strives to balance economic performance with social responsibility to create value for all its stakeholders. The company regularly engages with customers, employees, community, and industry experts to understand the challenges of the day and the changing needs of society.” Making a name for itself in a significant but growing industry in Malaysia is no easy task as it would not just happen overnight without its fair share of challenges. The never-ending persistent efforts and innovative methods used by its people enables Sime Darby Property to rise above the storm and challenges. Sime Darby Property is one such company where it has strengthened its leadership position by developing themed-townships, which is an innovative and differentiated portfolio of sustainable living products. Faced with continuous urbanisation and growth of population, with the added perspective of mobility and transportation, locally and internationally, sustainability is a major key component of Property Division’s design and management approach. The company has also improved its planning and project execution using integrated IT platforms, strong branding continued to enhance perceived value, a strong focus on customer service, and a robust Quality, Environment, Safety and Health (QESH) framework. SIME DARBY LIFESTYLE COLLECTION CAMPAIGN Given the industry outlook, Sime Darby Property’s main focus in 2015 will be to ensure that its current projects and targeted developments will progress in a timely manner and

Sime Darby Property senior vice president of Property Malaysia, Mohd Salem Kailany

“Sustainability is a global focus for Sime Darby Property, where we wholeheartedly embrace our tagline “Developing Sustainable Communities”. We feature the element of sustainability into almost all of our products. - Salem

in accordance with high quality standards. Lifestyle Collection is a unique branding campaign currently pursued by Sime Darby Property. The fine collection of carefully-selected products comprises of five signature brand series, focusing on different target markets to appeal to the needs of today’s lifestyle. The Lifestyle Collection consists of The Signature, with an average price of RM1mil and above, is targeted towards high networth people. The Signature is a collection of superluxurious homes for those who seek to own a residence that is a reflection of status and achievement. The Prospectus is targeted towards business owners. Starting with an average price of RM 1.5mil, this is the perfect product for enhancing business image or investment opportunities. Products in the Prospectus category are designed for commercial vibrancy. | MAY 2015


DEVELOPER OF THE MONTH For those who aspire to own a better home, the Inspired Living series of residences is the ideal choice for larger space, as there are more functional layouts and contemporary designs. Urbanites preferring to live in condominiums or serviced apartments have a fine selection of residences that offers privacy and a host of modern conveniences with the high life series. With an average price of RM600,000, the practical charms is a series that will augur well with young families who seek to own a practical, stylish and modern home that enhances the quality of life. Based on Malaysia property outlook, sustainability is not just about the environment per se, but it is also about affordability, especially for those who are just starting to venture into the working world and wanting a place of shelter to call home for themselves. Despite property prices skyrocketing, Sime Darby Property still manages to come up with affordable home which are priced attractively below the RM600,000 tag, and according to Salem, “The company will continue to put residential products into the market, and are currently looking at a wide range, and including Sime Darby Property affordable housing comprising those below RM400,000 and those below RM700,000.” The company does not solely focus on building and developing products for the premium, exclusive and highend category. With a land-bank of 25,600 acres, there are about 37,000 units of affordable homes offered by Sime Darby Property. The medium-cost homes also come with a price range starting from RM600,000 up to RM1 mil. Investors and homebuyers in Malaysia and also around the world will be excited to know Sime Darby Property currently have started four large township developments: Serenia City, Bandar Universiti Pagoh, City of Elmina and Nilai Impian.

Elmina 26

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Sepang used to be a small town despite residing in Selangor, one of the most developed states in Malaysia. Sepang is perhaps best known for hosting the Sepang F1 International Circuit and also the site of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Now investors and homebuyers can look forward to Serenia City, a Sepang township spanning 2,578 acres with a GDV of about RM12 billion. This will be a mixed development with 30% allocated for residential development, 17% of land for commercial and higher institution, 7% for industries and 46% to develop public amenities, green areas and other purposes. This development is expected to launch in year 2017. Besides property buyers, students of higher institutions also will be excited to know that Sime Darby is currently developing Bandar Universiti Pagoh, a 4,100 acres development located in Muar district of Johor. Strategically located between Malaysia’s busiest educational hubs – the Education Cluster of Selangor, EDU Valley and Educity in Nusajaya, Johor – Bandar Universiti Pagoh will be the first integrated university hub city for the whole country. Amenities will also be provided to suit the lifestyles of students residing in Pagoh. The residential units are expected to be launched by June this year. For those who would like to balance their lives and maintain good health will find City of Elmina, a span of 5,000 acres township located in Shah Alam district, hard to resist. The project commenced in year 2005 and has a GDV of about RM25 billion. Sime Darby Property designed this township to provide residents with a complete lifestyle experience centred on sustainability, safety and security, as well as wellness. Elmina Central Park and Wellness Centre Complex is a feature that one can find here. For residents who love to exercise, they can run or even cycle on the 70km track. The

Nilai Impian

handover of the first phase of residential units will be held in May this year. Sime Darby is not being complacent at the southern gateway, an area experiencing exponential growth. It is developing 1,808 acres of Nilai Impian in the midst of mature developments and employment centres all around Nilai. Notable and recognised institutions of higher learning, such as Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia and INTI International University, are situated around this area. Many expatriates will also find this upcoming area attractive, especially for their children’s education, since it is near Nilai International School. There will also be a new commercial destination with a park setting, which will feature all the popular and strategic components found in a business retail park. Among Sime Darby’s many developments, perhaps the one that is better known is its Battersea Power Station project, located on the south bank of the River Thames in Battersea, an inner-city district of South West London. A unique feature of this building is in becoming the largest brick building in Europe, known for its lavish art deco and interior fittings. However, the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England, an executive nondepartmental public body advising the British government on the care of the historic environment in England, considered the building condition and the structures in a very bad shape since its closure of station A on 17 March 1975 and station B on 31 October 1983. However, it will all be turned around with the help of Malaysia’s developers. Sime Darby Property will jointly develop Battersea Power Station with SP Setia and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). The Malaysian consortium is turning the 42-acre site into a huge complex of apartments, shops and offices in a RM43.8bil (£8bil) project. With studios prices starting from RM4,300,800 (£800,000), four-bed homes carrying price tags of

“As such, we need to ensure that we deliver on our commitments with uncompromising quality and support that with exceptional customer service. Sime Darby Property, for instance, has launched its Customer First campaign to improve the process and procedures when responding to feedback and step up the customer engagement activities across the market. - Salem

Battersea Power Station | MAY 2015



Serenia City Overall

RM21,504,000(£4m) or more, and one-bed flats costing upwards of RM5,376,000 (£1m), the project has nonetheless sold more than 1,300 homes in November last year. The project is due to be completed in late 2018.

and is further enhanced with comprehensive security technology systems and management such as electrified perimeter fencing, 24-hour CCTV surveillance and visitor management system.”

CHANGING PROPERTY MARKET LANDSCAPE “Customers’ expectations have changed and we need to adapt,” mentions Salem. “For example, by leveraging on the property’s natural surroundings as well as complementing it with hi-tech security initiatives and features, safer havens for leisure, business and living have become the norm rather than the exception.” Salem further adds that developers will have to cater to a wider cross section of the populations by developing a variety of products ranging from affordable to luxury homes, where expectations within these sectors will be different. “As such, we need to ensure that we deliver on our commitments with uncompromising quality, and support that with exceptional customer service. Sime Darby Property, for instance, has launched its Customer First campaign to improve the process and procedures when responding to feedback and step up the customer engagement activities across the market,” Salem says.

AFFORDABILITY IN THE GREATER KLANG VALLEY According to Salem, urbanisation is a global phenomenon. More people will be moving to the cities. Therefore, it is vital to identify the expectations, especially of the Gen Y and Gen X generations. The availability and opportunity to pursue a more meaningful lifestyle, where job opportunities exist a plenty at Klang Valey, the heart of the nation’s economic centre, has seen an unprecedented surge in housing prices, with a rising number of rural-to-urban migration taking place in the Greater Kuala Lumpur and other state cities. “Sime Darby Property actively participates in the government’s initiative to help address the national shortage of affordable homes,” enthuses Salem. Sime Darby Property believes that the property industry will continue to remain robust, aligned with the expectation of the nation’s economic growth and aspirations. It wishes to embed the green and sustainable living concept into all its developments and make it more accessible within each product offerings. Salem hopes the government will continue to provide incentives and encouragement on sustainable development, and for the affordable housing segment, in order to allow the younger population to own a home. He further stated that Sime Darby Property will continue to emphasise on exciting new products that will combine with fresh branding appeal. It remains positive in facing future challenges and aspires to deliver outstanding results to its customers through innovative products as well as valueenhancement via its existing portfolios.

SAFE AND SECURE Being safe and secure are universal requirements that are important for every homebuyer. These two must-have factors are no longer secondary requirements anymore. Sime Darby is not letting its guard down, and ensuring residents their safety and security is an important facet of all its developments. Salem reiterates, “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a key security feature in all our developments. This essentially is the incorporation of various passive safety measures within the development 28

MAY 2015 |


date venue

18 - 24 MAY 2015 (monday - sunday) IPC SHOPPING CENTRE, MUTIARA DAMANSARA



+6013.745 2195

or visit us @ for more information


STATE of the ART

Canopus Residence - facility podium 30

MAY 2015 |


ith much said in recent times about the management of Malaysia’s natural resources and eco-diversity, one entity has risen to the occasion to develop one of the country’s gems into a wellness sanctuary. Dimensi Panorama Sdn Bhd, a member of MB Group, will champion healthy living and promote eco-tourism through Sungai Pulai Wellness Resort – the only residential project of its kind, which serves to cement Malaysia’s southern region as a popular retreat and eco-attraction. Established in 1983, MB Group is now a multi-disciplined organisation with core business that spans across property development, construction, building material trading, interior and landscape design, hospitality, Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Programme and others. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, its mission is to develop first-class properties for a sustainable and quality living of the community. In addition to that, the group is also partnering with the Johor State Government to deliver affordable homes to assist the low-income group in Johor. The bulk of MB Group’s portfolio lies in Malaysia, where it is developing 6 hotels under the AmanSari brand and more than 30 commercial properties and residential properties. Currently, the Group’s developments are focused in Johor Bahru City Centre and Desaru area. In Malaysia, the residential developments of MB Group can be categorised into 4 series: a) MB Basic Series: single-storey terraces, affordable homes b) MB Classic Series: condominiums, apartments c) MB Luxury Series: double-storey terraces, bungalows, villas, semi-detached and premium condominiums d) MB Prestige Series: exclusive luxury condominium, such as TriTower Residence, and premium integrated resorts, such as Sungai Pulai Wellness Resort MB Group’s overseas investment under the SKS Group comprises of two residential properties, one mixed development and three hotels that are under construction in Western Australia. Interestingly, the developer is also notable throughout Malaysia for being a successful ‘White Knight Developer’, having taken over numerous abandoned projects. Its commitment to continuous upgrading and dedication to forging new strategic alliances ensure that it


continues to be the leader in the industry and maintain its existing reputation of being one of the best in the field. It also strives towards developing premium properties that seek to improve the quality of life for all, hence the idea of Sungai Pulai Wellness Resort was created.

THE CREATION OF SPWR According to MB Group, “The idea of developing a wellness resort at Sungai Pulai came about when the company realised the attractiveness and uniqueness in the proximity to nature – something that is not available through Iskandar Malaysia where the focus is on extensive urban development.” Sungai Pulai Wellness Resort is a mixed development that offers residents the ideal proponents for quality multigenerational living from the thriving lush nature to family-friendly architectural design. The 160,000 sq. ft. wellness clubhouse is a wellness passport based on Seven Dimensions of Wellness – Family Health Care, Preventive and Regenerative Care, Aesthetic and Beauty Care, Physical Care, Holistic Health Care, Fitness Care, and Concierge Medical Services Care. It sets a benchmark for wellness retreat services that include physiotherapy and chiropractic facility, nutrition consultation, scheduled fitness classes, and many more. “Concierge Medical Services (CMS) will supplement the wellness clubhouse,” claimed MB Group. CMS is an exceptional wellness feature that can recommend and link residents to specialist physicians as well as hospitals locally and internationally, with the support of a 24-hour nurse and ambulance standby service. It is a one-stop information hub that brings professional physician right at your doorsteps with comprehensive online summary of your medical reports. The residential precincts of Sungai Pulai Wellness Resort will be constructed in four phases, where the first phase of the residence called Canopus Residence, the wellness clubhouse and the hotel are target to be completed by 2018. It is now open for sale. Canopus Residence consists of 8 blocks 11-storey apartments. It offers different living styles, ranging from 2-bedroom, 3-bedroom to dual key units that encourage multigenerational living under one roof, without compromising privacy.

“Sungai Pulai Wellness Resort is a one-of-its-kind mixed development that offers residents the ideal proponents for quality multigenerational living from the thriving lush nature to family-friendly architectural design. | MAY 2015



Living room

Dining room

Master bedroom

“The project is complemented by a 285-meter long podium with various recreational facilities catering for every age group such as gymnasium, swimming pool, study room, children’s playground, and landscaped garden.

The project is complemented by a 285-meter long podium with various recreational facilities catering for every age group such as gymnasium, swimming pool, study room, children’s playground, and landscaped garden. The home design for Sungai Pulai Wellness Resort is family-friendly and comes with wider doors, sliding doors, dual key system, and wellness service buttons that are connected to the nurse service centre at the wellness clubhouse. As a wellness resort, the project uses premium green materials for the units, such as non-toxic and anti-bacterial paint, ionised plaster ceiling board, and ionised wood flooring. 32

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Other than that, there is also vast eco-park that offers eco-recreational activities, like organic farming, mangrove planting, bird watching, cycling, and boardwalks. The design concept of Sungai Pulai Wellness Resort is based on an extensive exercise in coalescing all aspects of physical and mental wellness into an environmental-friendly development suitable for multi-generational living within a community, in which the designs are specifically derived through inspiration from nature and constantly referencing what nature has to offer. With the convergence of nature, greens, wellness, and family-friendly architectural design, the design interventions are made to ensure any elements introduced can be well connected to its ecosystem and natural environment, allowing the 75-acre riverine development to be self-sustained and self-contained. Sungai Pulai Wellness Resort will be applying for the Green Building Index Malaysia and the Green Mark Singapore accreditations. The environmental measures within the development will be reviewed by these parties periodically to ensure the development’s sustainability and preservation of the environment. Moreover, the development is built around conserving and facilitating the sustainable usage of the Ramsar wetlands, in-line with the Malaysian Government’s mission of preserving the natural heritage of the wetlands and the booming trend of eco-tourism.

CORPORATE INFO Total GDV in year 2014 : ≈ RM 1400 million Signature Projects : TriTower Residence @ Johor Bahru Sentral, Taman Desaru Utama Past/Current Projects: • M Condominium @ Larkin, Johor Bahru • Marinea Double Storey Terrace @ Taman Desaru Utama, Kota Tinggi • Marinea Double Storey Semi-D, Link Bungalow & Bungalow @ Taman Desaru Utama, Kota Tinggi • Pandan Residence @ Johor Bahru • Pandan Residence II @ Johor Bahru • Horizon Residence II @ Bukit Indah • Senibong Villas @ Johor Bahru Upcoming Launches: • Sky Habitat @ Meldrum Hills, Johor Bahru • Twin Tower Residence @ Johor Bahru Sentral • Escadia Double Storey Terrace @ Taman Desaru Utama, Kota Tinggi • Arcadia Double Storey Semi-D, Link Bungalow & Bungalow @ Taman Desaru Utama, Kota Tinggi Canopus Residence - landscaped garden

Wellness clubhouse - outdoor pool | MAY 2015


HIGHLIGHT OF THE MONTH THE LOCATION Sungai Pulai Wellness Resort is strategically located at the edge of Sungai Pulai Wetlands in Iskandar Malaysia Flagship Zone C which is still considered as a natural area and is “untapped” with large amount of potential for growth. Sungai Pulai Wetlands is the third Ramsar site after Pulau Kukup and Tanjung Piai in Iskandar Malaysia. It covers at least 20,000 acres from the overall 25,000 acres of the three Ramsar sites. The Ramsar Convention, or formally known as Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. “We see it not only as our responsibility, but also privilege and honour to lead the Sungai Pulai Wellness Resort project near a Ramsar site. This project is our pledge to continuously uphold the Convention’s mission and objectives of conserving and facilitating the sustainable usage of our prized wetlands,” said MB Group’s spokesperson. Johor’s Chief Minister, Y.A.B Dato’ Mohamed Khaled Bin Nordin also stated, “Together with the rapid economic development in Iskandar Malaysia, Sungai Pulai Wellness Resort will significantly support the State and the Government’s mission of preserving the natural heritage

Wellness clubhouse - overall view 34

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of the wetlands. This works towards the sustainable development of the region to boost the commercial aspect of the country as well.” Through the development of this significant project next to a Ramsar site, the developer aims to accentuate Iskandar Malaysia’s position globally – not only in promoting a valuable and unique eco-diversity, but also a great opportunity for eco-tourism and leisure activities focused on wellness. Sungai Pulai Wellness Resort is supported by a network of reputable and experienced consultants from the region, such as Ong & Ong Architect and Coen Design International from Singapore, AJT Consultancy from Bangkok and Neapoli from Kuala Lumpur. This themed resort aims to bring medical tourism in Malaysia to the next level. It will become an instrument to boost the Iskandar Malaysia region into a popular international retreat destination and promote the Sungai Pulai Wetlands at the same time. With the booming of eco-tourism in Malaysia, the developer will work hard to be the pioneer in developing such wellness resort in other area besides Sungai Pulai. For enquiries on Sungai Pulai Wellness Resort, email or call +6010-7703 163 (Malaysia) / +65-8666 3111 (Singapore). Visit for more details.

Canopus Residence - grand entrance

Project name: Sungai Pulai Wellness Resort Location: Mukim Jeram Batu, Pontian Developer: Dimensi Panorama Sdn Bhd (Member of MB Group) Completion date: First Phase – 2018; Last Phase – 2021 Land Title: Commercial (Strata Title) Type: Apartments, Landed Semi-Ds & Bungalows Tenure: Freehold Total Units: 1,351 residential units • 1,177 apartment units • 138 semi-detached houses • 36 exclusive bungalows Built Up: Phase 1 Apartments: a) Type B1 (2R2B) – 1,210 sq. ft. b) Type B2-DK (2R2B; Dual Key) – 1,222 sq. ft. c) Type C1 (3R3B) – 1,446 sq. ft. d) Type C2-DK (3R4B; Dual Key) – 1,585 sq. ft. Total GDV: RM 2.3 Billion Connectivity Close proximity to Tuas Checkpoint, EduCity, shopping and leisure destinations, airport, as well as education and health care facilities. Malaysia sales gallery & show unit Lot 686, Jalan Ong Eng Kee, Batu 23½, Kg Choh Mukim Jeram Batu, 81500 Pekan Nenas Pontian, Johor, Malaysia.

Amenities • 160,000 sq ft wellness clubhouse that is complemented by concierge medical services (CMS) that can recommend and link residents to specialist physicians as well as hospitals locally and internationally • 24-hour nurse and ambulance standby service • Vast eco-park with eco-recreational activities such as organic farming, mangrove planting, bird watching, cycling and boardwalks • Mini organic mart • Pharmacy • F&B outlets • Shuttle bus service to designated areas •

24-hour state-of-the-art security with auxiliary police | MAY 2015



CONTEMPORARY LIVING AMIDST MOTHER NATURE Come and experience the daily wonders of spacious and luxury living, within the peaceful natural environment By: Lee Yu Tang

estled in the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most prosperous state, Selangor, Puncak 7 Terrace Superlink houses and Condominiums epitomise luxury. This hilltop residential development project is located on prime land in the well-established neighbourhood of Seksyen 7 in Shah Alam. Having a combined gross development value (GDV) of RM180 million, it comprises 211 condominium units, with each one uniquely designed as a corner unit, and 17 units of terrace superlink situated on a sprawling 4.5 acres.



MAY 2015 |

A PLACE TO CALL HOME Puncak 7 Residences provide the best of both worlds, ensuring your family gets the necessary comfort of modern living in a secure environment. You know you are doing the very best for them as this prime project is situated in a township rich in its own history. Surrounded by a whole range of important facilities and amenities to cater to your daily routines coupled with nature-rich parks within reach, it is a fantastic place you can call home.



Experience a world of difference residing at Puncak 7 Condominiums. Designed to give optimum spaciousness and riding on ownership trends, each unit is built as a corner lot. Reside with security and peace of mind, as each unit is equipped with a touch card which is partnered to a multitier security system. A ‘Pied-à-terre’ is also made available for those who just love to entertain guests, thus making a whole lot of sense to own a piece of this chic property.

Welcome to Puncak 7 Terrace Superlink houses and Condominiums where both meets seamlessly. Seize the opportunity and be part of the privileged few to own one of the 17 impeccably designed exclusive terrace superlinks, catered specifically to your daily living needs. Join the ranks of those to settle into Shah Alam’s newest gem, Puncak 7 Condominiums, built to reflect spaciousness for families that cherish the finer aspects of modern living.



Puncak 7 Terrace Superlink keeps exclusivity in mind, as 17 units are made to cater to the distinguished few who truly appreciate modern living lifestyles in timeless Shah Alam. Fitted with multi-storey lifts, maintaining the true value of convenience, and designed with 4+1 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, living comfortably has been made essential for all. Take time off with an open terrace to greet the outdoors or a dip in the pool if you wish. Whatever your plans may be, you know it is going to be a leisurely affair just being at home.

The 17 units of Puncak 7 Terrace Superlink homes have been specifically built to cater to the sophisticated lifestyle and discerning taste of Generations X and Y as well as savvy property investors. Exuding luxury and convenience as reflected by the multi-storey elevators, this abode of modern living is the essence of comfort personified. Rest assured, you will definitely feel at ease and peaceful from the daily hectic pace of work once you set foot in its soothing environment.

Living room | MAY 2015



Master bedroom

CONVENIENCE AT YOUR DOORSTEP Puncak 7 prides itself in being strategically located within the confines of lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s daily work activities and physical routines. Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) and PTPL College are among the educational institutions closeby, coupled with commercial banks, and shopping malls like I-City, Giant, and Tesco. The KPJ and DEMC Specialist Hospitals, Shah Alam Stadium, and not to mention recreational parks such as Agricultural Park and Wet World Theme Park are also within driving distance. PRESTIGIOUS DEVELOPER Puncak 7 is the proud creation of construction and property development company, Prinsiptek Corporation Berhad (PCB), under the stewardship of founder and managing 38

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director Datoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Foo Chu Jong. Since being listed in 2003, PCB has been building a steady stream of residential and commercial developments throughout Malaysia. The good reputation, innovation and strong leadership of the company have kept its revenue on a roll. Currently, it is in the midst of constructing townhouses in an upmarket development called The Prince in Bangkok, Thailand. PCB is a value added global builder that holds true to its mantra of delivering cost effective concepts and solutions. Kindly visit to find out more information about this exciting hill top project. For more information, please call 03-5629 2600 or 012-235 5065.

Child bedroom

Project: Puncak 7 Location: Seksyen 7, Shah Alam Developer: NBL Land Development Sdn Bhd (A Wholly Owned Subsidiary Of Prinsiptek Corporation Berhad) Completion Date: February 2018 Type: Condominium and 3-Storey Terrace Superlink Tenure: Leasehold Land Area / Title: 4.5 Acres / Residential Gross Development Value (Gdv): RM180,000,000 Total Condominium Units: 211 Total Terrace Superlink Units: 17 Condominium Built-Up: 1,166 sq. ft. Terrace Superlink Built-Up: 4,256 sq. ft. Land Area : 35 ft x 110 ft Puncak 7 night view

No. of Bedrooms: 4 + 1 No. of Bathrooms: 5 Facilities: • Infinity Swimming Pool • Jacuzzi

• Laundry Shop (Subject to operator’s availability)

• Al-Fresco Bbq Area

• Shop (Subject to operator’s availability)

• Children Playground

• Community Hall

• Lawn Garden

• Management Office

• Gymnasium Room

• Kindergarten (Subject to operator’s availability)

• Children Pool

• Computer Room / IT Area • Study / Reading Room

• Badminton Court • Surau | MAY 2015




Located within the sanctuary of upscale homes in Bandar Seri Putra, The Apex is definitely a right place for you to call home. By: Daniel Sim

The Apex aerial view

ot many people know the Bangi area as it used to be a small town, yet nowadays with the establishment of various infrastructures that certainly help provide connectivity and shorten its distance to major cities such as Kuala Lumpur, and the many amenities put in place in Bangi can only be summarise in one word: â&#x20AC;&#x153;convenienceâ&#x20AC;? - the buzzword that homebuyers and investors often are looking for. This small town is about to be further transformed with the building of one of the prestigious and upscale development by UMLand that will bring this area to a whole new level not just for the development of the town but also the value and the rich serene experience for homebuyers and investors alike. This is the Apex, Putra Hill Residency at Bandar Seri Putra, Bangi. With a Gross Development Value (GDV) of RM289 million, The Apex comprises a total of 81 units of residential bungalow homes in an overall development of 34.52 acres. The first parcel with 17 residential units, sitting on 9.55 acres of land is target to be launched in June 2015.


UPSCALE RESIDENCES If you are a homebuyer or an investor looking to find features such as safety, comfortable and convenience, then The Apex, Putra Hill Residency is the right place for you. Located within an existing sanctuary of upscale homes in Bandar Seri Putra, investors and home buyers will be happy to know that each unit sited on this land is a freehold status. Homeowners will be spoiled for choice where they can 40

MAY 2015 |

choose four different layouts of modern contemporary designs for their homes. The homes are listed as type A (Aster East) with built-up area of 4,188 sq.ft. , type B (Bella East) with built-up area of 4,306 sq.ft., type C (Crystal East) with built-up area of 5,583 sq.ft. and type D (Dalia East) with built-up area of 6,413 sq.ft. These units also come with different land size or land lots ranging from 7,912 sq.ft. to 19, 461 sq.ft. For a present generation that is very technology savvy, home buyers would love that all units will be equipped with Smart Home Solutions, which include a monitoring system at strategic areas, remote controlling of some air-conditioning units, lighting points and a digital lock set within the building and away from the building - all the controlling is easily done within a local network via Wi-Fi connection or through internet access. The development also comes with ready installed 5 Mbps High Speed Broadband (HSBB). SENSE AND LUXURY Home buyers with multiple vehicles will no longer have to worry about the lack of space to park their cars as each unit will have a car porch that are designed with ample space to accommodate three cars. Going into the unit, home buyers will experience the perceived value of classiness and luxuriousness of each unit. It begins at the main entrance of each unit where there will be a grand double-leaf door. Perceived value is what one feels and sees upon entering the homes. The extra height of the high ceiling at ground floor, play an importance role in exulting this perceived value. Home buyers

Aster East

Dalia East

will also admire the master bedroomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s intricate texture and design of a high sloping ceiling with exposed timber rafters. The master bathrooms for both type C and type D will have an open bath with rain shower. Residents would be elated that there will be able to fully enjoy the comfort of their own home with each unit having 5+1 bedrooms and 5 to 6 bathrooms. Home buyers will also find additional floor at lower ground for multi-purpose use although this is only available for type D only. Those who love houses with outdoor views would be glad to know that the units are installed with high windows measuring 2,850mm on the ground floor and 2,250mm on the first floor to help maximise views. The living and dining areas are with extra-large porcelain tiles measuring 800mm x 800mm. UMLandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s developments such as The Apex do not compromise in quality, home buyers will be relieved that the units will have a reputable and quality brand for lock set, sanitary ware and fittings. SECURITY AND GREENARY Security is of upmost important for the residents in The Apex as such the anti-climb steel mesh fencing on the side and the back is to prevent intruders from being able to climb into the development. Residents here can feel safe as this development is a guarded neighbourhood. What is happier than to see the innocent smile and pure joy of children when there is a landscaped central park with children playground where kids can enjoy and have fun.

Product Name: The Apex, Putra Hill Residency (Parcel 1) Property Type: Bungalow Homes Tenure: Freehold Selling Price: From RM2.36 million to RM4.11 million Lot Size/Land Size: 7,912 sq.ft. to 19,461 sq.ft. Min No. of Bedrooms: 5+1 Bedrooms Expected Completion Date: June 2017 Bumiputra Discount: 7% Developer Background: Bangi Heights Development Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of UMLand Bhd Phone No: +603-8927 1611 Fax No: +603-8920 0333

Those who like to take a stroll after a long day of work can choose to visit not one but two pocket parks at The Apex, Putra Hill Residency to help you unwind and experience an environment of lush greenery. ACCESSIBILITY Travelling to major city like the Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia or even heading southbound would not be an issue here because it is easily connected with direct access to the KL-Seremban Highway via the dedicated Putra Mahkota Interchange. This development is also very strategic in that it is centrally located between KLIA, Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and education hub of Bandar Baru Bangi where UKM, IUKL and UNITEN are located. Distance wise, one would no longer fuss about the far distance as The Apex is within reach of major cities. Residents here would only need to travel 37km to reach Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 12km to Bandar Baru Bangi, 30km to Putrajaya, 35km to KLIA and 5km to Nilai. NEARBY AMENITIES Homebuyers and investors would find it even more exciting that this development is strategically located nearby to many amenities such as private clinics, POS Malaysia, police station, Petronas petrol station, government health clinic, primary & secondary schools, religious school, Kolej Universiti Islam Selangor (KUIS) and shops & offices which forms the commercial centre of Bandar Seri Putra township. Homebuyers and investors may call +603-8927 1611 or log-in to for more details of the development. | MAY 2015



GreenAcres aerial view

WORRY-FREE IN GOLDEN YEARS GreenAcres retirement village offers an active lifestyle for Malaysian senior citizens in a secure, resort-like living environment By: Fara Aisyah Firdaus Petial

otal Investment Sdn Bhd has developed the GreenAcres project near Ipoh to cater to the needs of the community of independent likeminded seniors. GreenAcres will be Malaysia’s premier retirement village where “activities, amenities and facilities are provided for you to enjoy retirement living, where you age gracefully and with full dignity.” Total Investment executive director John Chong said, “GreenAcres is an integrated retirement village that is purpose built to provide a superior quality of life to seniors in Malaysia. GreenAcres is modelled after retirement villages found in Australia and will introduce a new and higher level of services and lifestyle to Malaysian seniors.”


RESORT LIVING GreenAcres retirement village occupies an area of 10 acres and will comprise 110 units of landed villas together with 70 units of apartments in a low rise format. Landscaped areas and greeneries are spread throughout the development, giving the residents the luxury of nature. At the heart of the development is a clubhouse, the centre of services for all the residents, where facilities and fun activities such as movies, karaoke and mah-jong games are provided to improve and maintain the social, physical and mental wellbeing of GreenAcres residents. The development features a resort-like environment, with extensive landscaping and a relaxed feel. The residential units are either single-storey landed villas or within a low-rise 42

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4-storey apartment block. Another area of three acres next to GreenAcres is reserved for a future Aged Care facility which will provide residential and healthcare services for individuals requiring a more advanced care so that elderly couples with different health needs will not have to be separated far from each other. ELDER-FRIENDLY CONCEPT This signature project by Total Investment Sdn Bhd is also exclusive because it applies elder-friendly interior concepts. Each unit at GreenAcres is designed to provide the residents with comfortable and secure accommodation. Elder-friendly touches like grab bars in the bathroom, larger switches, minimal curbs and wide doorways for wheelchair entry are designed in the residential units. “The entire project is set within a gated and guarded community to provide a greater sense of security for the residents,” explained Chong. Furthermore, there is also a 24/7 emergency call system to give the extra peace of mind that there will always be someone the resident can call in the event of a medical crisis. Not only that, but also to reduce the effort in moving in, each unit comes partly furnished with kitchen cabinets and built-in wardrobes in the bedroom. The residents are then free to customise the look of their homes with their own loose furniture and decorations. All these design elements, according to Total Investments, give residents the freedom to enjoy a secure,

GreenAcres streetscape

active and independent lifestyle without the day-to-day concerns of maintaining a large house or garden. LOCATION This essential development is located in Bandar Meru Raya, Ipoh, Perak, “an upcoming township within Ipoh that has a lot of growth potential. Our company bought some land here several years ago and since it was a new development we could start with a blank slate and decided to introduce a retirement village,” Chong added. In addition, according to Chong, Bandar Meru Raya will be a complete township in short years to come. “Aside from the usual commercial and residential components, Bandar Meru Raya also has a hotel, private hospital, international school and a theme park. In addition, there are several government departments located here as well,” he highlighted. Bandar Meru Raya is within merely 10-15 minutes’ drive from the Ipoh city centre and it is also located close to the North-South highway exit, facilitating easy travel to interstate destinations. “Ipoh has long been recognized by Malaysians as an ideal destination for retirement. It is a city of moderate size and with all the necessary facilities and amenities, but yet not so large as to be very crowded and traffic congested. The cost of living is lower, the food is delicious and the air is better!” Total Investment Sdn Bhd said. To experience more about GreenAcres and the many attractive incentives offered, contact 05-2536555 or visit

Product Name: GreenAcres Property Type: Retirement Village Tenure: Freehold Units: 170 Acres of development: 10 Acres Lot Size / Land Size: Varies Expected Completion Date: Phase 1 in 2016 Developer Name: Total Investment Sdn Bhd Developer Name: Total Investment Sdn Bhd Phone No: +605-2536 555 Website: | MAY 2015



BEYOND BORDERS International law firm Antonio Viñal & Co. Abogados capitalises on its multi-disciplinary expertise to assist and boost investments in the real estate markets of Southern Europe By: Fara Aisyah Firdaus Petial

Antonio Viñal

pain is a point of reference in Europe specially for people from Northern Europe – they buy property as a second home, or as a holiday residence, or even a lot of pensioners come to Spain and spend retirement in Spain,” said Spanish law firm Antonio Viñal & Co. Abogados director and founder Antonio Viñal. “During the first years of the 21st century Spain was at the height of the construction boom, the money was very cheap and many people, not just foreigners, thought that it would be nice to have not only their own first home but their second home. Obviously the loans at the time were quite cheap, so all these combined factors created a very strong industry,” Viñal told Property Insight. Established in 1986, Antonio Viñal & Co. Abogados began as an individual practice focusing mainly on maritime law but two decades later the partnership expanded into



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different areas of legal practice and key industries including tourism, healthcare and real estate. Now, the legal firm has set a foothold in Malaysia to encourage a bilateral interest for local investors to invest in Spain and Portugal, and vice versa. “What we´re doing for Malaysian investors is provide them with an accurate legal background on Spain and Portugal, just like we do for Northern European investors,” Viñal said, “especially in Southern Europe, who tend to buy either in Spain or Portugal, or somewhere near.” People tend to make their decision within a rather close geographic context and Viñal observes the same tendencies in Malaysia. “Malaysian investors tend to buy either in Malaysia or maybe Singapore, Thailand, or somewhere in the region,” he said. “We need to overcome those obstacles. I think the more we get to learn about each other’s market, the

easier it will be to reach a decision.” Viñal added, “We are in the first stages of awareness in Malaysia about properties in Southern Europe. We have seen in the past few years foreign investment firms from different countries that go into Spain and Portugal, so I think it is also a good moment for Malaysians to consider investment in these countries. Because if Singapore invests, if Thailand invests, why not Malaysia? There’s no reason why this shouldn’t happen. If you see your neighbours do it, it will also create an incentive to better understand what’s going on, why other people are doing it. It creates an interest and awareness to help Malaysian investors approach the Spanish and Portuguese markets.” GREAT TIME TO INVEST “We encourage investment specifically in Spain and Portugal because now is the moment,” Viñal urged.

“We are seeing prime assets being offered in the market which would not have been available years ago. Prices have dropped by 30%-45% during the crisis, Euribor [the rate of interest at which large European banks lend each other Euros] is at an all-time low, the Euro has seen a heavy depreciation in the past months, banks are lending again at good rates, and finally the Golden Visa program allows qualified investors to obtain a fast-track visa when purchasing property of at least €500,000,” Viñal described. “When you consider all of these different pieces of information, all of these details, you end up with a very positive picture. This is why major real estate consultants believe 2015 will be a historical year for Spain and Portugal, especially when you know what’s going on in London, where good properties are harder to find and prices are incredibly high,” he argued. While investing in Southern Europe may not be for everybody, it is definitely worth investigating and looking into, and there are certainly good deals around, according to Viñal. “If you’re looking for bargains, and at the same time, if you’re looking to develop property, hold the property for the long run, and obtain good return on your investment later on, now would be a good time, to do so,” he advised. A lot of it has to do with the facilities Spain offers to foreign investors and to local people, Viñal explained. “It is a very highly developed industry. And tied in with the real estate property aspect is the tourism, and so are the hospitality sectors, hotels, serviced apartments, amusement parks even, all of these are propertyrelated in a way as well, and we’ve also worked for clients in that capacity.” The law firm encourages investments in Southern Europe properties, Viñal said, “because there has been a part where, due to the [financial] crisis, there’s a huge discount on property prices, so it is a very good moment to find good investment opportunity at prices that would not have been possible years ago.” Another interesting feature for buyers from overseas is the depreciation of the euro. “Right now,


people who usually have another income or another currency can take advantage of the falling euro,” which will very much work to their favour, according to Viñal. “At the same time, it is good to know that banks are lending again. The amount of new mortgages offered by Spanish banks specifically has grown about 30% in the last year. And the rate Spanish banks are offering is much more attractive.” He furthered, “To give you an example, one of the shopping malls in Madrid went from €235mil in 2009 to €375mil this year. That’s a huge return of the investment. Right now people are buying at a very good price, so the return they might have in a few years, I’m sure, is going to be much more interesting than the returns people are getting in 2015. So that’s why the moment is now.” While the global market should be analysed piece-by-piece regionally because not all of it moves at the same pace, Viñal believes that as far as Southern Europe is concerned there is a lot of value in the market, and the industry should definitely consider coming into Southern Europe. “My advice definitely would be for investors to learn about the market in Southern Europe, and see if it somehow matches what the interests are; and if it does, I would say they shouldn’t think too much about it, because at the later stage, it might be too late.”

“When you consider all of these different pieces of information, all of these details, you end up with a very positive picture. This is why major real estate consultants believe 2015 will be a historical year for Spain and Portugal.

Other than that, he said “Malaysian investors should be aware that in Spain and Portugal, you do not have the distinction between leasehold and freehold. When you buy property, it’s yours until you decide to dispose of it.”

BOND OF TRUST Antonio Viñal & Co. Abogados plays its part for property investors by involving in both prelegal and legal phases of buying properties in Spain and Portugal. “Firstly, we help our clients select properties of special interest (by location, price, and returns) both on and off-market,” according to the Viñal. “We can also assist them, if necessary, to seek the right financing. In the legal phase, we take care of | MAY 2015


PERSONALITY OF THE MONTH due diligence and conveyancing, we draft or review agreements, arrange the paperwork with the notary and file the public deed with the Land Registry and Tax Office. We also study the tax implications at entry and exit point and advise on the best arrangements,” he added. “We try to bring a full package. Obviously we are not real estate agency, but we help our clients in identifying the right agents and the right type of property for their own personal interest,” Viñal said. The firm strives to ensure clients can maximise their profit when purchasing properties. Especially for foreigners who might be interested to invest in the region, the lawyers of Antonio Viñal & Co. Abogados will introduce non-resident investors to the banks they work with, as well as assist the clients in negotiations and help them understand the terms of agreements. Another important aspect always considered by the firm when dealing with the property investors is the question of what the clients really want to do with the property. This is because, according to Antonio Viñal, “sometimes it might be more interesting to incorporate a company and have the company acquire the property. Or, if the client is more mature such as a corporate investor, there might be a solution like a REIT or any other kind of vehicles more adequate to the investor in hand.” Antonio Viñal & Co. Abogados stands apart from most law firms as it is experienced in the bulk of its work in handling issues with international clients and in several jurisdictions at once. “There is also the personal attention devoted to our clients and the personal integrity of our employees which is essential to create a bond of trust especially with overseas clients, the swiftness in the management of the cases, and last but not least, the fact that we are the only Spanish and Portuguese law firm with a representative office in Malaysia,” the director said. “We believe in personal attention, because it creates trust,” Viñal emphasised. “Clients feel we’re on their side, and that’s critical when 46

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clients, such as Malaysian’s investors come from overseas. Obviously they will know very little about Spain initially and they really need somebody who will carry them along the way,” he said. “We really sit down with them and explain things which might seem very obvious to other people but would be very new to somebody coming from Malaysia. We try to speed up efficiency when handling files for clients, because Southern European countries tend to be a little bit more bureaucratic. So we have to help clients overcome this kind of obstacles. We try to push things in our clients’ favour,” Viñal added. WORLDLY BACKGROUND Antonio Viñal himself comes from a very broad international background. He has studied in several places in Europe and began his career as a diplomatic official. “I first got a Law Degree from the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) and then I extended studies at the University of Oxford (United Kingdom), The Sorbonne (France) and The Academy of International Law in The Hague (The Netherlands). Later on I joined the Spanish Diplomatic Career and was posted to Geneva (Permanent Delegation of Spain to the United Nations) and New York (Permanent Mission of Spain to the United Nations). Subsequently, I got

a Master’s Degree in Law from the University of Columbia (New York), left the Spanish Foreign Service to set up the law firm Antonio Viñal & Co. Abogados.” Antonio Viñal himself is attracted to the property industry because the market has been interesting and impressed him. From his opinion and observation, “The real estate sector was and still remains, despite the bubble and subsequent crisis, one of the basic pillars of the economies of Spain and Portugal. And as a result it has become one of the categories of work which has grown the most during the past years in our firm. Property investment also ties in with the tourism industry which is a key sector in both economies.” Antonio Viñal is indeed someone who walks the walk as he himself is also a property investor. “I have invested in an estate in the province of Segovia, about one hour drive to the North of Madrid, as well as in an apartment in Lisbon. The experience has been positive so far, although it is inevitable that you will find some obstacles along the way, notably whenever there’s construction involved. The best advice I can give is to surround yourself with professionals you can trust, whether they are real estate agents, construction companies or lawyers. The ones you can trust are those willing to walk the

extra mile with you.” Viñal said the partnership Antonio Viñal & Co. Abogados was arranged in order to better fulfil the client’s needs in terms of practice areas and location. While retaining the firm’s original focus on corporate, litigation and transportation law, more areas were added to the mix: IP, IT, labour and employment, tax, international trade and banking departments were created while a significant expertise developed in industries such as textile, construction, wine, tourism, energy, franchising and health and life sciences. The firm’s 29 years of experience is really worth all the efforts. It has participated in the ups and downs of the industry, commiting to its client while delivering a wide range of services. INDUSTRY LEADER Antonio Viñal’s dream is for his law firm to become the firm of reference in Southern Europe for South-East Asians and also, with the help of its fellow law firms throughout ASEAN, to bring more Iberian companies into the dynamic region of ASEAN. “I do not see any reason why European investors should not be interested in buying property in Malaysia because there are top quality developments in the country. I think, for European investors, there are maybe two niche markets: one of them would be for expatriates – there are some Spanish and Portuguese companies here but we need to bring more. And there’re also residentials for second home, or holiday home,” Viñal said, adding, “One thing we really need between Malaysia and Spain is direct connection, the direct flight. We need to bring them back.” From a Spanish Southern Europe perspective, there are still a lot of opportunities for people from Spain and Portugal to get to know about the Malaysian market, according to Viñal. “I would say there’s very little knowledge in ASEAN as a whole and specifically about Malaysia, so I think there is a lot of room for improvement.” He added, “I think, with the right promotion, you could see more investors from Spain and Portugal

coming into Malaysia. So it’s just a matter of education, making them aware of the opportunities which lie within the Malaysian property market. We have spoken to some development agencies in Malaysia that are on the lookout for foreign investors. And I think the need to reach out into Spain, Portugal, and Italy, would definitely help them. Perhaps we’re not speaking of large volumes, but there is a lot of room for improvement.” He reiterated, “We would very much like to help Spanish and Portuguese investors come into Malaysia and ASEAN, and help them understand how important the ASEAN economic community is going to become, how important it already is, and how much more developed it will become in the future. So I think it is our duty to help them understand the importance of being here, having a presence here,” said Antonio Viñal. “Although data is generally positive for the global property market, it is essential to break it down into regions and sub-regions to know where the real finds are,” he remarked. “Right now, every report from major consultancy firms and real estate agencies point in the direction of Southern Europe. Apart from the above stated reasons, the European property market is a good alternative to other traditional investment strategies such as deposit accounts which now offer very low returns,” he said. “With regard to the Malaysian property market, I believe it could attract more South European investment, both in and out of the Greater KL area, with the right promotion.” Since Antonio Viñal & Co. Abogados has an office in Malaysia, Viñal thinks the law firm can be of valuable assistance to investors in both regions. “They just need to call us, or visit us, and we will be more than happy to help them in any possible way,” Viñal said. “If it’s pure investment, we can help them. We can help them with the visa, whether it’s the Golden Visa or a regular visa. We can assist them with the immigration procedures as well. “And we also have a website for the golden visa ( where we post all the benefits and requirements. Interest in the Golden

“We can also assist them, if necessary, to seek the right financing. In the legal phase, we take care of due diligence and conveyancing, we draft or review agreements, arrange the paperwork with the notary and file the public deed with the Land Registry and Tax Office. We also study the tax implications at entry and exit point and advise on the best arrangements.

Visa also stems from the fact it gives investors access to the Schengen area which comprises 26 European countries. A part from the immigretion procedures we can also assist individual with their application to such benefits as the text regime for non habitual recidents, which provides a flat fee on Portuguese income of just 20%, order impatriate regime in Spain with a flat fee of 24%. Obviously there’s much larger area, number of countries in Europe. You can travel freely to the Schengen area,” he explained. “So I think the timing is right. I think we’ve come at a good moment, and we look forward to collaborating with Malaysian investors, Malaysian real estate agencies, Malaysian law firms, Malaysian banks, to help them understand the property market in Spain and Portugal and the system in whatever capacity they might deem fit,” Viñal ended. Investors interested in expanding their horizons into the real estate markets of Spain and Portugal, or with questions on legal and tax matters on property investments in the Iberian Peninsular, are encouraged to contact Antonio Viñal & Co. Abogados at www. for more details. | MAY 2015



DON’T GET CONNED Check with BOVAEA when you have doubts By: Daniel Sim

President of The Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Malaysia (BOVAEA), Sr. Faizan B. Abdul Rahman

was looking for a subsale property, a corner lot bungalow in an upscale neighbourhood situated in a pristine location to stay. During a drive-by in the neighbourhood, I decided to call the negotiator’s number listed on the subsale property that I am interested. The agent promised to get the subsale property for me at 30% below market value, the offer sounded so good and personally I find it hard to resist”, said Mr. See*. What he didn’t realise was the negotiator who also claimed to be a Real Estate Agent was never registered with The Board of Valuers, Appraisers & Estate Agents, Malaysia (BOVAEA). Three days later, the same negotiator came back to meet him with a stack of documents in black and white stating he has obtained the necessary approval such as land title check to purchase the subsale, everything appear to be in order, but before Mr. See could probe further, the negotiator requested Mr. See to pay for his commission upfront to help speed up the process of getting the subsale property. Mr. See said, “At first I didn’t believe him but he showed me a name card and told me the company he is working for is one of the big four reputable companies with more than 1,000 negotiators in the real estate industry in Malaysia, the logo printed at the back of the card indicated an overseas presence.” After much persuasion from the negotiator, Mr. See took the risk and paid the fee requested by the negotiator as he really liked the bungalow. “He promised to get back



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to me in two days time, for me to sign the SPA agreement. He mentioned the owner has agreed with the property pricing that was below market value. Three days later, and he still did not get back to me, I lodged a police report immediately when I realised he was no longer reachable via his cell phone,” said Mr. See. A check on the web later found the company website domain was expired and no longer in existence. According to the President of The Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Malaysia (BOVAEA), Sr. Faizan B. Abdul Rahman, “Rogue negotiators and real estate agent are those negotiators and estate agents who fail to comply with the Act, Rule and Standards set by the Board. For the purpose of preventing public confusion, we will use the term broker and illegal agents instead. “BOVAEA do not have the actual statistics of these brokers or illegal agents. Currently, we have a total of 2,455 estate agents and 14,159 negotiators and 1,004 valuers who are registered with the Board,” stated the president. According to Faizan, there are some common or notso-common tactics used by broker and illegal agents in performing their daily unlawful activities. “Illegal agents mark up the sales price of a particular piece of property beyond the price quoted by the seller.” Another particular concern of the industry is the misinformation or the misrepresentation of the property and basically this would refer to unethical practices that leads to cases like frauds and cheating where what has been communicated between the negotiators to the buyers and the sellers are not accurate. There are also brokers or illegal agents, who absconded the earnest deposit paid by the buyers and leave without a trace causing losses to buyers. Within the property industry, there were hearsays that mentioned more than 7,000 negotiators were recruited by a real estate firm that was registered with the board and these people are no longer from the uneducated or bottom rung of life, many of them were actually professionals that comprised of lawyers, bankers and even property investors, to which Faizan reiterates that this were only rumours or market talk. He stated, “The Board will take stern action against any registered firm if they are found to engage negotiators without having registered with the board. On other firm/s which are not registered with them and carrying out the activities of an estate agency practice, BOVAEA will issue warning letter to cease and desist failing which a report will be made to the police with the commercial crime division. The public are urged to only deal with negotiators registered with the Board where every negotiators are given a specific Real Estate Negotiator (REN) number and a REN tag.” “We have a specific law to prosecute brokers and illegal

agents, under section 30 of the Act (Valuers, Appraiser and Estate Agents Act 1981), anyone who commits an offence under the Act is liable for a fine not exceeding RM300,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or both,” emphasised Faizan. However he admits that the law passed by the parliament is far from perfect, “illegals brokers and agents are getting smarter these days and they know how to circumvent the law through the available loopholes, which make it harder for the police from the commercial crime division to arrest them.” The president enthuses that presently they are working closely with the police to understand the loopholes in the act, amending and passing it in the parliament so that through the Act, it will make it clearer for the police to institute prosecution thoroughly. “Now is true that the public can send their complaints regarding illegal agents and brokers, but currently the board only has four enforcement officers to cover for the whole country, BOVAEA is currently addressing this issue and is in the process to hire additional officers,” said the president. “The public, particularly the home buyers and home sellers play a vital role in helping to reduce or to the extent to eliminate the brokers and illegal agents, but firstly the public needs to be inform of their right and because of this BOVAEA has embarked on an awareness campaign that covers both online and offline publicity channel that cost

about close to RM1 million in year 2014,” mentioned Faizan excitingly. He stated that BOVAEA has allocated a further sum of RM500,000 this year to enhance the campaign. Some of the advertising channels or touch points included outdoor billboard, taxi boot lid, digital banner along the Federal Highway, flyers, radio advertisement, granting press interview and also in the multimedia section. According to the president, one of the success stories about this campaign was being able to raise public awareness on how to differentiate between a registered negotiator and a broker or an illegal agents, One example is the introduction of the Real Estate Negotiator (REN) tag, home buyers would also know they may check BOVAEA’s website ( to ascertain the negotiator’s and the firm’s registration status with the board. “As a result, brokers or illegal agents are being marginalised and being questions by their clients. They found difficulty dealing with them without the REN Tag and REN No. Many have started to attend the 2 days course and getting themselves registered with the board via their real estate firm. The board has constantly receiving large number of fresh applications.” Enthuses Faizan. Faizan’s mentioned that his goal for BOVAEA is to raise public awareness not just within Klang Valley but all around the country within a period of a year. He wishes to raise confidence among its members by making sure that all complaints file to the board are dealt immediately. | MAY 2015





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LIGHT AT THE END OF AN OILY TUNNEL World is keeping an eye on plummeting crude oil prices he world is currently facing a scenario where supply is outstripping demand for oil, and this has caused uncertainty not just in the oil markets but the world economy, which will eventually have an impact on the national economy and the property market. According to oil and gas consulting service firm Rystad Energy head of analysis Per Magnus Nysveen, the largest oil supply shock in history was seen from 2011 to 2014. The United States’ shale oil production was adding more than one million barrels per day every year, or more than the growth of global demand for oil. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) faced a risk of critical reduction in market share. An expected initial cut of two million barrels per day from the collective quota during 2014 and 2015 would be needed to keep oil prices at the 2011-2013 level of US$110/barrel. However, such cuts would support a continuous growth of US shale


oil production, as less than 5% of shale oil recoverable resources are extracted to date, based on Rystad Energy’s estimate. The pain limit for US shale drillers was reached when US oil prices dropped below US$50/barrel. In the first week of 2015, with fresh and downsized budgets, oil companies reduced horizontal drilling for oil for the first time in core plays (group of oil fields or prospects in the same region) of Bakken, Eagle Ford, and Permian Basin, where rig count went down from 700 rigs to 675 rigs. A minimum of 500 rigs drilling horizontal oil wells on these plays is needed to keep production flat on the plays. The country that is worth watching in the midst of this unsettling situation is Saudi Arabia, which plays a leading role in oil production and exports as the world’s largest exporter of crude oil. Looking at the global liquid supply cost curve graph, it is clear that onshore Middle East average break-even cost is the lowest among other oil producers, at US$25/barrel, followed by offshore shelf average


Source: Rystad Energy research and analysis 52

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break-even at US$40/barrel. With average break-even cost having been estimated for different types of oil production methods and locations, this implies that oil producers that have the lowest average break-even costs, assuming all else is constant, are more likely to survive a scenario of lower oil prices when compared with oil producers with higher average break-even costs. According to media reports, oil minister Ali al-Naimi of Saudi Arabia had stated in Dec 2014, “It is not in the interest of OPEC producers to cut their production, whatever the price is.” He added that Saudi Arabia will be able to withstand a period of prolonged low prices because its production costs stand at just US$4-5/barrel. Further supporting this stand were comments by Mohammad al-Sabban, a former advisor to the Saudi Arabia minister for petroleum, to the media recently, “Saudi Arabia can sustain these low oil prices for at least eight years. First, we have huge financial reserves of about three trillion Saudi riyals. Second, Saudi Arabia is embarking now on rationalising its expenditure, trying to take all the fat out of the budget.” Given this position by Saudi Arabia, the stabilisation of oil prices is dependent on demand and supply of oil reaching an equilibrium state. However, there is a silver lining in this scenario of low oil prices. OPEC’s secretary-general Abdulla al-Badri recently commented, “Now the prices are around US$45-55, and I think maybe they [have] reached the bottom and we [will] see some rebound very soon.” In spite of the fact that US drillers have pulled their rigs off fields for several weeks in response to the decline of the fall in oil prices, US oil production and stockpiles continued to rise. As of end-February 2015, US crude inventories had expanded by 10.3 million barrels to 444.4 million, the biggest weekly gain in 14 years,

Saudi oil rig

“Given that oil prices have an impact on national economies, property investors should be watchful on developments in the oil sector, as this will bring opportunities and challenges in the property market.

according to Energy Information Administration data. The questions worth posing are when and how are oil markets expected to stabilise. Given that oil prices have an impact on national economies, property investors should be watchful on developments in the oil sector, as this will bring opportunities and challenges in the property market.

RESILIENCE THROUGH DIVERSIFICATION In the case of Malaysia, low oil prices are having a limited impact on the national economy, as the national economy is already diversified in various economic sectors. According to Treasury secretarygeneral Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, the drop in oil prices may not necessarily have a negative impact on the fiscal deficit, as the country’s economy was diversified and did not primarily rely on commodities like petroleum and palm oil. Irwan recently shared with the media, “Our growth is based on the services, manufacturing, agriculture, and construction sectors coupled with high consumption and private investments. Therefore, we do not completely rely on oil and gas.” Although Petronas had made a loss of RM7.3 bill for the last quarter of 2014, it will be making its RM26 bill payment to the Government in tranches, according to media reports. Fluctuations in crude oil prices also

impacts Malaysia as an international producer of palm oil. Media reports had recently indicated that palm oil is expected to climb to RM2,500 per tonne in May, due to lower production and reduced stocks outlook. However, the improved sentiment in crude palm oil prices in the first half of 2015 could be short lived, according to international palm oil expert Dorab Mistry, and could reverse back to trend lower in the second half of the year on bearish fundamentals. LMC International Ltd chairman Dr James Fry recently commented, “The palm oil industry must learn to accept the reality of the lower global crude oil prices. The world responded to the demand for biodiesel but until now, many still do not realise how much the high crude oil prices have underpinned the palm sector.” Given that the national economy is diversified, low crude oil and palm oil prices should not have much adverse effect on the economy, and their impact on the property market should be limited. | MAY 2015




Sandeep Grewal,

Chris Tan,

Charles Tan,

The LRT 3 is a really good infrastructure project because generally, this will enhance the value of residential landed and high-rise properties that are located near the stations. However, houses and condominiums which are situated very close to the LRT rail line may not actually benefit due to the high noise level and sound pollution despite the convenience. Rental values could even decline over the medium-to-long term. Commercial properties on the other hand are not too much affected but instead, would only have the upside benefit. Offices and shop lots which are nearer to the stations will experience price increases in the values of their premises. Businesses would stand to gain with the potential of having more clients with increased traffic flow, and can hire more people, as well as lower their overhead costs. Hence, prospective home owners and investors are advised to conduct some due diligence themselves by checking and analysing the selling prices of surrounding areas in order to get some good comparisons. On the whole, most properties tend to appreciate over time.

The proposed third light rail transit line (LRT3) project would definitely benefit the residents in Klang Valley. It is always good to have better connection and accessibility for property investors and the general population who use public transportation daily to commute to their workplaces. The LRT3 route will be headed towards the western development corridor of the Greater KL area, linking major cities and towns such as Shah Alam and Klang. This augurs well for the state of Selangor as connectivity would be given an added boost, which in turn will drive economic activities in the other neighbouring states. Nevertheless, a possible problem that could arise upon completion is low capacity, which raises the issue of whether the proposed train system could meet the technical requirements such as load factor, and traffic flow. However, this setback can be compensated by increasing the frequency (shorter waiting time) and number of coaches plying the route/ track. Overall, the proposed LRT3 development bodes well for the country’s progress in further transforming Shah Alam as a transportation hub in Selangor.

LRT 3 is definitely a positive move. More importantly would be the site of these stations. It should be located in a convenient and easy-to-reach area plus the car parks provided must be plenty. Connectivity by bus routes to these stations must also be planned accordingly for the public staying slightly further away who may not be convenient to walk to the station. 500 metres is really the maximum distance that the majority of people would walk to any of these stations. Even more importantly, the final alignment must be based on decision science and not political science. Instead of relying on ‘hotspots’, home buyers and investors should focus their strategy on buying undervalued properties or newer areas. However, with LRT 3, whatever new or secondary development along the stations would be considered a hotspot. In fact, anything within a walking distance of 500 metres or less would be extremely popular. The advertisements for these properties would have already included this fact. Hence, the sellers or developers would be trying their best to make these areas new hotspots. Under the demand versus supply equation, a bigger number of hotspots would definitely be better than the existing limited number of LRT stations.

Co-Founder of RTC


MAY 2015 |

Founder of Chur Associates, Advocates & Solicitors

Property Investor

The Andes_NEW2_FA_OL.pdf



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DO YOU REALLY NEED RM2 MILLION FOR REASONABLE RETIREMENT LIFESTYLE? during retirement may not be as straightforward. This is especially the case for those who are still beyond a decade away from retirement. In such cases, one may use a percentage of last drawn income prior to retirement to estimate monthly retirement income required. As the years go by, during annual review, we may choose to calculate monthly retirement income required using the expense method which is done by inflation-adjusting the current household expense at retirement. Speaking to a professional such as a Licenced Financial Planner would definitely help in determining which methods may be best and at arriving at realistic figures. RETIREMENT PERIOD – LIFE EXPECTANCY With the monthly retirement income determined, one can determine the total retirement funds he or she requires based on the number of years he or she expects to be in retirement, which is largely determined by life expectancy.

t is no longer uncommon to hear that Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contribution alone may not suffice to meet one’s retirement needs. This can also be observed through the government’s effort in encouraging the public to save, in addition to their contribution to EPF, by introducing voluntary schemes like the Private Retirement Scheme (PRS). From the 2013 annual report published by the EPF, the average savings of a 54-year old active EPF contributing member as at 2013 is only RM166,650.20. The question remains: how much do you actually require for a reasonable retirement lifestyle?


DETERMINING YOUR MONTHLY RETIREMENT INCOME The primary concern when planning for retirement is to maintain pre-retirement lifestyle with that of the postretirement phase. Whilst it is true that some expenses during the pre-retirement phase may reduce or cease in the post-retirement phase (e.g. mortgage, expenses on children), it is also important to note that other form of expenses may increase and commence (e.g. healthcare, travel, leisurely activities). Determining the monthly retirement income required is the first step in determining total retirement fund required at the start of retirement. However, arriving at a realistic figure on how much a person requires on monthly basis 56

MAY 2015 |

Figure 1: Life Expectancy Table from Department of Statistics Malaysia

The current life expectancy of a Malaysian as established by the Department of Statistics is 77.2 for female and 72.5 for a male. This figure has been on an increasing trend largely owing to improvements in healthcare. As such, factoring in a buffer up to age 80, one would easily spend 20-25 years in retirement depending when he or she chooses to retire. INFLATION AND POST-RETIREMENT INVESTMENT RETURNS Although one may choose to do a simple calculation of total retirement funds required by multiplying the number of years in retirement with the annual retirement income required (monthly retirement income x 12 months), this would be inaccurate as it is important to note that inflation continues to have impact on one’s life even after retirement.

Hence, it is important to factor in inflation when calculating total retirement funds required. Furthermore, calculating the total funds required bluntly as above may even prove to be an uphill task as this method assumes that one does not remain invested during years in retirement. A 20-25 years period in retirement is a relatively long period – you would not need your entire retirement fund beyond what you would ideally use in a year. As such, the remainder of the fund can still be in an investment vehicle, continuing to generate income into your retirement portfolio. This would help to reduce the burden of accumulating your total retirement funds required.

Monthly Retirement Income (today)

Actual amount (monthly income) required @ 55*

Total Retirement Fund Required @ 55**

RM3,000 RM5,000 RM8,000 RM10,000

RM5,969 RM9,949 RM15,918 RM19,898

RM1,242,708 RM2,071,180 RM3,313,888 RM4,142.361

*Current age of 35 with inflation @ 3.5% p.a. ** Post Retirement Investment Income @ 7% p.a., inflation @ 3.5% p.a. and Retirement period of 25 years (to age 80)

Table 1: Calculating Retirement Needs Table 1 summarises the discussion above. It depicts how much one would require in total retirement funds once he or she hits age 55, based on current living expense at age 35 which is inflation adjusted to age 55 (at 3.5% p.a.). It is calculated based on a retirement period of up to age 80 with inflation continuing at 3.5% p.a. during retirement years. It also assumes that the post-retirement portfolio (the remainder of what is required beyond a year) is invested in an investment vehicle generating 7% returns p.a. EVALUATING YOUR CURRENT RETIREMENT ASSETS & WORKING OUT THE DIFFERENCE Upon determining your total retirement funding needs, it is very much important to identify which of your assets would form part of your total retirement funds and their projected value at retirement age. For an individual who is employed, EPF savings may form a large percentage towards his or her retirement funds. As such, it is important to have an understanding on the projected value of EPF Account 1 (since Account 2 is usually withdrawn for various other reasons such for property purchase and education) come age 55 or 60. A Licensed Financial Planner would be able to come out with the projected value at age 55 based on average salary increment per year and average dividend yield declared by EPF. Beyond EPF savings, and for those who are not in employment, it is important to quantify current investment

“Arriving at a realistic figure on how much a person requires on monthly basis during retirement may not be as straight forward. this is especially the case for those who are still beyond a decade away from retirement.

portfolio identified for retirement. The investment portfolio may consist of liquid investments in instruments like shares, unit trusts, discretionary accounts as well as real estate such as property and land. Based on average yield, the projected value of the portfolio at retirement can be determined through the help of a financial planner. Upon identifying the projected value of current retirement assets, one can easily identify if there are any gaps in meeting the retirement needs. Whilst you may still have another 20 years towards retirement, it is important to note that procrastinating only makes it a more of an uphill task when left for later. IN CONCLUSION As it can be seen from Table 1, to have the purchasing power of what RM5k can buy today in 20 years’ time, one would easily need to plan for a monthly retirement income of RM9,949 at the start of his or her retirement. This would not be a luxurious lifestyle but somewhat a reasonable one based on what RM5k today can get you in a month. The corresponding total retirement funds required is easily RM2 million based on an inflation rate and post-retirement investment income of 3.5% p.a. and 7% p.a. respectively. Whilst this is subjective and depends on the needs of an individual compared to another, it can be concluded that an RM2mil retirement savings is somewhat close to a reasonable retirement lifestyle (based on RM5k monthly expenses today). The key here is awareness. Once one is able to identify his or her retirement needs and the corresponding gaps (if any), it is easier to work out the difference and to plan accordingly, starting today.

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR Fazrul Farouk is a Licensed Financial Planner with I-MAX Financial and specialises in the area of personal financial planning for individuals and families as well as the corporate segment. He can be contacted at | MAY 2015




ortgage is a very unique bank product. Why? This is because the collateral being used to secure a loan from the banks is property. Of all facilities you have taken up with your banks, your mortgage is one very unique product where the property value appreciates over time, while your loan depreciates over the time. With this in mind, this positive value asset can then be used to generate additional cash flow for you. Best of all, its nearly a free cash flow for you. More on why it is nearly free will be explained at a later part of this article. How this is achieved is via mortgage refinancing. Refinancing a mortgage means paying off an existing loan and replacing it with a new one.


There are many common reasons why homeowners or investors refinance their properties. • • • • •

The opportunity to obtain a lower interest rate (This is where the mortgage was taken sometime ago when it was more expensive back then) The chance to shorten your mortgage loan tenure The opportunity to tap on the property latest market value in order to finance a new purchase; Debt consolidation The desire to convert to a different mortgage product type (fixed mortgage term loan, flexi mortgage loans or semi-flexi mortgage loan)

PROPERTY VALUES OVER YEARS Value RM’000 2,000 1,500 1,000

Value @ RM300k Mortgage Loan@ RM270k

Value @ RM600k Mortgage Loan Outstanding@ RM180k

Refinance @ RM540k Pay off Outstanding @ RM180k


CASH OUT RM360k!!! 0 1 58


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REFINANCE FOR LOWER INTEREST RATES/ EFFECTIVE LENDING RATES (ELR) This is pretty straight forward, if a competitor bank offers you a 1% or 2% reduction in interest rates, you will definitely save from paying more interests. This also translates into a lower monthly installment. If you are renting this property out, you may be able to improve your rental cash flow position from a potentially negative to positive cash flow since the installment is lower now. See illustrations below. Monthly Installment (RM) Savings (RM) Rental Income (RM) Savings/Positive Cash Flow (RM)

ELR 5.5%

ELR 4.5%









*Assumption: Loan amount is RM500K, Loan tenure of 30 years

SHORTEN MORTGAGE TENURE You may shorten your mortgage loan tenure when you refinance your house. This would allow you to have savings on total interest that you need to pay to the bank. See illustration below. Loan Tenure (RM)

30 years

25 years

20 years

Monthly Installment Total Interest Payable Saving vs 30 years tenure

2,534 404,645

2,780 327,810

3,164 254,487




*Assumption: 1. Loan amount is RM500K 2. ELR used is 4.5%

Do take note that when the loan tenure is shorten, you will need to pay a higher installment every month moving forward. However should BR or BLR drops in the future, you can opt to refinance to a shorter tenure by maintaining nearly the same monthly installments. This means that you pay the same as you have always been but you are still able to pay off your mortgage in a shorter period of time.

CASH OUT TO FINANCE A NEW PURCHASE OR OTHER NEEDS Refinancing to cash out with the purpose of making a new property purchase is something, which needs thorough thinking. Though it sounds exciting cashing out from your property that has appreciated by 50%, do note that the cash out should be spent on assets, which will generate further income or appreciation. The cash out from refinancing are often used on home improvement / renovation, which can tremendously, improves on the property that leads to a better market value on the property. There are homeowners who refinance with the purpose of child education, wedding funds, oversea dream trips, purchasing expensive goods such as furniture, fixtures, cars and etc.

In view that most of the banks in Malaysia do offer flexi-mortgage, if you decide to refinance your property with additional cash out and have no idea on what to do with the funds yet, leave it in your mortgage flexi account in order to save some interest. As such, you will have standby cash on hand without the need to pay additional interest on this cash until you utilize it.

DEBT CONSOLIDATION Mortgage is the cheapest financing options in town as compared to overdraft, auto-loan/hire purchase, credit cards and personal loan. Refer table below on the financing rate comparison. With regards to debt consolidation, refinancing would help if you have chalked up debts where their interest rates are relatively higher than of a mortgage loan. For example, a credit card charges with an effective rate of 15-18% and up to as high as 20% for a personal loan. Comparing to the mortgage interest rate of <5%, credit card and personal loanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interest rates is like 3-4times more expensive. A savvy consumer, like yourself since you are reading this article now, will use the refinancing money to pay off the credit card or personal loan outstanding balance to enjoy potentially three times or up to four times interest savings.

Effective Interest Rates (%)



Auto Loan

Credit Card

Personal Loan

4.4% 5.0%

5.5% 6.5%

5.5% 6.5%

15% 18%

15% 20%

CHANGING TO A DIFFERENT MORTGAGE TYPE If you are having a variable rate loan (pegged against Base Rate (BR) or Base Lending Rate (BLR)) but anticipate that there will be major interest rate hikes (for instance higher OPR rate adjustment), it would be great to refinance your mortgage into a fixed rate loans now. This way, your monthly installment amount does not increase even if BR/BLR increases. Conversely, converting from a fixed-rate loan to a variable rate loan can also be a sound financial strategy, particularly in a falling interest rate environment. If rates continue to fall, the periodic rate adjustments on BR or BLR will result in decreasing ELR and lower monthly mortgage payments, eliminating the need to refinance every time rates drop.

WHAT IS THE COST INVOLVED? Before you take action in your home refinancing, there are a few items you would need to take note. a) Moving Cost This refers to money you would need to spend on in taking up a new loan. Items such as valuation fees, legal fees, disbursement and stamp duty is payable when you refinance. If you are refinancing to save on interest, take note of this amount and compare it against the savings in interest you would obtain through refinancing. | MAY 2015


FINANCE Fee structure is as illustrated

Type of Cost


Property Valuation Fee

Fees payable by the Land Administrator under the Land Acquisition Act for Valuation reports. Property Value

Fee Charged (RM)

From (RM)

To (RM)










For property value greater than RM1,000,000 the fee shall be a minimum of RM 3,500 plus the fee based on the following rate Property Value

Fee Charged (RM)

From (RM)

To (RM)















Source: adapted from

Legal Fees

Consideration or Adjudicated Value For the first RM150,000

1.0% (Subject to a minimum fee of RM300)

For the next RM850,000


For the next RM2,000,000


For the next RM2,000,000


For the next RM2,500,000


Where the consideration or adjudicated value is in excess of RM7,500,000

Loan Agreement Stamp Duty

Scale of Fees

Negotiable on the excess (but shall not exceed 0.4% of such excess)

RM5 for every RM1,000 loan amount (0.5% of loan amount)

Note: Some banks offer zero moving cost package, usually at a higher interest rate. Compare this before you take up the loan.

b) Mortgage Lock-in Period When you are ready to payoff your existing loan early (before the tenure expires), check if your existing loan has a lock-in period and if you are still bounded by it. Banks normally charge a penalty of 2% to 5% (on your original loan amount) if you fully pay off your mortgage within the first two to five years. This “two to five years” period, where you will incur a penalty for early settlement, is essentially the “lock-in period” of your mortgage.

SO HOW DOES ONE REFINANCE? WHAT IS THE PROCESS INVOLVED? The process is quite similar, just like applying for a new mortgage. The steps to refinance your mortgage are as follow: (assuming you have identified your objectives of refinancing) 60

MAY 2015 |

1. Firstly check your current mortgage. Take note on your current mortgage whether it is still within the lock-in period. 2. Contact a few banks to find out the deals that they are offering. The things need to be taken into consideration on this will be on the ELR, the moving cost, whether it is zero moving cost or partial moving cost are absorbed, and check if there is a lock-in period. Evaluate all these deals and which of them are important and align to your objectives set earlier. For example, if your intention is to cash out where funds may not be used now but later, getting a flexi loan but required to sacrifice to a longer lock-in period would be ideal. Only submit to the bank which meets your objectives. 3. Always negotiate for a better ELR if you are not in a hurry to cash out. Then compare all your banks offer before deciding which to proceed. 4. FINALLY, sign up and enjoy its benefits!



The debt service ratio of the additional cash out portion of your newly refinanced loan application will be calculated based on a 10 years repayment period. The portion used to pay off your existing mortgage will still be based on normal mortgage tenure, that is up to 35 years. But the above is merely the calculation affordability or debt service ratio. It has no impact to your actual refinanced mortgaged tenure. This is illustrated below: Customer A has an existing mortgage of RM250,000 outstanding balances and refinances the said property with the market value of RM600,000 mortgage application. Then, the cash out amount, although your bank officer informs you that they would compute your repayment capacity based on 10 year tenure, it has no impact on your actual mortgage tenure and, most importantly, your monthly mortgage repayment. This is done to ensure that you have strong repayment capacity.

DSR Calculation (RM250k @ 35 years tenure) + (RM350k @ 10 years)

AFTER REFINANCE Mortgage Tenure & Instalment (RM600k @ 35 years)

WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE BESIDES REFINANCING? Top-Up loan will be the alternative. It is an additional loan on top of the current mortgage outstanding amount and it is based on the appreciated market value of the property. Some banks may open a new account for the additional top-up (i.e. 2 accounts to be serviced) while some banks may just top it up on the same account, which means to continue with the same account. Top-Up loan can only be done with the same bank from your original loan and most of the time, the bank will follow all the terms and conditions of the existing mortgage features. The Pros & Cons of a top-up loan are explained below • • •

Do not need to redo loan agreement Minimal Fees Shorter processing time as compared with refinancing

• • •

Unable to alter the details like ELR and loan tenure of the existing mortgage. May need to service or pay into 2 different account if the existing bank open up a new account on the top-up loan The top-up amount might be limited because other bank/s may offer higher bank valuation on the property.

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR Smart Financing Co. was founded by a team of season investors and with banking experince and the primary objective is to help consumers to stay abreast on the latest banking policies especially towards Mortgage Financing and to educate consumers on various banking practices. | MAY 2015





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WONDERLIST - A LISTING LIKE NO OTHER Redefining negotiator’s professionalism in the real estate industry By: Daniel Sim

Wonderlist founders:Business Development Director Steven Wong (Left) and Marketing Director Frankie Wong.

his is something we believe will revolutionise the negotiator’s professionalism in the industry as a whole,” said Wonderlist Property Sdn Bhd marketing director Frankie Wong. The app is called ‘Wonderlist’, which Frankie Wong and business development director Steven Wong hoped will help bring many property listings for negotiators. At only 28 years old, both Steven and Frankie Wong are twins who came out with this idea of creating an app to help spur this industry when they first became negotiators four years ago. Like many negotiators, they experienced the many joy and pains when involved in co-broking with other negotiators to complete the process of buying and selling properties. “We understood what many negotiators went through, and as the property market in Malaysia became more and more sought after, the professional quality of real estate negotiators began dropping. There were many cases of honest negotiators trying to make a living by co-broking but later were undercut by their partners. This can be frustrating and disappointing, and paint a very bad picture for the industry as a whole,” mentioned Frankie. According to him, initially the brothers were just toying with the idea of finding ways to help real estate agents but then they got into a more serious discussion early last year. “We were wondering why all this time no one has been able to come out with a strategic tool to resolve problems such as fraud and undercutting, which were just some of



MAY 2015 |

the unethical practices that have major impacts in the industry.” Together, Frankie and Steven set up Wonderlist Property in January this year with staff strength of about 30 people to develop a multi-functional app specifically for real estate agents. “Wonderlist is an app that will guide real estate negotiators to be professional at all times,” said Frankie. He further elaborated there were three things in mind that guided them in the process of creating this app: convenience, user-friendly and safety aspect of the app. WHAT IS UNIQUE? “Many negotiators would like to know what will be so unique about our app and how does it contrast to others,” informed Frankie. “We spent about RM3 million in building this app,” with funds for this project raised together with an interested investor, according to Frankie, “and one of the many unique features that we have in the app will be where negotiators can post and search for property listing at the same time,” he said. This feature is not commonly found in other apps or listing portals as they may require different logins to post property listing and to search property listing, which can be a hassle to many negotiators as they are normally very busy with their daily appointments. Hence, it is apt to say that this app helps negotiators “kill two stones with one bird”.

Additionally, according to Frankie, the need for a larger file server and the issue of getting the app’s functions compatible with all the different platforms in the market such as Apple iOS and Android version typically will inflate an app start-up cost, but the company invested a lot of capital to hire many Java programmers to specifically design an app compatible across all platforms so that the negotiator clients can access Wonderlist app with any tools they have such as iPad, notebook, laptop and mobile phones. HOW DOES THE APP WORK? “For a start, all negotiators need to do is to download the app on their mobile devices and pay a monthly fee of only RM80 for the basic package of 10 slots,” said Frankie. These slots are advertising spaces for property negotiators to advertise their properties. “These 10 slots can be reused as long as they want within one month, and negotiators can purchase more slots if they wish to indefinitely,” said Frankie, adding that negotiators can also purchase as many as the 10-slot package as they wish. This again is a good value-for-service proposition as many other available platforms will charge on a per listing basis where negotiators immediately incur a higher cost just by simply adding a new property listing. In addition, Wonderlist will also not charge any additional fees on negotiators who close property deals via this app. “Another point that will interest negotiators in using this app is convenience,” enthused Frankie. According to him, negotiators who want to do posting would normally need to have a laptop and find a place with Wi-Fi capability, but now they can save a lot of their time by advertising and selling their properties 24/7 directly with the app via their smartphones. REPORTING FEATURE With so many real estate negotiators in Malaysia, the issue of which real estate negotiator will continue to be professional remains an essential question. The Wonderlist app has a reporting feature where, according to Frankie, “other negotiators can send in their complaints on unethical practices” such as frauds and undercutting. “Wonderlist will investigate the complaints by verifying with the principal estate agent at least three times, after which Wonderlist will then decide if it has to suspend such unethical negotiators,” he added. Frankie said that when real estate negotiators work together and engaged each other to complete a property deal, known in the industry as co-broking, via the app then each negotiator will receive a co-broke letter digitally sent to their app as a black-and-white proof that will help eliminate undercutting and other unethical practices in the industry. Wonderlist as a company will also receive a copy of the co-broking letter as a reference, which brings to another point that we have in mind: safety. PROMINENCE RANKING Besides the functions mentioned above, there are still

“Another point that will interest negotiators in using this app is convenience,” enthused Frankie. According to him, negotiators who want to do posting would normally need to have a laptop and find a place with Wi-Fi capability, but now they can save a lot of their time by advertising and selling their properties 24/7 directly with the app via their smartphones. - Frankie

more functions that will certainly help not only negotiators but also the public at large. The purpose of creating this ranking system is to build trust and credibility as the ranking system will be awarded by not only people in the profession but also the public at large. “Negotiators are known by the areas they are servicing and finding an agent who is an expert in a particularly area is like finding a needle in a haystack, but this will not be the case if you download the app,” said Frankie. He further emphasised that the ranking system will be based on the numbers of stars, with five stars being the maximum to be awarded to top negotiators. The more stars a negotiator receives, the higher rank his or her name will appear in the app, and this will then help increase the agent’s exposure to get more property listing and to therefore make more sales. This feature is user-friendly for both the negotiators and the public where it helps identify who the top negotiators are and who can provide the best service in their own areas, while the negotiators will know who they can trust when they want to do co-broking. OFFICIAL LAUNCH & CONTEST “We will be launching the Wonderlist app in May this year,” announced Frankie. He also enthusiastically mentioned that at present he and Steven have presented the app to many real estate agencies and they both confidently expressed that the app will garner at least 20,000 negotiators this year. As part of its marketing campaign, Wonderlist is giving out RM10,000 to the highest ranking agent. Home buyers, investors and agents who often vote for their agents will also receive RM5,000, and both prizes will be given out to the winners by the end of December this year. Those who are interested to know more about Wonderlist or would like to subscribe to this app can log on to or contact Wonderlist marketing director Frankie Wong directly at +6012-373-0122. | MAY 2015



GAME CHANGER The transformation of one man’s life through property investment By: Benignus Cheah

rowing up in Cheras, in what he deems as the less developed part of Kuala Lumpur, and having gone through the ups and downs of the Malaysian economy twice in his professional lifetime while in the marketing and sales departments of various companies, Joel Lee chanced upon the door to profitable investment during a financial dilemma. “5-6 years ago, in my mid-30s, I began to think very hard about what I want to do,” Lee tells Property Insight. “I began to think what I should do because I don’t see much savings in my hands and in my bank. When you come to that stage, you will begin to think about your career, you will think about your family, about finance and things like that. And then I realised what I’ve been doing for the last 10-15 years doesn’t look like working. I began to think: in terms of work, what do I want to do? In terms of investments what should I do?” His opportunity that would later propel him into his property investment journey came serendipitously when Lee bumped into a friend and shared with her his financial worries. “She asked me, ‘Would you like to think about property investment?’ I said, ‘Come on, the fact that I’m thinking about all these kind of things is because I don’t have money, and now you’re asking me to buy,’” Lee recalls. “But she asked me, “Would you like to buy AND make money? That means not just putting money in but also getting money out of it?” So I was very much interested, and she got me into some workshop, seminars and things like that, and I began to start.” He adds, “I began with just probably RM7,000-RM10,000 kind of capital money. But that beginning was the turning point, because after buying two or three properties, I have RM20KRM30K in my bank, because we bought depressed properties, from motivated sellers and such.”



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For his very first property which was found during his first auction session, Lee bid for a property situated in Sungai Long with a buildup of 1,500 sqft at the cost of the developer’s price released 10 years earlier. “The previous owner bought from developer at RM160,000 and I bought it from him at RM162,000. That was an auction case, my very first auction,” Lee says. While he eventually sold it off between RM260,000-RM270,000 years later, making a hundred thousand ringgit in profit, but after buying his first purchase, Lee admits, “I had no more money after I bought the property.” Yet he persevered and attended more seminars and workshops to better himself as an investor. The turning point in his investment journey was when he bought two shop house units. “I bought about two shop apartments in Pandan, Ampang, for RM60,000. At that time I rented them out for RM600, I paid the bank RM300,” Lee says. “I’m still holding them until now because I’m collecting RM800 from the rental. Now I’ve got three units and their build ups are about 650 sqft, so I have a net cash flow of RM400-500 per month per unit. I’m enjoying the harvest and I don’t need to sell.” He confesses, “That was the beginning of the investment journey and that was my turning point. I spent all my money on the Sungai Long condominium and after buying these two properties, I made about RM20,000-RM30,000 because we bought below market price. At that time, the market price was RM90,000 and I bought at RM60,000. I took a loan of 90% at RM80,000-RM84,000 but I paid the seller RM60,000 plus, times two units. That was the kind of money we made from buying and there was also no pressure from serving the instalment.” The experience gained from having attended workshops had further compelled Lee to delve deeper into

the property industry. With all the necessary signs to look out for and properties to hunt, Lee decided to join the property industry not just as an investor but also as an agent for simple reasons: “You get to know the market well, what kind of market is serving what kind of tenants, or what kind of tenant is looking for what kind of properties,” he says. “All this knowledge and experience set me on a journey to become an agent.” Lee soon got heavily involved in auctioned properties. “That was during sub-prime crisis, when everyone was scared of buying, so the price was fantastic, very good price. There were not many people who would prefer buying auctioned property so the prices that I could get were great,” he tells. “At those kinds of situations, you could easily buy and make money. Looking back five years ago, if we had bought 1 or 10, you’d make money from all of them. I began to accumulate properties and experience along the way. Because I buy from auction property, usually you need to refurbish and repair it because the conditions would not be perfect or tenantable condition. So I begin to get involve with those kind of thing as well – repair it, get my own staff, get the wireman to do the wiring, do the piping.” INVESTMENT LOGICS Lee has various Do’s and Don’ts which he constantly employs in order to make his investment a better deal for him. Amongst his strategy is a red line in the type of property market which

Lee says he would never cross, such as buying new properties straight from developers. “Because buying from developers, you’ve got to wait two to three years,” he argues, “if [the property] gets delayed, then maybe six years.” He adds that when one buy from developers, there would completely be no occupancy at all as it is still under development and the pressure which ensues when the keys are given to home owners would create a digestion period for the seeking of tenants and potential buyers. These periods, he explains, vary according to the types of property in question. “If it is residential, usually after two years only will it stabilise and occupancy is there. If it is commercial, the period it is even longer – three years or four years. Because of that, I try to avoid this kind of pressure and the situation where I am pressed for cash flow, where I need to serve the bank and I don’t have tenant yet


D’Shire Villa

Property Type Year of Purchase Year of Completion Buying Price Current Price Price psf

Villa Apartment 2013 2008 RM290,000 RM450,000 RM346.15 RM1,500 Rental (non-furnished) Loan Margin 90% Loan Repayment RM1,100 Loan Tenure 30 Years Resell Price (in 3 Years) RM550,000 Location

Property Type Year of Purchase Year of Completion Buying Price Current Price Price psf Rental Loan Margin Loan Repayment Loan Tenure Resell Price

Kasturi Apartment

Medium-cost Apartment 2011 2003 RM68,000 RM250,000 RM294.11 RM900 (nonfurnished) 90% RM300 35 Years RM360,000

because other units are vacant. I try to avoid that, so I don’t buy from developer.” Hence, Lee buys a lot from the sub-sale market. “I buy and I get it after three to six months. I can also see the location and the facing direction. But the most important is time, as it is faster. The pressure to rent or to re-sell is not there because, when it is sub-sale, usually it is already occupied or the occupancy in the area is high. To me, 70% occupancy is good enough.” Another course of action which Lee employs is that he only goes for one main class of properties and that is the properties catered for the middle class group. “Another strategy that I have is that I only buy middle class property. I look at income per capita, and middle household income in Kuala Lumpur is in the range of RM6000-RM10,000. Assuming they spend 30%-40% on rental, that would be RM2,000 kind of rental range. So any property that is RM2,000 rental and below, I buy because these are comfortable within their means and they can afford. The middle income group is the biggest group in Malaysia. As you go higher, it’s like a pyramid, the pool is smaller.” Lee continues on to add two more logic to his preferences of targeting middle class group, the first being the sensitivity this class of property has towards the country’s economic change. He states that during an economic downturn, an investor in properties catered to expatriates would be facing trouble searching for tenants as current expatriates would leave and a different kind of expatriates would come. The matter would worsen as the middle class as the biggest group of the population would not be able to afford the rentals for these properties. This leads to his second logic which is that the playing field in the property industry has become levelled in the past two years he had observed. “For example, buying a new condo in Cheras and buying a new condo in Kota Damansara is almost the same price. That means we have seen a levelled playing field already. So when it comes to the middle class, it doesn’t matter where you invest – you can even find

“If you start right, it is easier to get into the second one. If your first one is wrong, you’re probably stuck with that property for five to 10 years.

the middle class in Rawang, Bukit Beruntung, Cheras, Kajang. You don’t have to go all the way to Damansara, PJ or Puchong anymore.”

RIDING THE WAVE Lee says that in property, there is often a wave in which investors can ride on instead of having to go through the trouble of creating an ‘attraction’ to pull in buyers and tenants. Lee instead utilises the craze and possible wave of buyers and tenants that would flock towards certain trends in developments in order to boost his income and raise his return. “First, I go for rental properties with the positive cash flow, and if I have the intention to make money in the medium term, three to five years later, I would go for places with developments nearby. For example, the one that I bought over here (Kota Damansara), I bought for RM290,000, a 1,300 sqft ground floor villa under auctioned properties. I spent another RM20,000 to repair everything, put in air conditioners and repainted the place but no furnishing. Why did I buy? Because of the development. I compared the price, close to RM300,000 kind of property, and so can I get one in nearby? I cannot. So it’s no brainer and I just buy.” He continues, “The second factor is development. The MRT is coming in and some other new developments are coming in right across the street. You can see the new ones, they are selling at above RM400,000-RM450,000 or higher. So if I hold [the Kota Damansara property] for five years, when these developers’ units and the MRT are ready, it will appreciate. So actually I don’t need to create the wave, I look | MAY 2015


INVESTOR NEXT DOOR for the wave and just ride on the wave.” He shares, “So my strategy is firstly rental, and secondly nearby new development. I’ll surely make money.” For instance, he says, there are a lot of developments in Cheras and Lee bought an apartment nearby for RM70,000. “The developer’s price before I bought was RM80,000 to RM85,000 for a ground floor mediumcost apartment. The reason I bought it was because it’s just across the street was a development similar to Sunway Giza. That development was six month in and I bought it thinking, If I buy now, when it’s completed in three years, I will make money. True enough, it is RM250,000 right now.” PASSIVE JOY In property investments, we often find that there are two types of investors, one who flips and the other who rents. As it is part and parcel in the choice which investors would often take in order to benefit themselves, different investors would look to how they can make the best of their assets. The same can be said with Lee. “Different investor have different taste, but my cup of tea is always rental. That means I must always be able to have some surplus from the rental, minus the bank instalment. There are a few reasons why I do this: first, it is more comfortable to me, to my pocket every month. Not only can I serve the loan, I can have extra money to pay for my overhead cost like petrol, toll, ASTRO, internet, car instalment and everything else. Then whatever else that you make for that month


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from your salary is like a bonus because you’ve actually managed your overhead already.” He shares further, “Another thing is that we never know when the market will turn. I’ve been through the 1998 crisis, I’ve been through the sub-prime crisis and during those times, I was under employment. So it was very stressful when you don’t have extra income, and that you only have your active income which is your salary. Because of that, I set myself an objective and I wanted a passive income. That’s why I look for property. Along the way, if, say, three or five years down the road this kind of property has made me profit in capital gains, I can decide to sell or not, instead of being pressured to sell.” Lee knows how stressful it is when one has no job. “When I changed to become an agent, the first six months I’ve got no sales, zero deals, zero sales. So I told myself, “Rental cash flow is important. When I do not have income, there is my rental income, passive income. That’s why, as I look at it, this objective have served me well and right now, over the years, I’ve built up the passive income to pay off this kind of overhead every month. That’s how my life is different right now. I have money coming in for this kind of thing. If I want to eat better, I want to go for holidays, I’ll take it from my active income, I take it from my salary or my commissions. But the basics are taken care of,” he adds. INVESTMENT ADVICE Having gone through both the ups and downs in his financial life and having achieved a financial comfort through property investment, Lee shares that investors do not necessarily have to start big but rather that they should start within their own means. The reason behind that logic is that it is more important to start right. “If you start right, it is easier to get into the second one. If your first one is wrong, you’re probably stuck with that property for five to 10 years, and then how can you get into the second one? So starting well is important. Start well and start within your means.” He advises that investors should

always get themselves a property for their own living as a first step into property investment. “To start well, first get one for your own stay so you don’t have to rent because rental will rise every one to two years. Then you don’t have be pressured to pay higher rent every now and then. So get one for your own, and you can move on to buy a new property and when you move, this one you can rent it out.” He continues on to add, “When you begin to think about investment, start within your means. There will always be something suitable for you. You don’t have to be like some people who are ashamed with investing in low-cost. Actually, if you can afford it within your means, it can make you money if you know how to calculate, know what figures to look for, what is the reasonable price, what is below market price. If you know all these figures, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a low-cost property, medium-cost property or even high-end property, it’ll make you money.” But above all, Lee shares that the greatest investment that investors should do is that invest in themselves first by educated themselves on the industry. “Get education,” he urges, “That means, before you invest in property, invest in yourself. Know what to look for, what price is fair price, what is below market price, how do you calculate, how do you see the development, how do you see the neighbourhood – all these take some experience and skills. If you do not know all these, no matter what price, you have the tendency to screw up.” He gives an example from an experience he encountered. “I bought a condominium at developer price, RM162,000, and the previous owner also bought it at RM160,000 but he screwed up. The property ended up in auction and I bought it. The same property, the same price. I made money but he didn’t,” he observes. “Go and learn, invest in education, that means educate yourself,” he reiterates. “Same property, same location and same price, why do some people make money but some lost money? With education, you will know if this property is good or this property is bad.”


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BUYING HDA PROPERTIES “SELL THEN BUILD” MODEL – PRESCRIBED SALE AND PURCHASE AGREEMENT Furthermore, in order to ensure that the terms of the sale and purchase agreement are not unfairly favouring the developer, all the housing developers are required to adopt the form of sale and purchase agreement as prescribed under the HDA. The forms of sale and purchase agreement are prescribed under the schedules of the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Regulations 1989. Both schedule G and schedule H are prescribed for sale and purchase agreement of sell-then-build property. The difference lies in the type of accommodation it is used for. Schedule G is prescribed for the sale and purchase of a housing accommodation together with the subdivisional portion of land, for example terrace houses, semi-detached houses, bungalow, etc. Whereas, schedule H is prescribed for the sale and purchase of a housing accommodation in a subdivided building in the form of a parcel of a building or land intended for subdivision into parcels, for example condominium, apartment, townhouses and/or landed strata property. In short, schedule G shall be adopted for property with DEVELOPER LICENSE AND ADVERTISING AND SALES separate individual title and schedule H shall be adopted for PERMIT property with strata title. All the housing developers are required to obtain their The salient terms of the sale and purchase agreement developer licence and advertising and sales permit before include: they can proceed to offer and sell properties. Furthermore, 1. Developer shall not further encumber the project all advertisements posted are required to state the land to finance the construction. stipulated key particulars of the housing development project as below: 2. Purchase price to be paid to the developer • housing developer’s licence number and validity progressively based on status of construction date; and in accordance to the stipulated schedule of payment. • the advertisement and sale permit number and validity date; 3. Property to be completed and delivered with • the name and address of the licensed housing certified completion and compliance (also known developer; as certificate of fitness) within: • the tenure of the land if the land is leasehold, • 24 months from the date of sale and purchase its expiry date, restriction in interest and agreement - Schedule G encumbrances, if any, to which the land is subject; • 36 months from the date of sale and purchase • the description of the housing development; agreement - Schedule H • any parking lot which is an accessory parcel to the Failing which, the developer shall be liable to pay housing accommodation in a parcel; the purchaser a late delivery interest calculated • the name of the housing development; from day to day at the rate of 10% per annum of the • the expected date of completion; purchase price. • the selling price of each type of housing 4. Developer shall be liable to make good any defect, accommodation; shrinkage or other faults in the property which are • where applicable, the minimum and maximum selling due to defective workmanship or material, within price of each type of housing accommodation; 24 months after the purchaser takes vacant • the number of units of each type available; and the possession of the property. To ensure there is name of the appropriate authority. fund available for defects rectification during the defect liability period, the final 2.5% of the purchase price shall be held by the solicitors as With the above, a potential buyer will have a clearer picture stakeholder. and better information in relation to the development project. 5. The relevant approved plans of the property, e.g. n West Malaysia, most property developers practice the “sell then build” model, whereby the developers offer the property for sale to public before completion or during the construction of the property. The sale and purchase of property under construction is regulated by the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 (“HDA”) if it is for housing accommodation or residential purpose. Apart from property solely for residential units, HDA also covers property with partly commercial features, e.g. shop-apartments and service apartments erected on lands prescribed for commercial use. On the other hand, sale and purchase of commercial property under construction is not regulated by the HDA, and it shall be governed by the contractual documentations entered between the purchaser and the developer. Many people are unaware of the existing legislation regarding housing developments and therefore their rights as a home buyer. In fact, the HDA offers several layers of protection to home buyers:



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floor plan, layout floor, site plan, etc., shall be attached to the sale and purchase agreement 6. The building specifications and materials used for construction of the property will also be set out in the sale and purchase agreement. In principle, no housing developer is allowed to vary the terms and conditions in the prescribed sale and purchase agreement unless such variance is pre-approved by the Controller of Housing. “BUILT THEN SELL” MODEL – PRESCRIBED SALE AND PURCHASE AGREEMENT As discussed above, most of the property developers practice the sell-then-build model. Nonetheless there are also several projects adopting the model of “built then sell”. This system can be used to better protect home buyers as it minimises the risk of being left with an unfinished house that is already paid for. In general there are two types of “built then sell” models, namely: 1. Where the developer builds and completes the property with certificate of completion and compliance before it is offered for sale. In this model, the purchaser is not required to make any payment before the property is completed; hence, this does not fall within the ambit of HDA. The terms of sale and purchase shall be governed by the contractual documentations entered between the purchaser and the developer. 2. The second model requires the buyers to pay a 10% deposit upon signing of the sale and purchase agreement and the balance 90% after the property is completed. This model involves a prepayment of 10% before completion of the property, and therefore is governed under HDA. The forms of sale and purchase agreement for the second built-then-sell model above are prescribed under schedule I and schedule J of the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Regulations 1989. Save for the payment mode, all terms and conditions in schedule I are similar to schedule G, and schedule J are similar to schedule H.

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT ACCOUNT Furthermore to the above, one of the most important features of HDA in protecting home buyers’ interest shall be implementation of housing development account (“HDA Account”), where every housing developer shall open and maintain a HDA Account for each housing development and all payment received by the developer from the sale in the housing development must be paid into the HDA Account. The developer shall not withdraw any money from the HDA Account except for the purpose of the housing development as authorised under the Housing Development (Housing Development Account) Regulations 1991. For example: • Payment of all outgoings including quit rent, rates, taxes, assessments and other charges levied in respect of the land on which the housing development is carried out; • Payment of stamp duty payable on a charge, caveat, debenture, guarantee or memorandum of deposit of title to secure any loan for the construction of housing accommodation in the housing development; • Payment of: (i) insurance premiums, and (ii) architect’s fees, engineer’s fees, quantity surveyor’s fees and consultant’s fees for the housing development; and • The cost of carrying out construction works, works related to infrastructure preparation as instructed by the appropriate authorities and other works relating to the housing development in proportion to the housing accommodations that have been approved under the licensed housing developer’s licence. With all the above mechanisms in place, home buyers’ interests are better assured and the possibilities of abandonment of housing development projects are significantly eliminated. ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR Chris Tan is the Founder and Managing Partner of Chur Associates, Advocates, & Solicitors. He is deeply involved in the real estate industry, and is now the honorary Legal Advisor for FIABCIAsia Pacific Regional Secretariat on regional concerns. | MAY 2015



Distinguish Between Good & Bad real estate agents

eal estate business has been flourishing for the last few years with many joining the trade to become Real Estate Agents (REA), or more legally known as Real Estate Negotiator (REN). In Malaysian market especially in the urban area, most transactions are facilitated by RENs or real estate agents. This can be seen with the overly dominating advertisement of property listings placed by the RENs and agents whether in print media or in digital media such as the internet. Thus, naturally, many property owners and purchasers would have different kinds of experience with the agents they have dealt with. Over our course of business dealings, we sometimes heard some bizarre stories that really bring shame to our trade by some unprofessional acts of our fellow tradesmen. Therefore, one may ask: how do we know whether an agent is a good agent before we engage his or her service? It may not be easy to tell but there are many ways to at least tell if an agent is a good one or bad.


transactions earning a commission due to the sales/purchase of real estate should be governed under the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act 198. They should be registered with the professional board that governs the real estate trade, namely the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Malaysia (BOVEA). If any of the socalled agents/RENs are not registered with the professional board, they are considered illegal agents. In 2013, BOVEA has made also it compulsory that all RENs should attend a certification course and are issued with a REN identification tag before conducting any real estate business. It is against the law if they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. Clients who deal with them can ask for the REN tag to identify them and ensure they are qualified at least legally. Illegal agency work can lead to many unforeseen and unfortunate losses or disputes as these people are not properly trained and thought their conduct of business is just another business service but in actual fact is a regulated trade.

LEGAL STATUS OF THE AGENTS/ NEGOTIATORS Firstly and most importantly, all real estate clients should be aware that any person that deals with property

ETHICS Real estate business is a rather unique business as it normally involves a high value and substantial interest for persons who purchase or sell their


property. Thus, the stakes are high for the clients as well as for the agents/ negotiators who earn commission out the clients. At the same time, real estate dealings for clients generally are not repetitive as not many people buy or sell their property every year and some only buy their house once in a lifetime. Thus, many times real estate dealings become a one-time-off business dealing and some hit-and-run agents/ RENs roam around in the market lurking for their prey. Unethical practices of agents are no longer rare stories, ranging from manipulation to near act of cheating of clients just for the sake of earning extra commission from their clients. Just talk to any friendlier agents/RENs and he or she would be able to tell you some tricks that is commonly used by those unethical fellows such as telling vendors there is a bigger offer coming in, when in actual fact there is none, just to hold onto the listings; or telling the client that they may have accepted a lower-than-market offer as the offer came from their competitor, hoping the vendor would turn down the offer. Those tricks are some common moves from bad agents/RENs. Good agents/RENs are consistently guided by ethical values and stay in the market for a long time enjoying

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“Good agents/negotiators always offer solutions to their clients whether in decision of sale, purchase or tenancy cases while the salesoriented agents/negotiators only want to close the deal disregard the needs of client.

trustworthy relationship with their clients. REPRESENT CLIENT’S INTEREST In Malaysia an REA/REN is engaged by the vendor, and the vendor is the one that pays the sales commission. However, not all agents serve the vendors or at least represent their interest. Some agents serve the interest of purchasers/tenants first and at worst serve their own selves! Good agents should know who they are representing. Otherwise you should never engage their service. Although the role of agents is to close the deal, eventually he or she should know who their clients are. KNOWLEDGE OF AGENTS Real estate agency works seems easy but I can certainly swear that this is hard work for many reasons as deals are not closed on a regular basis, commission is paid only on successful closing of deal and agents are not compensated for many other deals that are not concluded. Real estate work is a professional work that encompasses many areas from the market knowledge, some form of legal knowledge, along with sales and financing. Just imagine, an illadvised pricing of the property listing may cause the listing selling too low from the market price, or when priced

too high it attracts only few potential enquiries from the market resulting the property to be unsalable. Thus a knowledgeable agent would be able to advise the client to the best of his or her ability to transact a property listing. Thus, it is a good move that the governing professional board BOVEA imposes a mandatory rule that all RENs should attend a certification course on real estate before conducting their business. GOOD SALESPERSON VERSUS GOOD ESTATE AGENT/NEGOTIATOR In this business we have seen some very productive agents closing many deals by pushing it through, and some good agents advising clients professionally and still closing many deals. The former always look for new clients while the latter always end up with more clients by retaining regular and keep growing new client base. Good agents/negotiators always offer solutions to their clients whether in decision of sale, purchase or tenancy cases while the sales-oriented agents/negotiators only want to close the deal disregard the needs of client. LEVEL OF COMMITMENT Being committed is one of the prerequisite of a good agent/ negotiator. For the last few years,

while the market was still hot, many entered the real estate trade trying their luck to earn a so-called easy big commission but a large proportion of them were unable to commit themselves full time thinking the business can be conducted on a part time basis. Most part timers failed to sustain as they are unable to compete with the highly committed and competitive agents/negotiators. Real estate is a full time professional work and if anyone tells you that they have a day job while moonlighting part time as agents, they are showing lack of commitment to their client and business. In conclusion, clients always look for the best available service provided by good agents/negotiators but unfortunately sometimes luck is not with them. I hope at least with the few pointers provided, real estate clients can look forward to happy dealings in their real estate deals.

About the contributor Kit Au-Yong is from LaurelCap Sdn Bhd, a property valuation, consultancy, auction, real estate and property management firm with HQ in KL and a branch in East Malaysia. | MAY 2015

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ave you ever driven to a new place you found to be ‘far,’ yet on the way back using the same route, you feel the distance seemed nearer and the duration seemed shorter? I get this feeling all the time. Yes, let us talk about distance, duration and objectivity in buying a property. The focus would be more on own stay instead of investment even though after buying for your own stay, that home will be a great investment in your life many years later. A close friend from Penang visited me in Kuala Lumpur not too long ago. After her shopping spree in the city centre, she followed me home. The distance was 22km away. We left at 5:45 p.m. and arrive at 6:30 p.m., a total of 45 minutes. The journey was mostly smooth even if the traffic was slow on certain stretches.



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When we arrived, she said, “It’s so far!” I reminded her that in Penang, even though her home to office is just 5km, she took over 30 minutes, and during traffic jams she would have easily taken 45 minutes to reach home. Have you ever wondered why she thought it’s far even though in terms of actual duration, it’s not a huge difference? Yes, it’s just familiarity. When you are driving home and you see a certain mall to your right, even if the distance is still many kilometres away, you would note that you are nearer to your home already. Then you see that petrol station, and even if the distance is still many kilometres away, you know you are nearer to your home. These give your heart a warm feeling that you are nearer to home. What is the important fact about familiarity? We can get used to it. Think a little further and you would

understand why once you move to a new area, even if it was just your second or even third choice, you may get used to it after some time. In fact, once you got used to it, you may adapt to it and like it. This is especially so in bigger cities, where the infrastructure is always improving. A new mall may be built just minutes away from your home and suddenly you felt that you have made the right choice. Always remember, Malaysia is still a growing country. A friend told me that his friend was laughed at after booking a terrace house in Puchong for RM250,000 many years ago. Today, I am not sure who should be the one to be laughed at. Getting used to a property gives us another important revelation. If we have budget concerns, why not explore further. Yes, literally further. What if we can actually afford a

“When we buy, we should think duration first, distance second. Distance is great, there is no doubt, but duration gives you more value because as at today, the further you buy, the lower the price.

RM1 million home? In today’s Greater KL property market, RM1 million does not get you that much nearer and bigger home that you may need for your growing family. The reason is simple: For hotter areas, the demand would always far outstrips the supply. Thus, the prices are pushed upwards and only the really rich can afford them a few years down the road. Open your options a little further. Malaysia is definitely not as affordable as you think, not yet anyway. In fact, the further away the location, the bigger the property that we can afford, too. Fancy terrace houses for less than RM700,000? Think Shah Alam and forget Mont Kiara or Desa Parkcity. You have budget concerns and wanted one landed property for less than RM600,000? Sungai Buloh is an alternative. Still have budget concerns but just could not accept a high-rise? Rawang has many landed ones which are below RM450,000 even today. Note though that none of these options are new units. Reminder: familiarity can be built and after some time you will get used to it. Since this is the case, does it mean the further away the better? After all, we would get used to it after some time. The answer is no. My personal acceptance level is 25km at maximum, for now, without MRT. Even with MRT, I still intend to drive for most of my

working days. As an example, driving 25km at 50km per hour on average means that I will arrive at my working place in around 30 minutes. This is acceptable to me. Should I include in the traffic jams? If I seriously intend to drive within the jam periods everyday, then yes. However, for those places with huge jams, look around and chances are you may find some MRT stations nearby. MRT allows you to have that slightly more option in case you chose not to drive. That’s next year though. Since I can accept 25km, why not 30km? The reason for 25km is because the choices are still plenty and the prices are still reasonable and nowhere near those prices that both you and I may think only the crazy and rich ones would buy. One day, I may have to increase the 25km limit to 30km. What about areas where the distance is just less than 10km away from the city centre? Surely there are some properties still worth buying? As the distance is just 10km, during days where there are no jams, we can reach the city centre in less than 10 minutes. Yes, I do know of terrace houses which are quite old, on leasehold and may need some renovations but it is less than RM300,000! Go online. Iproperty, PropertyGuru and Propwall would enable you to know where these properties are. Find a day, take leave and drive to the area. Get to know how bad the jam could be. Decide if you can accept it. Do not regret later. Check out its surroundings. If it is acceptable to you, take it. There is no need to ask whether is it gated or guarded, the answer is a clear no. I bought my condo in Kelana Jaya many years ago, when the jam condition along the LDP was better than today. It’s around 18km away from city centre. On a good day, if I start my journey at 6:10 a.m., I can arrive in the gym nearby my office in

18 minutes. After it had more than doubled in price, I sold it and moved to a high-rise in Damansara Damai which many consider as ‘very far’. In distance, it is actually 22km away from city centre. I still leave my home at 6:10 a.m. and, in terms of actual duration, while it is slightly farther to my office but from office back to home, it is usually faster. I have many friends who stay in Cheras, which is really very near to the city centre; ask them if they leave office at 5:45 p.m. and if they would be able to reach home fast enough, and they would smile at you. Answer is a no. Oh yeah, also, on normal days I get to play with my toddler by 6:30 p.m. and on a monthly basis, my mortgage payment per month is very acceptable and my wife loves the huge park and swimming pool on the 1st floor. When we buy, we should think duration first, distance second. Distance is great, there is no doubt, but duration gives you more value because as at today, the further you buy, the lower the price. Yet this is not for every single property though. The question is just how you balance the two. Of course, today, when we buy, future MRT stations should also form part of the main considerations. It allows the duration of travel to become a certainty for most of the time. Objectively though, there is no need to pay through your nose just to be right next to one. There are enough MRT stations so that you can still consider the ones slightly further away. Yes, distance matters but duration may be key to your affordability. Happy deciding!

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR Charles Tan is the founder and principal writer of, where he blogs about his personal views about the property market. He is also a regular contributor to some property related publications in Malaysia. | MAY 2015





ou don’t make money just by owning properties. Management and business acumen also need to be applied. In business world, success is about REAL money. It is about the size of your profit margins and the amount of money you are actually making. ‘Potential’ is superb, ‘future anticipated profits’ are wonderful, ‘equity’ is fabulous – but try paying your bills with equity or potential. You’ll come to a cruel realisation because most people want to be paid in real money, not paper money. Successful property investment is about ensuring assets remains assets, and that they generate positive cash flow for you. Properties will be liabilities when they need money to be maintained and when you cannot rent them out at the rental rate that keeps you afloat. In other words, they provide you with negative cash flow. Contrary to what some of the property gurus out there tell you, if you are bleeding cash, get out of it. No matter how rosy the future potential or the so-called upside of the property investment, if you have to fork out money for it, you are just playing the game of breaking even. What kind of upside we are talking about? Choosing the right properties will ensure assets do not become liabilities. Of course, careful asset management will also mitigate the risk of it. Owning lots of property for the sake of owning lots of property is just vanity. Smart property asset management is the key to success, and you don’t need to own loads of properties to be financially free. The key is what you do with what you’ve got – even just a few well-selected properties 78

MAY 2015 |

that are carefully managed can produce an income way beyond many people’s day job. I just had lunch with one seasoned investor who only owns seven commercial properties but the rental he is collecting every month is close to RM400,000 a month. That figure might be a bit too much for us ordinary investors to relate to, but I just want to bring you all back to the point: number of properties you own really does not matter. It is what it brings you that matters. You could own ten medium-cost apartments which some give you positive cash flow and some give you negative cash flow, and at the end it equals out. With the time and effort you spent on managing it, is it worth your while? Success comes from selecting the right assets and managing them effectively to ensure you can maximise your investment. Assets need to be sweated out, loan arrangements need to be planned, and any potentials need to be looked for in every inch of the deal. Owning a lot of properties does not always equate making lots of money, but time spent actively and effectively managing portfolio will reap rewards. So focus your efforts on managing and making the most of what you’ve got, because that is the bottom line of business success, not how big your portfolio is. ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR KK Chua is the publisher of Property Insight magazine. He is also a registered real estate agent and an investor with more than 10 years of experience in the industry. He can be contacted at Just scan and enjoy advantages in property investing.

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Property Insight May 2015  

Property Insight is a monthly property investing magazine.

Property Insight May 2015  

Property Insight is a monthly property investing magazine.