Archive for the ‘Penang Mega Project’ Category

The Development of Batu Kawan and its land price trends

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Batu Kawan is on the national attention following the official opening of the Second Penang Bridge by the Malaysian Prime Minister on 1st March 2014. It is officially known as Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge.blog.intproperties.com have gathered relevant information and researched the chronological events on the development of Batu Kawan to track its past pricing trends of land transactions from the time Batu Kawan Island was acquired to the present time of the completion and opening of Second Penang Bridge.(Map of Second Penang Bridge).

second-penang-bridge-011

second-penang-bridge-011

Background Information

Batu Kawan used to be an oil palm estate previously owned by Batu Kawan Berhad (BKB). On 8th February 1991, the Penang state government has gazetted Batu Kawan Estate under section 8 of the land acquisition act 1960.

In 1992, the entire 5,260 acre Batu Kawan was acquired by Penang State Government through the Land Office Administrator of South Seberang Perai District for a sum of RM53,197,974 or RM8,167 per acre awarded as compensation.

BKB filed the case to the Penang High Court and the judge reviewed the land acquisition and increased the award of compensation to RM15,000.00 per acre (RM15,000 X 5,260 acres = RM78,900,000.00) on 9th October 1995.

Not satisfied with the compensation, BKB pursued the matter to the Court of Appeal but was dismissed on 22th Sept 1997.

Subsequently, BKB took the matter up to the Federal Court seeking higher compensation of RM40,000 per acre but was dismissed by Federal Court on 11th September 2001. BKB exhausted all the legal means which took them 9 years and finally settled with the compensation of RM15,000.00 per acre(Analysed to RM0.34 psf). The Federal Court judge held that the revised compensation of RM15,000.00 as at that time in 1992 is the “Adequate compensation” on the premise that the land is an agricultural estate land with remote potentiality for any development.

Past Events and Transactions

In Feb 1996, BKB set up a joint venture vehicle with a 60%-owned joint venture company, Padova Corporation Sdn Bhd (“Padova”), with the Penang Development Corporation (“PDC”) whereby Padova has entered into a Land Purchase Agreement with the PDC.

Under this Agreement, Padova was to purchase from PDC 740 acres of former estate land on Batu Kawan Island for a sum of RM50 million for property development(analysed to RM1.55 psf). The land was part of the Company’s Batu Kawan Estate, which was compulsorily acquired by the State Government in 1992 and a sum of RM40 million has been paid to PDC under the Agreement. However, due to economic downturn, the plans for property development in the area were reviewed while the Land Purchase Agreement has been terminated.

On 9th May 2002, Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd (ANSB) submitted tender for Penang Turf Club’s relocation and sale of Batu Gantung land. ANSB proposed to build a new race-course for the Penang Turf Club at a 250-acre site at Batu Kawan. On 25th November 2002 – Turf Club EGM approved sale of Turf Club land in Batu Gantung and proposed acquisition of Batu Kawan site for relocation of Penang Turf Club.

On 16th Jan 2004 – PDC entered into a Principle agreement to sell several parcels of land in Batu Kawan, totaling 750 acres to ANSB. The development was planned in six different phases, each divided into Parcels 1, 2A, 2B 3A, 3B and 4 respectively of which mixed development projects were planned on Parcels 1, 2A, 2B 3A, and 3B measuring 450 acres in total. The development of Parcel 4 was confined to the development of a Penang International Equesterian Centre (PIEC) measuring approximately 300 acres. The purchase consideration for Parcel 4 was reported as RM46 million (analysed to RM3.52 psf).

On 8th March 2008, The DAP-led Pakatan Rakyat took over the Penang State Government administration.

In September 2008, CM Lim Guan Eng and 52-member delegation went to Korea for its first oversea trade investment mission. After the trip, it was widely reported that an MOU between PDC and Korean Group DK ENC has been signed to build a US$ 100 million (RM350 million)golf course in Batu Kawan. However, the deal fizzled out after a memorandum of understanding (MoU)on the project,signed between PDC and South Korean-based DK ENC Company Ltd lapsed.

batu kawan golf course

batu kawan golf course

In year 2009/2010, land acquisition process began on private lands in the Batu Kawan locality affected by the Second Penang Bridge alignment and road linkages to North South Highway and were awarded compensation at a rate of RM8-10 psf.

On 5th April 2011, CM Lim Guan Eng announced the sale of Batu Kawan Land TO ABAD NALURI SDN BHD(ANSB) after a re-negotiation process with ANSB since 2008 to proceed with the development of the remaining parcels since the S&P Agreements for Parcels 2B, 3A and 3B were yet to be signed. After serious negotiations and discussions between both parties, a decision was finally made and agreed upon by both parties in early 2011.

It was reported that the change in the development of Parcel 4 from the PIEC to the proposed mixed development has benefited PDC by enhancing the value of the land from RM3.05 psf to RM4.77 psf amounting to an increased value of RM22,500,000.00.(Approximately 56% increase in value of the land)- Click here for more info.

On 27th June 2011, CM Lim Guan Eng held a press conference and announced that an industrial park catering for SME with 150 acres will be established at the Batu Kawan Industrial Park(1,600 acres) and 67 acres acres for SMEs opened for sale as backbone for solar and renewable energy industries. The current sales price of SME industrial land in Batu Kawan Industrial Park is priced at RM30 psf.

batu kawan industrial park

batu kawan industrial park

On 23rd August 2011, CM Lim Guan Eng unveiled that PDC has allocated 200 acre site in Batu Kawan for the proposed Mega housing project of which at least 7,300 affordable housing units will be built over a period of 5-7 years at a density of 55 units per-acre.

mega housing at batu kawan

mega housing at batu kawan

On 16th February 2012-Ground breaking ceremony for HDB designed affordable homes was held at Bandar Cassia, Batu Kawan- Video.

On 29th February 2012, a signing ceremony was held between Robert Bosch with PDC for the purchase of a parcel of industrial land for RM58 million. 20% of the purchase price has been paid in December 2011. The land is estimated to be 35.2 or 87 acres(Analysed to RM15.30 psf).

In September 2012, Equine Capital Bhd, the controlling company of ANSB, changed its name to Global Oriental(GOB). GOB still has a remaining 350 acres of leasehold land in Bandar Cassia, Batu Kawan.

On 10th October 2012, Malton Berhad announced that Silver Setup Sdn Bhd (”SSSB”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malton, had entered into a Joint Development Agreement (“JDA”) with Batu Kawan Development Sdn Bhd (formerly known as Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd) (”BKDSB”) for the proposed joint development of a piece of land situated at Batu Kawan, Mukim 13, Seberang Perai Selatan, Pulau Pinang (“Land”), measuring approximately 300 acres (“Joint Venture”).

The proposed development under the JDA is expected to comprise mixed commercial and residential development (“Proposed Development”). Based on the preliminary plans, the gross development value of the Proposed Development is estimated to be RM3.8 billion.

The Proposed Development is expected to be carried out and completed in phases over 10 years from the date of issuance of the title of the Land, subject to extension as may be approved by the PDC.

Details of the Joint Venture Entitlements under the Proposed Development :-

BKDSB’s entitlement under the JDA is 18% of the Gross Development Value of the Proposed Development, subject to not less than RM300 million, which represents the minimum return expected by BKDSB from the Joint Venture. Whilst SSSB shall be entitled to the remaining 82% of the Gross Development Value of the Proposed Development. Under the JDA, SSSB is solely responsible to meet the costs of the Proposed Development. Upon signing of the JDA, SSSB has paid a sum of RM20 million as deposit to BKDSB as part of BKDSB’s entitlement under the JDA (“Deposit”).

On 28th March 2013, after slightly more than a year, Media reported that Bosch Solar Energy Malaysia Sdn Bhd has decided to shelve its plan to invest RM2.2 billion in a new mono-crystalline solar cell plant at Batu Kawan Industrial Park although a sales and purchase agreement had been signed between Bosch and PDC in December 2011 for a 35.2ha of land in Batu Kawan to build the plant, citing circumstances did not allow Bosch to proceed with the project.More on Bosch pull out.


In August 2013, PDC called for a request for proposal (RFP) for an international theme park and golf resort (with a minimum 18 holes). The RFP is for the purchase and lease of a total 685 acres of land – 215 acres for the theme park (west of Batu Kawan) and 470 acres for the golf resort (north of Batu Kawan). Both projects are required to be completed within four years from the date of agreement. The entire development must be fully completed in 10 years. No new announcement on the outcome of this RFP yet.

On 12th October 2013, PDC signed a purchase and development agreement for the construction of a premium retail outlet in Bandar Cassia,Batu Kawan. The agreement, signed between PDC and developer PE Land Sdn Bhd, will see the nation’s second premium outlet after the Johor Premium Outlet. The premium outlet, costing about RM200mil, will be built on a plot of 16ha (39.54 acres) land that will also include a 300-room international-class hotel, cafes and food and beverage outlets, a landscaped garden as well as residential units. It was reported that the Payment for the land premium of RM65.34mil would be within three months.(Analysed to RM37.94 psf).

On 10th January 2014 – CM Lim Guan Eng announced IKEA’s Entry Into Batu Kawan with the sale of 245 acres of land for the purpose of development of an integrated shopping mall, anchored by an IKEA store to be developed by Ikano Pte Ltd, and mixed development of offices and residences to be developed jointly by Aspen-Ikano (a joint venture company to be formed by Aspen Vision Land Sdn Bhd and Ikano Pte Ltd).  The 245 acres development in Batu Kawan will include: 30 acres for the development of IKEA Store and phase 1 of the Shopping Mall 45 acres for the development of phase 2 of the Shopping Mall; and 170 acres for mixed development purposes (Remaining Parcels) The total land cost for the project is RM 483,951,600 and payment is to be made within 60 months from the date of Agreement. A RM 5 million non-refundable deposit has also being paid to PDC.

Off all the land dealings in Batu Kawan, this is considered as the landmark transaction of year 2014 which analysed to RM45.34 psf with payment terms of up to 5 years.

The last one year also witnessed several big players joining the bandwagon of acquiring lands in southern Seberang Perai in anticipation of the improved infrastructure networks with enhanced accessibility following the completion of Second Penang Bridge. Several reported land acquisition by established developers are :-

MAH Sing Group Bhd bought about 76.38 acres of freehold land in Jawi, Southern mainland Penang for RM42.59 million It was reported that the land was acquired at RM12.80 psf in December 2013 with payment terms within 18 months.

Another developer , Tambun Indah (TILB) acquired additional 21 acres freehold land at Pearl City of Bandar Tasek Mutiara.This came after the acquisition of a 24.1 acre land parcel also in the township a month earlier.The purchase consideration of MR12.7m translates into a land cost of MR14.00 psf, similar to the earlier transaction. Tambun Indah has an accumulated land bank of about 550 acres of Pearl City of Bandar Tasek Mutiara

IJM Land has also acquired 70 acres of land in Jawi, Southern mainland Penang for RM56 million (Analysed to RM18.50 psf ) in July 2013.

According to RHB Research, EcoWorld also bought about 60 acres of land located at the junction of Jalan Paboi and the old Simpang Ampat federal route, near Simpang Ampat, Southern Seberang Perai at over RM30 psf.

After a span of 22 years, Batu Kawan is poised for higher intensity of development with the recent opening of the Second Penang Bridge. There is no doubt that the construction of RM4.5 Bil Second Penang Bridge since 2008 have accelerated the development of Batu Kawan as evidenced by increased investments and land transactions over the past one year. Improved road networks and accessibility has significant impact on its land usability.Its zoning use from that of pure agricultural land in 1990’s has gradually maturing into lands with potential and suitable for housing and industrial use and likely to scale up to higher economic land usage such as commercial and mixed development township. So as its land prices which have surged significantly in recent years in tandem with the change of land usability, zoning and enhanced accessibility.

For more information and advisory on Penang property matters, please visit our website at www.intproperties.com or email to tan@intproperties dot com.

Updates :

On 25th March 2014, Property developer Paramount Corp Bhd (PCB) signed an agreement with PDC to purchase 12.14ha ( about 30 acres)  of freehold land in Batu Kawan for a total of RM65.56 million to develop a university metropolis. It was reported the land cost for the 10 acres of land for education use ie. for development of KDU University College is RM40.50 psf whilst the land cost for the remaining 20 acres earmarked for integrated development is RM55.00 psf.

Under the agreement, PCB is required to commence and complete the development of the education component within 5 years whilst the integrated development is targeted for completion within 10 years from the agreement date.

Penang Property Guide : Is it better to buy or rent ?

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

Many consider property, be it a landed home or stratified condominium unit, is a big ticket item which involves high capital and long term commitment, so the question of whether is it better to buy or rent is very much depends on one’s financial affordability and needs. www.intproperties.com looks into the advantages of owning a home versus renting.

Advantages of home ownership

i) Provide stability and certainty of stay for your family;
ii) Benefit of security and pride of home ownership;
iii) Freedom on choices of usage ie. for self-occupation or weekend second home or rent out;
iv) Built equity of your own home. Instead of paying rental monthly, you make repayments to the banks and gradually building up your home equity and ultimately owning the property after you redeem the property.
v) Hedge against inflation. Owing to the scarcity of landbank earmarked for new developments and growing population, demand for quality and affordable housing in established areas in Penang remains high which leads to higher home prices. In addition, the cost to build new housing stock continues to rise due to inflationary factor.
vi) Tax relief. Malaysians are eligible for tax relief of up to RM10,000.00 a year on loan interest payment to finance the purchase of property for three consecutive years subject to conditions that it is limited to one residential home for own occupation( not for rental) and the sale and purchase agreement is signed between March 10 2009 and December 31 2010. Besides, the government has further relaxed the EPF housing withdrawal guidelines beginning of January this year to encourage more Malaysians home seekers to own houses.

Advantages of renting

i)a cheaper and affordable way (less upfront costs) as you only need to come out with deposit payments equivalent to 3 months rental of which the security and utility deposits are refundable;
ii) Faster move in time unlike property purchase which takes 3-4 months to complete the deal and hand over the property.
iii) option of choosing length of stay according to tenant’s need ie. monthly or yearly tenancy ;
iv) No need to bear documentation costs such as legal fees for preparation of sale and purchase agreement and loan documents and stamping charges in connection with home ownership transfer and yearly taxes like assessment rates and quit rent.
v) No need to bear maintenance charges and structural repair costs either as these costs are also to be borne by the landlord.
vi) flexible of being relocated without having to worry about the empty home!

Recommended blogs on the advantages and disadvantages of Buying versus Renting, go to Renting vs Buying a home or Buying vs. Renting.

Whether renting is better than buying depends on many factors, including how fast prices rise and how long you will stay in your home. And now there is a new method rent-buy interactive calculator to compare the costs of buying and renting equivalent homes.

The methodology of the calculator keeps a running tally of the most common expenses of owning and renting. It also takes into account something known as lost opportunity costs — for example, the return you could have earned by investing your money instead of spending it on a down payment. The calculator assumes that the profit you would have made in your investments would be taxed as long-term capital gains and adjusts the bottom line accordingly. The calculator tabulates lost opportunity costs for all parts of the buying and renting scenarios.

This rent-buy interactive calculator allows home seekers to do their own comparisons on renting versus buying whereby you can i)  adjust the annual home price change and annual rental rates according to local market conditions  and ii) change inputs or variables such as your rate of return on investments, condo/common fees and your tax bracket to find out whether the buying is better than renting or otherwise!

Whilst no one can accurately predict the future pricing/rental trend of the houses in a particular area, however, analysis to find out average house price index or its trends based on the past historical housing data of say past 10 years or 15 years or 20 years of a similar class of property in a specific housing area can be quantified.

In Malaysia, information on property pricing trends and rental movements, current and future supply and take up rates of various sub-sector of Malaysia property market can be obtained from the annual publication of Malaysia Property Market Report published by Department of Valuation and Property Services (JPPH) and NAPIC quarterly reports. Find out more at 6 websites that property investors need to know in Malaysia. It would be good that a similar calculator can be generated in Malaysia using our very own housing data.

Views of new completed housing schemes in mainland Penang

Villa Cendana 2 ( Cendana Permai) at Juru

Dedaun - another housing scheme by PDC at Batu Kawan

How to increase your home value through smart renovations

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

Many house owners have the tendency to renovate their new homes exceeding their original budget. It is common to see that house purchasers of newly completed schemes in Penang are “competing” each others in home renovations. Some common renovations visible in Penang’s new residential areas are demolition of front car porch and replaced with a bigger car porch to accommodate two or more cars, hacking down the entire front terrace and facade (without balcony) and replaced with a much bigger car porch incorporating a balcony, extending the rear portion of the house to accommodate a larger kitchen etc.

We have seen house owners carried out major renovations to their houses to the extent that the renovation costs exceeding the purchase price of the house.

Renovations do not always translate to an increase in the value of your home. However, if you’re planning to sell sometime in the future and want to ensure you get the most ROI (Rate of Return), it is important to assess the value renovation. Below are several ways to optimise the cost-value ratio and achieve maximum ROI for your renovations;

a) Avoid renovations with too much customization of personal liking and taste.

If the major renovations and home improvements are customized design to suit to personal liking and lifestyle which is not commonly acceptable in the marketplace sometime in the future, you may not get much of a return when you sell as potential buyers may find these renovations are not value-added renovations but rather owner’s own personal indulgence and lifestyle. Potential buyers may also view it as a liability because he may have to spend more money to change or renovate again.

When choosing tiles, countertops, paint, cabinet doors, kitchen appliances and awnings, go with colors that will stand the test of time even as fashions come and go. Conventional or classic home designs are still the ideal for home renovations because such designs never go out of style and will always attract buyers when you are ready to sell your home.

b) Retain the essence of the original design ambience

Avoid excessive renovations such as changing the structure of house from the original two storey house to become a three storey house or demolition of a front porch and facade and replaced with a totally new design super large car porch with a balcony. Such major renovations could have materially changed the external facade of the house and may render the house no longer blend in with the design ambience of the neighbourhood and this may affect the saleability of the house.

c) Summit proper building plan for new extensions

Check with the building department of the local council MPPP or MPSP and obtain a copy of building  approval guidelines. Engage a licensed draftsman or architect to ensure that the extensions are in compliance with the building guidelines by the local authorities.

A property valuer, when assessing the market value of a house, will give due consideration and only accord full value computation for properly constructed extensions with valid approvals.

d) Value-neutral or value-added renovations

Ascertain whether the renovations to be carried are value-neutral or value-added renovations. Upgrading cement floor with homogenous floor tiles, modernizing a kitchen or upgrading the kitchen into wet and dry cooking area, improving home security system are regarded as value-added renovations whilst demolition of front terrace and house facade and rebuilt it with a large balcony, adding a swimming pool or building a sauna or long bath,  reducing the number of bedrooms to less than three are considered value-neutral renovations.

List down your options before embarking on home renovations. For house buyer who prefers house design with large car porch and balcony, it is wise to compare and weight the option which is more worthwhile and cost effective ? to buy a landed house without a balcony and later renovate it or to look for house design that comes with large car porch and balcony ?.

House Design : 2-storey terraced houses without balcony

Another House Design : 2-storey terraced houses with large car porch and balcony

For more tips on home renovations, go to Renovation quotation.

Very often when house owner decides to sell off his house, they tend to overprice their properties as they calculate their asking price by factor in all the costs incurred during and after acquisition of the house ie. purchase price plus all incidental costs such as payment of legal fees and stamping charges plus  renovations costs, bank interest charges incurred plus exit fees or penalty charges for termination of loan agreement within the lock-in period (if any).

The true fact is that total cost spent on the particular house is NOT necessarily equate to the market price of the house. In an active and uptrend market, house prices tend to go up higher than the total acquisition costs. Conversely, in a weak or depressed market, house prices may go down and fall below the total acquisition costs of the house. The market price of the house is very much influenced by the prevailing economy conditions and market sentiments and more specifically relates to the demand and supply of similar houses in the local area.

For advisory on property investments in Penang and Kuala Lumpur, email to us at Izrin & Tan Properties Sdn. Bhd or call us at +604 6588333 (Penang Office) or +603 92839782 (Kuala Lumpur Office) and we would be pleased to assist.

6 strategies to succeed in Penang property investment

Monday, April 27th, 2009

The current downturn in Malaysia property market provides good buying opportunities for property investors. Here are several strategies for property investors who are keen to invest in Penang Properties.

1) Determine your strategy

Before you venture into property investment, you should determine your purchasing strategy and evaluate whether it meets your income and growth expectations. For example, if you want a steady passive rental return, consider apartments and condominiums in areas close to major industrial parks, commercial centers, university, hospitals, where there is sure to be a constant supply of renters.

Conversely, if your investment strategy is to buy and hold a property so you can build equity for a capital gain, landed homes at Penang Island may offer steady capital growth and sustainability in the long term due to limited supply of land bank or escalating land cost for landed homes.

2) Avoid investment pitfalls

Like any other investments, property investment is often associated with risks and pitfalls that prudent investor would want to avoid. Learn more on 10 Most common mistakes made by first time investors.

3) Select the right location

According to the old real estate saying, “The only three things that matter in real estate are “location, location and location”. The property needs to be in a good location close to schools, shops, transportation centre and recreational facilities. The fact that a posh bungalow that is sitting next to a garbage dump has very low desirability factor and fetch poor value. Conversely, a sea-front condominium unit within the heart of the city or along the Gurney Drive promenade will have high desirability factor and therefore constantly attracting potential tenants and investors.

4) Buy property with positive equity

Buy property from motivated sellers, buy auction property at public auctions or buy bargain property that can bring you positive equity. Due to the imperfection of the property market, there are times when sellers are motivated or must sell at all costs urgently at below market price. In a slowdown market, property sellers are more realistic in their asking prices and receptive to offers by interested buyers.

5) Look for a catalyst

One sign that an area is up-and-coming and has potential to be a new vibrant growth center in the future is the development of new critical infrastructure projects such as construction of Second Penang Bridge and the expansion of Penang International Airport and other NCER projects which when completed, would spur more investments and developments to the Batu Maung/Bayan Baharu areas of Southern Penang Island as well as Batu Kawan of Southern mainland Penang. The completion of Jelutong Coastal Highway and Buterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR) have indeed transformed its corridor areas into new property hotspots with many new housing schemes mushrooming along these highways.

When you see new highways, roads, schools, hotels and major shopping centers being built, it’s a sign that the community is set for a vibrant growth.

6) Capitalise on tax relief / incentives provided by SSP

Residential purchasers can take advantage of the tax relief on interest paid on housing loans up to RM10,000 a year for 3 years between March 10, 2009, and Dec 31, 2010 under the recently announced Second Stimulus Package (SPP) Mini Budget 2009.

Whilst for business owners, it is a good time to renovate and refurbish your commercial premises as expenditure incurred on renovation and refurbishment between 10 March 2009 and 31 December 2010 will be given Accelerated Capital Allowance, which can be claimed within 2 years. The Allowance is capped at RM100,000.

There is also no capital gains tax when you dispose off your investment property as the Malaysian Government has abolished Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) since 1/4/2007.

For more related articles on strategies in property investments, I like the following FREE web blogs of Milan Doshi and Bill Zheng, learn more :- Do properties Make the “Prefect” Investment? ; Part I and Part II By Milan Doshi and A straightforward guide to property investment strategies By Bill Zheng.

View of high rise buildings near Gurney Drive as seen from the playground of CRC.

For advisory on property investments in Penang and Kuala Lumpur, email to us at Izrin & Tan Properties Sdn. Bhd or call us at +604 6588333 (Penang Office) or +603 92839782 (Kuala Lumpur Office) and we would be pleased to assist.

How to refinance your home loans smartly

Friday, February 20th, 2009

As competition is heating up amongst the commercial banks for banking on home loans, more new home loan promotions and competitive refinancing packages are available in the market to entice homeowners to refinance their existing loans. Following the latest cut of interest rates by Malaysia’s central bank, most commercial banks have already revised their base lending rates (BLR) from 6.75% to 5.75-6.0%. Update : The Malaysia’s central bank has cut interest rate again on 24th Feb 2009, BLRs of commercial banks have further revised lower to 5.55% - 5.60%. With interest rates trending lower, it is a good time to review, restructure and refinance your existing loans. There are several good reasons that home owners would benefit from switching their loans to a new loan with lower interest rates;

1. Lower your monthly installment payment
2. Debt Consolidation
3. Using the Existing Equity in the Home
4. Shorten the term of your home loan
5. Combine a first and second mortgage
6. Reduce the interest you pay over the life of the loan
7. Switch from conventional housing loan with variable rate to a fixed rate loan or Islamic loan (or vice versa)
8. Eliminate MRTA mortgage insurance

Before opting to refinance, it is important for home owners and property investors to consider the savings or benefits of refinancing vis-a –vis the costs of refinancing. Do your own break-even analysis between long term savings and refinancing costs to determine whether the savings really outweigh the costs of  refinancing or otherwise. More at Making sense of mortgage refinancing and Should I refinance now ?.

However, there are circumstances whereby refinancing might not give you the maximum savings such as when you have short remaining years to retire your loan etc Refer why say no to refinancing.

For Malaysia home owner as well as property investors who are uncertain of holding the property for long term or you have plans to sell off the property in the near term, not all refinancing packages will provide you the best refinancing benefits. Refinancing packages with features of “Zero-Entry Cost” or “Zero-Moving Cost” may not necessarily the best option, depending on your financial needs. Under such packages, although you are not required to pay any processing fee, legal fees, stamp duty, valuation fees upfront, the loans are subject to higher interest rates and imposition of exit fees or early redemption penalty up to 5% of the loan amount (vary from bank to bank) in the event that you choose to redeem your loan within the lock-in period of 5 years. Example if a house owner has to redeem his loan of RM200,000.00 within the lock-in period, he has to pay 5% of exit fees ie RM10,000.00!!!

We have come across property sellers who were stuck with loans with lock-in period and only realised that if they decide to take up a good deal offered by interested buyer, they have to pay the exit fees for redeeming the loan prematurely. On the other hand, if they choose to wait until the expiry of lock-in years ie after 5 years to avoid payment of exit fees, they might lose the opportunity of capitalising gains or losing the sale due to changing market conditions. For investment properties, the better alternative is to look for refinancing packages with no exit fees or shorter lock-in period which give you more flexibility in terms of selling / renting,  though initially you may have to pay slightly higher interest rates and documentation costs, it is still better than paying exit fees which could end up diluting your capital gains.

Below is a simple checklist to guide you on home loan refinancing :-

1 Get information on the current mortgage

For the current mortgage, you should be able to get the following information from the bank:

- the outstanding balance or ringgit amount left on the mortgage;

- the remaining number of years on the mortgage; and

- the interest rate on the loan.

2 Get information on the new loan

For the new loan, you should get information on the following:

- the terms or the number of years of the new loan; and

- the interest rate on the new loan.( the latest interest rate can be as low as BLR - 2.4% )

3 Get the costs of refinancing

The costs you are likely to encounter when refinancing include:

- processing fee or application fee;

- credit check fee;

- legal fees;

- stamp duty;

- disbursements fee;

- valuation fees; and

- redemption fees (if applicable)

4. Shop for best refinancing loan packages that suit you.

- Find out the latest home loan promotions by various lenders in Malaysia :-

-Malaysia Home Loans - What’s New (January 2009)

-Conventional home loan packages

-Islamic Home Financing Packages

-other home loan packages offered by non-bank lenders; AIA, ING

For advisory on property investments in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, email to us at Izrin & Tan Properties Sdn. Bhd or call us at +604 6588333 (Penang Office) or +603 92839782 (Kuala Lumpur Office) and we would be pleased to assist.

New housing scheme by SP Setia in Penang Island

New housing area in Prai

9MP Mid Term Review and its impacts on Penang planned infrastructure projects

Monday, July 7th, 2008

The Malaysian Government has tabled its 9th Malaysia Development Plan 2006-2010 (9MP) mid term review in Parliament House recently. Despite the Federal Government increased the development allocation to RM230 billion, the development allocation of several infrastructure projects including Penang’s monorail and PORR, however, have been deferred.

www.intproperties.com researched on these two affected infrastructure projects following the latest decision by the Federal Government to defer it which are considered important projects to Penang economic development.

Background

The proposal and ideas on Penang’s planned infrastructure projects ie Monorail (LRT) system, PORR, Penang Bridge Expansion and Penang 2nd link have been floated since mid 1990’s, more than 13 years ago.

According to a report way back in year 1995, the Penang’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) system was scheduled for completion in year 2002. The proposed LRT system, costing RM650million at that time, was supposed to be implemented under “Built-Operate-Transfer” basis by Business Focus Sdn Bhd. It was also reported that a close-end fund under the name of Dana Mutiara was being set up to undertake infrastructure-related projects including Penang 2nd Link, PORR, monorail system etc. The idea of setting up a close end fund has since fizzled out and most of these planned infrastructure projects were shelved due to the onslaught of Asian financial crisis during 1997-1998. Read more at here and here.

The planned infrastucture projects were subsequently revived and incorporated in the 9th Malaysia Plan 2006-2010 in year 2006 and endorsed in the blueprint of NCER launched by the Prime Minister of Malaysia in August 2007.

Highlights of 9MP Mid Term Review

According to the Mid-Term Review of the 9MP, the Malaysian Government is allocating another RM30bil for development expenditure under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP), increasing the ceiling to RM230bil and here are the highlights of 9MP mid-term review. Several infrastructure projects which are considered important to Penang ie.Penang Monorail, Highway Projects Are Not Under 9MP now despite the Federal Government has endorsed these projects under the initiatives of NCER launched less than 1 year ago.

Reasons and Reactions on deferment

The reason cited for the two Penang projects being deferred (RM2bil monorail and RM1.5bil Penang Outer Ring Road) was to relocate resources to cushion the impact of the increase in global oil prices and focus on people-centred projects. more at here and here. And here are the reactions from the Penang state administration. The Penang Chief Minister is urging the federal government to restore these 2 mega projects and explain the allocation cut to Penang State. The Penang NGOs, on the other hand, have dissenting views and are calling the authorities to establish a Penang transport masterplan. More views and comments relating to Penang’s planned infrastructure projects in Penang-Jelutong MP cum blogger Jeff Ooi’s blog.

Impacts on developments

The deferment of these mega projects would likely to have impacts on ongoing and new planned developments surrounding the PORR and monorail route. More info about mega projects at related blogs; NCER and the high impact projects on Penang and Penang Mega Projects.

For advisory on individual property matters in Penang, email to us at Izrin & Tan Properties Sdn. Bhd. or call us at +604 6588333 (Penang Office) or +603 92839782 (Kuala Lumpur Office) and we would be pleased to assist.

Penang Mega Projects: PGCC and The LIGHT

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

The Penang Island property sector looks set for major transformation following the launching of two mega development projects within a span of 3 months in the second half of 2007 ie Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) by Equine Capital and The Light Waterfront by IJM Properties.

PGCC, a high-impact and widely publicized RM25bil project was launched by the Prime Minister of Malaysia in September 2007 to complement the NCER initiatives whilst The Light, a RM6.5 waterfront city along Penang’s eastern coastline unveiled in November 2007.

The launching of the two mega projects has received wide publicity coverage by the mainstream media.The vernacular press, sinchew, has given in-depth coverage as well with multiple photo slots on its website and has described it as mega projects which complement each other, each has its own distinct feature with the former being located at the Penang foothill whilst the latter is sited along the waterfront overlooking Penang eastern coastline. It has also provide a comparison of salient facts of the two mega projects.

PGCC, designed by Architect Hani Rashid, will feature architectural themes that synthesise local symbolism and historic forms with contemporary-style designs. The PGCC’s website provides much of the information on its development concept and master plan complete with an animated photo gallery. The website also highlights on the project features of carbon-zero city, PGCC Central Park and Penang Metropolitan Park. The 40ha Metropolitan Park, which will link the Youth Park and Botanical Garden, will see more open spaces for the public. Two flyovers costing RM140 million connecting PGCC to PORR will be built to smoothen the traffic flow of the area. Click here to see to aerial view of the PGCC site and the traffic flow. Over the past few months, the developer has embarked on a series of road shows and exhibitions highlighting that PGCC will benefit Penangites and attract foreign investments and boosting Penang tourism. The development of PGCC is expected to create up to 30,000 jobs.

Unlike The Light Waterfront, the launching of PGCC has generated mixed reactions and split views from the public. A pro-development body, PERINTIS and several Youth associations have voiced their support for the development of PGCC whilst several concerned Penang NGOs and the residents from nearby Jesselton area have voiced their objections and concerns on the implications of this controversial project on issues ranging from environment impacts, traffic congestion, project density, approval procedures etc. The development of PGCC may be delayed and scale down.

Update : The application for PGCC project has been formally rejected by the Penang State Authority on 6/8/2008.

For advisory on individual property investments in Penang, email to us at Izrin &Tan Properties Sdn. Bhd. or call us at +604 6588333 (Penang Office) or +603 92839782 (Kuala Lumpur Office) and we would be pleased to assist.

Map showing the approximate location of PGCC and The Light in relation to the proposed Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) Alignment or Browse Google’s Map guide on Georgetown.

Location Map of PORR, PGCC and The Light (source from Thestar online)

The skyline of Penang Eastern Coastal area will see major changes when The Light is fully completed…

Northern Corridor Economic Region(NCER) and the high-impact projects on Penang

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007
The much awaited Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) masterplan has been launched by the Prime Minister of Malaysia[Video] on 30th July 2007. The masterplan was well received by the people of northern states. Here are the response and comments from Economists, Matta, PCCC and former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir.

The NCER blueprint, prepared by master planner, Sime Darby, is expected to bring in RM177 billion investment into the Northern Corridor [Map Guide] covering 4 northern states of Peninsula Malaysia – Perlis, Kedah, Penang and Northern Perak to transform and expand the agricultural,manufacturing, tourism and logistics sectors until year 2025.

According to the NCER blueprint, five growth corridors will be created within the economic region ie. Island Corridor, Coastal Corridor, Central Corridor, Hinterland Corridor and Butterworth-Kulim-Baling-Pengkalan Hulu Grik Corridor. For more highlights on NCER, click here and here. More info are available at NCER’s website www.ncer.com.my.

The plan will position Penang into an integrated logistics hub for northern corridor. Amongst the high-impact projects earmarked for Penang are airport and port expansion, enhancement of public transportation system i) Rapid Penang Bus services , ii) high –speed ferry services iii) RM2Billion Penang Sentral a central transport hub to be undertaken by MRCB and akin to Kuala Lumpur Sentral albeit at a smaller scale of about one fifth of its development size and iv) the Penang monorail project, micro-electronic center of excellence at USM and the RM18 Billion Penang City Centre to be promoted as MICE destination.

Update : more insights on NCER initiatives by SERI - Penang as an integrated logistics and transportation hub under northern corridor economic region.

For individual property advisory and investment in Northern Corridor of Malaysia, email to us or call us at +604 6588333 (Penang).

To what extend and how fast would all this initiatives and benefits cascading down to the ordinary people in the Northern Corridor ? Find out more on who are the beneficiaries of the NCER ? at Beneficiaries of the NCER and NCER big boost for Penang and which Property firms to get NCER benefits?.

Maps on Infrastructure road linkages;

Maps on Penang’s high impact projects under the NCER masterplan ;


Focus on Batu Kawan, the new development hotspot in Northern Peninsular Malaysia

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

An entourage of RTM crew has recently came to Penang to film a TV documentary on Batu Kawan Parliamentary area and its Member of Parliament MP Huan Cheng Guan. Amongst the places of focus are the site for the proposed Second Penang Bridge and Bandar Cassia in Batu Kawan, Auto City in Juru, Sungai Sembilang Village, Mybatik-a batik production house in Bukit Tengah and a little-known island of Pulau Aman. The half an hour TV programme will be aired through channel RTM 1 on 27th May 2007 (Sunday), Malaysian time 22.00 pm.

Like the much-publicized Iskandar Development Region (IDR) in the southern Peninsular of Malaysia, Batu Kawan Parliamentary area[click here for Location Map], which is situated in the mainland state of Penang and covers part of the two districts of central and southern Seberang Perai (stretching from Perai to Sungai Bakap), has great potential to be the future booming area of the northern Peninsular Malaysia. The construction of the proposed RM2.8 Billion Second Penang Bridge project, a major infrastructure projects initiated by the Federal Government under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP), is expected to generate tremendous economic spillover effects and accelerate the developments of the northern region.

The 2,680 hectare Batu Kawan land bank, formerly an oil palm estate, was acquired by Penang Development Corporation (PDC) in 1990’s and earmarked as Penang’s third satellite township after Bandar Baru Bayan Baru dan Seberang Jaya. The new township known as Bandar Cassia will take about 30 years to complete and has a projected population of 150,000. Crescentia Park, an 186 hectare township which forms part of the Bandar Cassia master plan, is currently being developed by Equine Group. There will be a 16-hectare park with man-made lakes within Crescentia Park. See related links at Equine riding high on Penang Projects and Equine Capital Unit launching houses in Crescentia Park. Besides this, the construction of the Penang International Equestrian Centre (PIEC) to relocate the Penang Turf Club to Batu Kawan is progressing well. More info at Work on equestrian centre in Batu Kawan picks up pace.

In addition, PDC has also launched its RM150 million project; Dedaun, a 127-acre bunglow village within Bandar Cassia offering 8 different country bungalow designs. Other housing developers have also capitalized on this and launched their schemes recently in the vicinity of Batu Kawan are Tambun Indah’s Juru Heights and Airmas Group’s Palm Garden.

Batu Kawan is also famous for its sea food industry. In recent years, many sea food restaurants have mushroomed in the vicinity. Located within Batu Kawan area and close to the proposed Second Penang Bridge is the little known small island of Pulau Aman. A new jetty known as Batu Musang Jetty at Batu Kawan has been built last year to enhance accessibility and further promote Pulau Aman as an eco-tourism destination similar to Pulau Jerejak. More interesting info on Pulau Aman.

Some snapshots on recent visit by RTM crew to Bandar Cassia, Batu Kawan and Pulau Aman….

Mr C H Kwong, General Manager of Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd and the developer of Crescentia Park, briefing MP Huan dan RTM crew on Batu Kawan development plan.

Coincident meet at Pulau Aman between MP Huan and Datuk Zainal Rahim Seman, who was on his last inspection assignment of an infrastructure project in Pulau Aman prior to his appointment as the new Council President of Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP).

View of Pulau Aman, with potential to be an eco-tourism destination.

Revitalising Penang’s KOMTAR

Thursday, January 4th, 2007

With the launching of Visit Malaysia Year 2007, Penang hopes to attract 3 million tourist arrivals by end of this year. KOMTAR or Menara KOMTAR, which is the landmark of Penang and the famous icon of Georgetown, used to be a major tourist attraction in the 1980’s and 1990’s. However, KOMTAR has lost its shine in recent years due to growing competition from the newer modern shopping centers sprouting on Penang Island. Penang’s retail sector has since undergone 3 stages of changes from early 1980’s up to the new millennium.

KOMTAR needs a major facelift and a more urgent coordinated effort to revitalise the complex’s attractiveness as well as to stay competitive as the premier shopping center of Penang for both locals and tourists.

Related links on KOMTAR ; RM10 million facelift for KOMTAR; Still ‘uncompleted’ after all these years and Sale of shoplots made many millions .

More at update links - Upgrading work on KOMTAR soon and Not too late for Komtar.

Penang is synonymous with KOMTAR & Ferry service… both “converging” landmarks are in need of a major facelift !