Archive for the ‘Penang Propety Investment’ Category

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

5 market indicators on Penang Property Sector

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

1.Fewer new project launchings - Unlike first quarter last year whereby a slew of new housing projects were launched feverishly, this quarter will likely see a subdue market with fewer housing project launchings judging from the promotional activities and advertisements in the local dailies during the period of year-end holiday seasons and new year festivities. Recent housing advertisements and promotional activities are mostly geared towards “stock clearance sales”, indicating that developers/contractors are attempting to reduce their overhang units or clear their inventory.

2.Softening property prices - Whilst some of the housing developers are still holding on to their selling prices, few have started reverting to their old selling prices after price increment ranging from RM10,000 to RM50,000 per unit 5-6 months ago due to escalating costs of fuel and building materials.

Previously, it is common to see developers offering “free legal fees for SPA” only. Now, developers are more “generous” in dishing out perks which include free legal fees for all documentations and absorb all stamping duties on transfer and loan and progressive interest payments during construction period and freebies like LCD TV, air-conditioners, home alarm system, no maintenance charges for first two years etc. Under such packages, If one is to purchase a house costing RM500,000.00 with 95% loan (RM475,000.00), the estimated “savings” can total up to RM35,000.00 - RM45,000.00 per unit or approximately 3-4% of the sales price. The primary market of  Penang Property Sector is likely to see more such offerings and new pro-consumer financial packages such as 5/95 Home Loan Package.

3.Higher overhang units were reported in 3Q08 in the latest NAPIC’s report of which 86% of the overhang units is from Seberang Perai (mainland Penang), which still has abundant of usable lands and is facing stiffer competitions as compared to Penang Island.

In a softening demand environment, developers are shifting strategies to shore up sales and focus more on cash flow management to sustain their projects rather than holding on to their overhang units whilst some may review their project plans to either cater for niche product segment or more affordable products range.  A clearer picture on the take-up rates of the ongoing housing projects which indicating the demand trend will emerge over the next few months when NAPIC releases its 4Q08 and 1Q09 reports.

4. Slower construction activities-Construction activities of some ongoing housing projects have also noticeably slowing down or scaled down in recent months. Several property developers in Penang have already announced plans to defer their projects in the state;here and here.

5. Lower housing supply -Given the global economic downturn and weak domestic market outlook,  the number of new housing supply coming on stream this year may be lower compared to previous good years. It is a challenging times for housing developers to launch new planned projects.

According to Malaysia’s NAPIC Report - Residential Property Stock Report 3Q08(Page 31-33), the Penang State housing stock totals 322,426 units including 1,687 newly completed units in 3Q08. The incoming supply (under construction and works started) is estimated at 51,612 units whilst another 34,648 units planned supply units from housing projects which have been approved as well as those submitted but pending approvals.

On the national front, Malaysia’s housing ministry has projected a lower number of supply of newly completed houses at 80,000 units for year 2009 as compared to annual average of 100,000 units. More at Ministry hopes for 80,000 homes in 2009.

As the property market in Malaysia is taking a breather, the current property downturn has opened up good opportunities for property investors with a long term prospective as Malaysia properties are still comparatively attractive as compared to other regions. 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 schemes in Bayan Lepas near Penang International Airport

View of  the newly completed housing scheme in Butterworth town.

Mainland Penang’s new growth corridor

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

The recent opening of the Jusco Seberang Perai City in Bandar Perda, Seberang Perai adds the latest foray of a new shopping mall to the highly competitive retail sector in Penang. The RM450 million Jusco Seberang Perai City, boasts a total floor area of 2.28 million square feet built on a 19 acre site with more than 3,000 car parks, is the 2nd Penang outlet by AEON after the successful opening of its first Penang outlet at Queensbay Mall in December 2006.

Jusco Seberang Perai City at Bandar Perda

Jusco Seberang Perai City at Bandar Perda

A growing hotspot in central Seberang Perai

The development gravity is gradually shifting from Butterworth-Perai area towards Jalan Baru-Bukit Tengah-Bukit Mertajam as more lands are make available and earmarked for new housing developments including the partially developed mixed development project of 456-acre Bandar Perda township. Several government bodies such as Local government headoffice of MPSP, District Police headoffice, Bomba and Inland Revenue Department have already relocated to Bandar Perda. Central Seberang Perai is poised to be the upcoming conurbation of mainland Penang.

According to the Property Market Report 2007, Central Seberang Perai (Daerah Seberang Perai Tengah) has the most numbers of newly launched housing units totalling 605 compared to 544 units of North Seberang Perai(Daerah Seberang Perai Utara), indicating that more housing developments are taking place in central Seberang Perai.

Property Market Report 2007 on Butterworth properties

Property Market Report 2007 on Butterworth properties

Notable upcoming residential schemes being launched within the Jalan Baru-Bukit Tengah- Bukit Mertajam growth corridor area include Uda Land’s Taman Pauh Jaya along Jalan Baru, Taman Aman By PPH Group and AMDB Berhad’s Bayu Mutiara in Bukit Tengah area, Parklane Residence and Aston Villa, a RM88 million mixed development project by Ivory Properties Group.

In recent years, selling prices of newly launched housing units in this growing hotspot area of Central Seberang Perai have noticeably fast catching up and match the pricing levels of those similar houses in more established locations of Butterworth- Mak Mandin-Raja Uda area.

Market Prices for conventional double-storey terraced houses in the secondary market for established housing schemes in the vicinity of Bukit Mertajam – Bukit Tengah area namely Taman Gemilang Ria, Taman Jambu Madu, Bayu Mutiara, Desa Palma, Taman Jernih, Saujana Permai, Bandar Perda have crossed to a new price benchmark level of RM250,000.00 to RM300,000.00. However, if you are looking for similar double-storey terraced houses costing below RM200,000.00 per unit, you still have the choice whereby these houses are located in the secondary locations of Bukit Mertajam namely Alma, Juru, Macang Bubuk and Permatang Tinggi area.

Market rental ranges from RM700 to RM1,000 permonth (unfurnished) for a standard 2-storey terraced house in choice locations in central Seberang Perai and those located in secondary locations, the rental rates are in the range of RM500 to RM650 permonth.

The latest trend in the market is that more higher end luxury terraced houses are being launched, these new 2.5 storey to 3 storey terraced houses comes with bigger built up area and better design and services are being priced at new ceiling prices of RM300,000.00 to RM420,000 per unit. Similarly, more higher end with luxury design 2-3 storey semi-detached houses and bungalow are being released to the market with new record pricing ranges from RM600,000.00 to RM1.2 million per unit.

For advisory on individual property investments, purchases and rentals of Penang Properties, 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.

butterworth properties -BORR Jln Baru aerial view

butterworth properties -BORR Jln Baru aerial view

butterworth properties BORR-jln baru map

butterworth properties BORR-jln baru map

The new MPSP office building at Bandar Perda

The new MPSP office building at Bandar Perda

The new private hospital at Bandar Perda

The new private hospital at Bandar Perda

newly completed double storey houses in Taman Jambu Madu

newly completed double storey houses in Taman Jambu Madu

newly completed houses in Bayu Mutiara
Newly completed 2-storey houses at Bayu Mutiara, Bukit Tengah

2 and a half storey semi-detached house at Taman Kristal, Bukit Tengah
Newly completed 2.5 storey semi-detached house at Taman Kristal, Bukit Tengah

Malaysian Budget 2009 highlights and its impact on property sector

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

The 2009 Budget Speech was presented by the Prime Minister of Malaysia in Parliament House on 29th August 2008 and the highlights of the RM207.9 billion Budget are here(English), here(Malay) and here(Mandarin).

Highlights of Budget 2009 on property and housing :

a) First time house purchasers are eligible for 50% stamp duty waiver on sales and purchase agreement signed during the period of 30th August 2008 to 31st December 2010. Unlike budget 2008, The 50% stamp duty exemption to be extended to loan agreements as well to further reduce the cost of buying medium-cost houses of up to RM250,000. More related information on 50% stamp duty waiver at here, here and here.

The move is expected to help purchasers for homes costing under RM250,000 to save up to RM2,625.00 on stamp duty waiver on transfer instrument and loan document.

Example :

Stamp Duties

i) Loan Agreement
0.5% of the loan amount
ii) Transfer of Title (for completed properties)
1% for the first RM100,000
2% for the next RM400,000
3% on the excess above RM500,000

Purchase Price;RM250,000.00, Housing loan @90% of purchase price; RM225,000.00

Stamp Duty payable on transfer instrument; RM4,000.00
Stamp duty payable on loan document ; RM1,125.00
Total stamp duties payable ; RM5,125.00
Apply for 50% waiver on stamp duties ;RM2,562.50
Amount payable ;RM2,562.50

Savings for house purchaser ;RM2,562.50

b) Reducing withholding tax on dividends of Malaysia REITs to 10%

c) RM330m allocation for Jabatan Perumahan Negara to complete 4,400 units of Program Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) Disewa, 1,500 units of PPR Bersepadu and 600 units of PPR Dimiliki. In addition, Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad will build 33,000 low cost houses.

d) Increase the size of the Housing Credit Guarantee Scheme (SJKP) to RM100m from RM20m to assist those without fixed income to own affordable houses.

e) RM50 Million conservation funding for heritage buildings following the recent inscription of Malacca and George Town as historical cities of the Straits of Malacca under Unesco’s as World Heritage Sites(WHS). The Unesco listing of these two historical cities is expected to boost tourism and a boon to the property sector of these two cities.

For advisory on individual property investments, purchases and rentals of Penang Properties, 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’s new property hotspot along Jelutong Expressway

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

With the completion of the final stretch of Jelutong Coastal Highway(JE) or JE Drive connecting to Weld Quay as well as inner city of Georgetown from Gelugor/Penang Bridge area, travelling time to the inner city of Georgetown from Gelugor / Penang Bridge area via JE has indeed shortened to mere less than 10 minutes drive. This coastal areas along JE has since become one of the Penang’s new property hotspots as the Penang property sector witnessed the completion of several housing parcels within the reclaimed housing project of Bandar Sri Pinang since mid 2004 as well as feverish launchings of several new housing schemes and the much publicized mega project –The LIGHT waterfront project by IJM Group over the last one year. The development of The Light Waterfront is poised to transform this eastern coastal area into a high end integrated housing precinct.

In 1990’s, the former Penang state government has granted approval to IJM Group to develop 338 acres of land in exchange for the construction of the 4.7km Jelutong Expressway. The first 3.1km stretch of the expressway was opened to the public in 2003 while stage two was opened in February 2008.

The whole development will be undertaken over four precincts – Bandar Sri Pinang (82 acres), Metro East (30 acres) and The Light (152 acres) while the balance 100 acres comprising education, medical, art/cultural, commercial and residential components will be for future development. More related info at IJM land to focus on mid to high-end projects and Penang Mega Projects: PGCC and The Light.

Notable completed housing schemes within Bandar Sri Pinang are Fortune Park, completed in 2005, an integrated industrial park comprises terraced light factories catering to small & medium scale industries whilst Lot 28 comprises 2 and 3 storey shopoffices. Ocean View, completed in 2004, comprises 11 storey Medium Cost Apartment and some 2,242 low and medium cost housing units of Desa Pinang and Pinang Court etc. Other mid range completed housing schemes located along the JE are Mutiara Heights and Mutiara Idaman. Generally, the rental for medium range three bedroom apartments in Jelutong area ranges from RM650 permonth onwards whilst selling prices for mid range apartments are in the range of RM120,000 to RM200,000 per unit.

Whilst the newly completed housing schemes include Nautilus Bay - 78 units of 3-storey terraced courtyard terraced houses prices ranging from RM780K to RM1.2mil 21’x70’ built up area 2,600 sq ft and The Spring, high rise condominium blocks with floor areas ranges from 925 to 1,281 sq ft. Other upcoming housing projects include Summer Place and Platino luxury condos.

The Jelutong coastal area is turning into an Urban Park by the sea with the recent completion of a A 3.6 km long RM7mil promenade along the Jelutong Coastal Front. In addition, the Penang state government is currently evaluating plans to built a multimillion ringgit Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) centre in Jelutong, Penang.

Update : There is also a proposal to transform the existing 20 hectare landfill site into an urban park along the coastline near the JE.

For advisory on individual property purchases and rentals of Penang apartments and condominiums, 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.

Jelutong Map

General View of the Jelutong coastal front

view of jelutong coastal area

The new commercial centre of Bandar Sri Pinang. To the rear is the newly completed The Springs Condominium

Newly completed Nautilus Bay.

Ocean View / Desa Pinang medium cost apartments.

Mutiara Idaman/Mutiara Heights Apartments along JE

Investing in Penang’s tourism belt; Tanjung Tokong-Tanjung Bungah-Batu Ferringhi coastal area

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Penang’s tourism belt [area indicated colored red], an international famous holiday resort area stretching along the 9 km northern coastal area from Tanjung Tokong to Tanjung Bungah to Batu Feringghi area, is poised for rapid transformation with at least more than half a dozen of ongoing resort condominium/sea front villa developments in various stages of construction. Several more planned housing developments are also in the pipeline and scheduled for launching next year. In recent months, this area has increasingly become Penang’s property hotspot amongst the local Malaysians as well as foreign investors who choose Penang as their second homes under MM2H programme.

Penang Beach Hotels
This stretch of popular tourism belt is also the main concentration of Penang’s beach hotels namely Naza Hotel, Tanjung Bungah Hotel, Copthorne Orchid Hotel, Paradise Sandy Beach Resort, Crown Jewel Hotel, Hydro Majestic Hotel (formerly Ferringhi Beach Hotel), Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa, Golden Sand Resort, Lone Pine Hotel, Holiday Inn Resort, Grand Plaza Parkroyal, Casuarina Beach Hotel and Bayview Beach Hotel. Majority of these beach hotels are located in Batu Ferringhi area. See picture below for location guide of these hotels;

Penang’s existing hotel room supply stands at about 12,000 rooms with bulk of these hotel rooms located within this tourism belt. An estimated new supply of between 3,500 and 4,000 hotel rooms will be coming on stream within the next five years to accommodate more tourists and those responding to the Malaysia My Second Home Programme (MM2H). More at related link - Three more hotels to meet growing demand in Penang.

Existing sea facing condominiums along Penang tourism belt
Notable existing sea facing resort condominiums, with selling price ranges from RM160,000 to RM2 million perunit and located along this stretch of tourism belt are :-

Eden Seaview Apartments, located in Batu Feringghi and sited next to Uplands international school. A standard 3-bedroom unit with a floor area of 850 sq ft is priced from RM160,000.

Mar Vista, comprises 6 high rise blocks of 2,3,4 bedrooms, is located in Batu Ferringhi. A standard 2 bedroom unit with floor area of 838 sq ft is for sale at RM180,000.

Diamond Villa, completed in 1994 to 1998, comprises 3 blocks of 18 to 26 storey in height with seaview and floor areas of 1,480 sq ft onwards. Rental from RM3,500 per month. A penthouse unit with a floor area of 6,000 sq ft is for sale at RM1.5 Million.

Miami Green, another sea facing condominium with standard size of 1,100 sq ft to 1,270 sq ft. Selling price ranges from RM350,000 per unit.

Twin Towers, a standard unit with a floor area of 1,325 sq ft currently for sale at RM340,000.

Coastal towers- Rental rates from RM1,200 per month for unfurnished units. A renovated and fully furnished unit on high level with seaview and has a floor area of 1,210 sq ft is for sale at RM380,000.

Straits Regency – A standard unit of 1,530 sq ft is for sale from RM380,000 onwards while rental rate is RM2,500 per month for furnished unit.

Tanjung Bungah Beach condominiums- Rental rate for fully furnished unit with floor area of 2,200 sq ft ranges from RM6,000 per month whilst a deluxe penthouse unit with floor area of 4,478 sq ft is for sale at RM1.7 Million.

Sri Golden Bay Condominiums. Each standard unit has a floor area of 2,875 sq ft with selling price ranges from RM1.4mil onwards.

The Cove or [Video] - A newly completed super condominium comprises four blocks of 40-storey freehold luxury condominiums– Each unit has a floor area of 5,850 sq ft with five bedroom and large balcony facing the sea ! Sales Price from RM1.4 mil to RM2 mil.

New condominium schemes along Penang tourism belt
Notable new resort condominium schemes currently under construction are The waterfront condominiums, Shamrock Beach development comprises 3-storey landed seafront link houses and villas, Alila, a high end condominiums and villa project comprises 418-unit by Hunza Group and IGB’s project comprises 37 units of 3-storey bungalows located adjacent to Mar Vista.

Springtide Residences, a 39-storey condominium project with only 74 units of high end sea front condominiums and three beach villas located in Tanjung Bungah. The units, measuring 3,989 sq ft and 5,078 sq ft, are priced at RM430 per sq ft.

Infinity sea front super condominiums located along Tanjung Bungah comprises 2 36-storey blocks , typical floor area range from 3,669 to 4,873 sq ft and priced from RM1.5mil each.

Moonlight Bay villas, an on-going luxurious lifestyle project by Penang-based developer, Ivory Properties Group, comprising 70 four-storey detached villas priced between RM1.8 mil to RM3 mil offering sea and hill views. All units come with lifts and condominium facilities. Land area range from 2,600 to 6,000 sq ft whilst built-up areas range of 3,800 to 5,500 sq ft. More info at related link- Ivory’s four storey villas with lifts.

Skyhome – another ongoing high end condominium project by Giant Resorts comprises one block of 32-storey beach front super condominiums 47 units. Each standard unit has a floor area of 6,300 sq ft priced from RM2.2mil onwards.

The Residences @ Feringghi Park - An ongoing housing scheme at Batu Feringghi resort area comprises mainly 3-storey semi-detached and bungalow homes. More info about Blossom Time’s Batu Feringghi project at Naluri unit’s maiden project set to blossom.

Other planned resort condominium schemes likely to be launched next year include Plenitude’s 10.6 acre sea front resort development located opposite Rasa Sayang Hotel and Spa, a 42-acre mixed-development joint development project at Mount Pleasure Resort by AP Land and IJM Properties and Bolton’s first project in Penang in Tanjung Bungah – a high rise condominium project comprises two blocks of 28-storeys with total 396 condominium units.

Besides its historical and truly Asia multi-cultures and heritages, Penang has good health care services which is fast catching up with those in developed European countries and good supporting international schools namely St. Christopher International Primary School, The International school of Penang and Dalat international school. Penang Island is certainly a choice liveable city in this region and ideal destination for your holiday and retirement homes. More at related link -Making Penang, Malaysia your second homes.

With only USD72,000 (RM250,000) and above, foreign investors are eligible to purchase and own a resort condominium or holiday home in Penang. There is no restriction for foreign investors to acquire more than one properties. Subsequent disposal of the properties will no longer be subject to any real property gains tax following the recent relaxation of property rulings by the Malaysian Government.

For advisory on property investments in Penang tourism belt, 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.

If you have not visited Penang before or lost touch with Penang for many years, watch this video show by David Chan’s Penang Scenic Slide Show and Lone Pine Hotel’s Penang Scene.

View of the Tanjong Bungah Coastal Area

Coastal Tower along Tanjong Bungah-Batu Feringghi coastal area

View of Eden Seaview in Batu Feringghi

Sri Sayang Service Apartments

Ferringhi Villa, Landed bungalow homes in Batu Feringghi

View of the Batu Ferringhi Beach .

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

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 Gurney Drive, Penang’s property hotspot – Part II

Monday, June 25th, 2007

Gurney Drive (Location Map), Penang’s famous sea-front promenade, is one of the popular housing development hotspots on the island favored by both housing developers and property investors / expatriate communities. The stretch, once lined with mansions belonging to some of the region’s rich and famous, has in recent years been transformed into a business and high end residential enclave.

Existing hotels and a shopping center sprouted along Gurney Drive are Evergreen Hotel and Gurney Hotel and Gurney Plaza, a premier lifestyle shopping mall completed in 2001 with a retail space of 700,000 sq ft. The mall is currently undergoing expansion with a RM83 million new wing and when completed, the retail space of the premier mall will be increased to 850,000 sq ft.

Notable sea-front super condominiums located along Gurney Drive vicinity include 11 Gurney Drive, Silverston, The Regency, Millennium Tower, Mayfair, Gurney Palace, The Palazzo. Other luxury condominiums and apartments include No 1 PG, Gurney Villa, Gurney Park, Gurney Beach Resort, Bella Vista, Mutiara Villa etc

Besides the luxury lifestyle condominium facilities, some of which also offers splendid sea views, high-rise but low density with only 1 or 2 units per level with enhanced privacy as well as round-the-clock security, spacious floor area with superior interior decorations. Prices for super condominiums and luxury condominiums along Gurney Drive generally ranges from RM300 psf to RM450 psf whilst monthly rental ranges from RM7,000 to RM10,000 per month for super condominiums of sizes from 4,000 sq ft and above.

Like Mont’ Kiara of Kuala Lumpur, Gurney Drive / Kelawei area is the preferred expatriate address as there is a relatively high expatriate population residing in some of these exclusive luxury condos. Recent reports indicated that foreign purchases on sea-fronting luxury condominiums are also on the rise as more units were bought and owned by foreign nationals over the last few years.

For more information on property investments and advisory on your property needs and expatriate accommodation in Penang and Kuala Lumpur, email to us or call us at +604 6588333 (Penang) or +603 92839782 (KL), we would be pleased to assist.

Some of these super condominiums located within Gurney Drive vicinity are:-

Silverton, a super condominium scheme with build-up area 4,123 & 4,230 sq. ft. Comprises One block of 36-story tower (total 70 units) with 2 units per floor.

11 Gurney Drive - is a brand new 35-storey modern luxury condominium comprising 61 units and two pool villas. Each units has a floor area ranges from 3,466 to 4,200 sq ft.

Gurney Palace – another newly completed super condominiums – a 33-storey block tower comprises only 20 units with a floor size of 6,000 sq ft each.

My residence at Millennium Tower – a super condo with a block of 35-storey tower with 20 units (5,880sq ft to 6,380 sq ft )

The Regency – completed in 1999, comprises a block of 37-storey tower with total 100 units. Floor areas ranging from 4,000 sq ft to 5,000 sq ft priced from RM1.5m to RM1.7m.

The Palazzo, a newly completed 17-storey tower block with only 14 units and 1 duplex penthouse. A typical unit with a floor area of 4,000 sq ft has 4 bedrooms and 4 bath plus a study room. Sales price from RM1.5m per unit.

Other super condo in the vicinity of Gurney Drive is Mayfair, a super condominium due for completion this year and comprising 49 units with floor areas ranging from 5,000 to 5,200 sq ft and a super penthouse of 12,000 sq ft, and Kelawai View, a 30-storey super condo project with total 34 units with floor areas ranging from 4,600 to 11,000 sq ft. Kelawai View is due for completion in 2008. More info on Mayfair ; Billed to be the bestand Kelawai view; Super condo in Pulau Tikus.

Other high rise luxury condominiums within Gurney Drive vicinity are:-

No1 Persiaran Gurney – one of the pioneer luxury condominium schemes along Gurney Drive, completed in 1986 & 1988, comprises 2 blocks with total 198 units inclusive of 6 penthouses. The standard unit has a floor area of 1,900 sq ft. The selling prices ranging from RM550,000 to RM650,000 per unit whilst rental per month ranges from RM2,500 to RM4,000 perunit.

Sri Pangkor – developed by IJM Properties and completed in 1999, comprises 2 low rise blocks and 1 high rise block with a total 171 units. Built-up areas ranging from 1,820 sq ft to 2,310 sq ft.

Gurney Beach Resort Condo- completed in 1998, 1 block of 39-storey tower with a total of 146 units with a floor area of 2,760 sq ft each.

Gurney Villa - completed in 1996, it consists of 1 block of 18-storey tower with total 68 units. Each unit has a floor areas of 1,120 sq ft to 1,160 sq ft. Monthly rental rates from RM2,400 per unit.

Gurney Park – Completed in 1999, comprises 2 39-storey tower blocks with a total 588 units. Each typical unit has a floor area of 970 sq. ft. Market prices for a standard unit range from RM330,000 to RM360,000 per unit whilst current rental rate per month – RM1,800 to RM2,500 for fully furnished unit.

Bella Vista – 1 block of 7-storey condo with 38 units with a floor size of 1,050 sq ft.

Mutiara Villa – 1 Block of 30-storey tower with total 104 units. Built-up area ranges from 1,180 to 1,420 sq ft.

Located along the northeast coast of Penang Island and just minutes away from Gurney Drive is the ongoing Penang’s largest integrated sea-front development of Seri Tanjung Pinang [Click here to view Seri Tanjung Pinang master plan]. This mega water-front development, which spread over 980 acres of reclaimed land, is being developed by E & O Property Bhd. Phase One of the development involves 240 acres of reclaimed headland while Phase Two consists of 740 acres including islands which are linked via two bridges. For more related info on Seri Tanjung Pinang, see web articles; Waterfront project to take shape in Penang, Gurney Drive set for a big change and Project to woo yachting community.

Other upcoming project along Gurney Drive include a RM700 million redevelopment project - Gurney Paragon on a 10.21 acres heritage site by PENANG-based Hunza Properties Bhd. The proposed mixed developments, scheduled for completion in 2010, comprises a shopping mall and 2 phases of super condominiums comprising 270 units and Hunza’s corporate headquarters.

On the longer term, the landscape of Gurney Drive coastal area will likely to see changes following the Malaysian Government’s decision to built a privatized 17 km dual carriageway, Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) connecting from Tanjung Tokong / Gurney Drive area to Penang Bridge near Gelugor area. See Star online’s link on PORR and updated link on PORR-shareholder agreement on PORR Project ready.

A stretch of Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) will be built on the 52ha reclaimed land off the shore of Gurney Drive. A new Gurney Drive is being planned that will include a ten acre public park and two-kilometre promenade that will be beside the road, on the seafront. More info on PORR, click here. has blogged a website which offers lots of online messages and comments and nice pictures on Gurney Drive. Read more on Gurney Drive! .

Sea view overlooking Gurney Drive skyline

View of the new developments along Gurney Drive

The skyline of Gurney Drive. Located at the forefront is No 1, Persiaran Gurney Condominium.

The skyline of coastal area along Northam Road (Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah) between Georgetown city centre and Gurney Drive. The newly completed super condominium - Mayfair is located along this stretch.

Focus on Penang Bridge-Bayan Lepas coastal area-Penang’s property hotspot – Part I

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

Penang Island’s south-eastern coastal area, stretching from Gelugor–Batu Uban-Sungai Nibong-Bayan Lepas area, is poised to be one of the Penang’s property hotspots. This strategic coastal area, supported by a good network of coastal highways ie. Jelutong Expressway and Bayan Lepas coastal highway as well as good accessibility to the mainland Penang via Penang Bridge and close proximity to the island’s main industrial hub of Bayan Lepas and Penang Cyber City, is gradually transformed into a vibrant business and affluent residential enclave.

In recent years, the Penang property sector has witnessed the successful completion of several developments along the south-eastern coastal area and the opening of Queensbay Mall, E-gate and Tesco hypermarket whilst new developments are being launched and built. Notable development schemes located along this sea-front reclaimed area are 73-acre Queensbay, 155-acre Bayan Mutiara and Techware’s four condominium schemes at Sungai Nibong (click here for location map). When both Queensbay and Bayan Mutiara developments are fully completed, this south-eastern enclave would also become Penang’s new waterfront resort precinct like Singapore’s Sentosa Cove.

Queensbay – A 73 acre mixed development project, formerly known as Bayan Bay, was revived by developer CP Group. This mixed development comprises existing commercial 3-storey shopofffices and Queensbay Mall, the largest shopping mall on the island with a built up area of 2.5 million sq ft and more than 1 million sq ft net lettable area of which about 255,000 sq ft is occupied by anchor tenant, Japanese-owned Jusco Store. Other ongoing and planned projects within Queensbay Master development plan include BayCapita, Baystar, Baygarden, Bayvillas, a 380 room three star hotel and a five star hotel. More update info as at 5.1.2008 on Queensbay Lure .

Bayan Mutiara – Penang Development Corporation (PDC)’s flagship mixed development project. D’Residence, sited on 96 acres reclaimed land and forming part of Bayan Mutiara master development plan, is the first upmarket housing project by PDC Properties in Penang. Phase one of D’Residence was launched last year comprises 113 units (70 units of superlinked houses, 14 units of twin bunglows, 15 units of supreme bunglows and 14 premium bunglows) at selling prices ranging from RM880,000 up to RM2.8mil.

Two newly completed condominiums scheduled to make entry into Penang’s luxury condominiums this year are Bayswater Condominium and Putera Marina Resort.

Bayswater Condominiums – a new freehold luxury sea-facing condominium project developed by IJM Properties and located adjacent to E-gate and Tesco hypermarket. It comprises 2 blocks of 26 storey condominiums with floor areas ranging from 1,173 sq ft to 1,636 sq ft each. The developer’s selling price ranges from RM321,000 to RM435,000 per unit. Whilst Putra Marine Resort is the latest condominium block developed by Techware and has a total of 126 sea-facing units. Each unit has a floor area of 2,027 sq ft to 2,723 sq ft priced at RM275.00 per square foot onwards.

Other existing condominiums located along this enclave include The View Condominiums, Putera Place, Gold Coast Condominiums, Sunny Ville, E Park and Villa Emas. Other medium range apartments include Bukit Dumbar Indah.

The View – a newly completed super twin tower condominiums with a skybridge developed by Penang-based developer, Ivory Sdn Bhd. The units are sea-facing and overlooking the Penang Bridge and has a built-up areas of 2,068 sq.ft for a typical unit that come with 5 +1 bedroom and 4 baths and 5,580 sq.ft for a penthouse unit. Prices ranging from RM633,000 to RM1.62 Million. Related link on The View Twin towers.

Gold Coast Condominiums- This resort condominium, completed in 1999, is sited on 11 acres of leasehold residential land, comprises 3 condominium blocks with a total 412 sea-frontage units. The floor area of the units ranges from 1,042 sq ft, 1600 sq ft up to 4,290 sq.ft. The market price ranges from RM300,000 to RM340,000 for a standard 3 bedroom condominium unit and RM450,000 to RM500,000 per unit for a bigger size units of 1,600 sq ft. Monthly rental rates from RM2,500 to RM3,000 per month.

Putra Place condominium is another condominium scheme by Techware with total units of 626 and completed in mid 2006. Each typical unit has a floor area of 1,000 sq ft whilst duplex and penthouse unit have floor areas of 1,872 sq ft and 2,000 sq ft respectively.

Villa Emas is the first scheme developed by Techware and completed in 1998. It is sited on over 10 acres of leasehold residential land and comprises 3 blocks of 16 storey condominiums with a total of 488 units. Each standard unit has a floor size of 850 sq ft to 950 sq.ft. Located alongside with the Bayan Lepas coastal highway, the scheme is popular amongst Penangites and recorded high occupancy rate. Individual strata titles has been issued. The market prices for a standard unit ranges from RM180,000 to RM240,000 depending on the condition / improvement of the unit whilst monthly rental ranges from RM750 for vacant unfurnished unit up to RM1,500 for furnished units.

Sunny Ville– An integrated resort condominium completed in 1994, comprises a total of 6 blocks of 22 storey in height with more than 500 units. Each typical unit has a floor area of 900 to 1,090 sq ft. Market price for a standard 3 bedrooms type ranges from RM220,000 to RM230,000 per unit whilst monthly rental rate for furnished unit ranges from RM1,000 to RM1,500.00.

E Park – completed in 1996 and located adjacent to Sunny Ville. It comprises 3 blocks with 350 standard units of 800 sq ft and 7 penthouses of 1,600 sq ft.

Lavinia Apartments – completed in 1994 and comprises 5 condominium blocks with a total 236 units with sea-view. Standard floor area ranges from 980 to 1,140 sq ft.

There are growing interest by foreign purchases and increasing numbers of expatriate communities residing in some of these sea-facing resort condominiums. For more information on property investments and advisory on your property needs and expatriate accommodation in Penang and Kuala Lumpur, email to us or call us at +604 6588333 (Penang) or +603 92839782 (KL), we would be pleased to assist.

Located close to Queensbay and a short distance away is Pulau Jerejak, an island that has vast potential to be an eco-tourism destination. Presently, only a small part of the island is being leased to Jerejak Resort whilst major part of the island has recently been gazetted by Penang state government as forest state park. There are plans to built a cable car connecting Queensbay mall to Pulau Jerejak and a theme park. has blogged and found that there are two websites that offer lots of photos and information on Pulau Jerejak, here and here.

View of Bayswater Condominiums, located near to E-gate and Tesco hypermarket.

The View twin towers condominiums as seen from Penang Bridge.

View of the Sunny Ville and E Park as seen from Penang Bridge. Sited on the coastal front is the Penang’s new marine police complex cum quarters.

Investing in Penang Apartments and Condominiums-Part II

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

The importance of strata titles and Penang Scenario on strata titles for high rise buildings.

Although modern high rise residential units are gaining popularity amongst urban dwellers in KL and Penang, many buyers lacked awareness on high rise strata units and the importance of obtaining strata titles;

a) As ultimate proof of their property ownership. When you say you own a car, you have the registration card to prove it and there is no need for you to get the consent of the carmaker when you need to refinance or to sell the car.

b) As a dealing instrument for instances of charging to banks for loans.

c) One need not obtain the consent of a third party (the developer) who imposed administrative charges as their consent fees if and when you should decide to sell your property.

d) To form a management corporation (MC) by owners of the subdivided building to maintain and manage the building and to have their own by laws, usage or restrictions. Until then, owners usually do not have a say in the way the building is managed or maintained, the monies collected from maintenance charges, building funds etc.

e) As final proof of the built-up area of your unit and ultimately your apportionment of the share in the total aggregate units.

Recommended links at Why strata titles are important? and Title woes still a fact.

In the absence of strata titles, any dealings involving high rise strata units have to rely on the principal sale and purchase agreement together with deed of mutual covenant and in the case whereby bank financing is required, strata unit buyers would be required to sign or execute assignment documents in favour of the bank as assignee. As strata titles are not issued, there will not be any registration of such dealings and records in the respective land registry. Any subsequent dealings of the strata property is subject to developer’s consent and imposition of consent fees of RM500 per unit.

Upon issuance of strata titles, the owner of the high rise units will be notified by the developer company and subject to payment of survey fees for strata titles and stamping charges for transfer dealings, registration of ownership can then be carried out at the respective land registry.

When buying Penang apartments and condominiums, in the case whereby strata title is available or forthcoming, it is advisable for buyers to ensure that the transaction shall only be completed when registration of transfer of ownership on the strata title is registered on Form 4 (Section 16, Strata Title Act) and when bank loan is required, insist on securing loan by way of charge instead of assignment.

Penang Scenario

According to the Malaysia’s Auditor General Report Year 2005 published by National Audit Department of the Prime Minister’s Office, a special studies have been conducted on the strata titles scenario of the Penang’s State Department of Land and Mines during the period 2002-2005, the following findings was released on 26.6.2006 as follows:-

Based on the auditors report 2005, the Department of Land and Mines Penang has carried out registration of a total of 39,593 strata titles for the period 2002-2005 of which 17,400 units were from 103 applications received during 2002-2005 and the remaining 22,193 units were from 267 applications received during 1995-2002.

In accordance with Section 8 of Strata Title Act, registered proprietors of high rise schemes are required to submit strata title application within 6 months after the date of issuance of certificate of fitness of occupation (CF). Based on the auditor report, there were 92 multi-storey housing schemes involving 21,282 parcels obtained CF from the local authority during the period 2002-2005. It was revealed that 79 of these projects or 85.9% involving 17,661 parcels have not submitted for strata title application during the stipulated period. The findings of the auditor analysis (based on a samplings of 60 multi-storey buildings) revealed that:-

48% of the developer companies do not submit application without any reason given.
10% of the developer companies experienced land subdivision difficulties.
7% of which waiting for issuance of CF for whole scheme
7% of which became insolvent
5% of which encountered land amalgamation problems
3% of which facing financial problems
12% other title related problems ie encumbrances / charges.

The auditor findings also revealed that enforcement against the errant developer companies was lax. In year 2004, only 14 cases have been filed for court actions. More information at auditor’s report (Bahasa Malaysia Version) page 26-37.

However, according to a Penang-based licensed land surveyor, this scenario is set to change with the implementation of the newly amended Housing Development ( Control and Licensing ) (Amendment) Act 2007 and The 2007 amendment of Strata Titles Act 1985 as well as the introduction of the New Act Building and Common Property (Management and Maintenance) Act 2007 [BCPMM Act]. With new measures such as introduction of computerization system for strata titles at the land registry, formation of joint management body (JMB) within 1 years from the date of commencement of the New Act ie 14/4/2007 or before 13/4/2008 for existing strata buildings as well as the need to apply for strata title by the developer companies as one of the conditions to secure the release of the 2.5% retention sum after completion of the strata buildings will likely see more strata title submissions within the stipulated period and faster issuance of strata titles in the coming years.

The emergence of many new high rise residential schemes along Georgetown - Gelugor Area. View of Gelugor area towards Penang Bridge…