Archive for April, 2007

Real estate in Penang set to boom

Monday, April 30th, 2007

The dynamics of today’s economy are demanding. In an increasingly borderless world where foreign investments are needed for wealth creation, a premium location is one which is both commerce and entertainment driven.

Featured article by The Star online on penang property outlook and MM2H.

Read more at Real estate in Penang set to boom

Investing in Penang Apartments and Condominiums- Part I

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

Factors to consider when buying Penang Strata Properties.

Penang’s residential subsector made up bulk of the property market transactions at almost 80% of the total volume of property transactions. It is noted that majority of these housing units involve high rise/strata units. This trend is expected to dominate the Penang Property Market in the coming years as more new multi-storey residential units are being developed and released into the market on the land-scarce Penang Island.

As strata properties are heterogeneous in nature and each has its own unique characteristics, there are merits and demerits factors to look into before one decides to acquire a property. Generally, the condominiums in Penang can be classified into 3 categories; namely city condominiums within the city of Georgetown, resort / beach front condominiums along the tourism belt from Tanjung Tokong-Tanjung Bungah-Batu Feringghi area and outer city condominiums scattered along the south-eastern coastal area of Penang Island from Gelugor to Bayan Baru area. In Kuala Lumpur, buyers generally choose condominiums for prestige, security and returns. In this episode, will highlight factors that you need to consider when buying Penang Strata Properties.

If you are currently looking to buy or invest in apartments or condominiums in Penang, there are things to look for before deciding to buy your dream homes ie strata title, payment of service charge, reselling or renting out. As condominium living entails shared living involving shared facilities and maintenance, payment of service charge and communities rules and formation of management corporation (MC). Recommended links – Is condominium living for you ? and stratified considerations.

Home seekers who opt for strata living should also aware about their rights and responsibilities and the need to form Management Corporation to manage their units and common property after issuance of strata titles. As becoming a strata property owner, you own not only your unit or strata lot, but also a share of the common property which include facilities such as car parking, recreational services etc. More at know what you buy.

In the case where you are thinking of investing in service apartments, beware that “Service Apartments” in Malaysia are being classified as commercial units and therefore NOT covered under the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act, 1966. However, with the recent amendment to the HDA Act on 15 Feb 2007, the development of service apartment is now come under the ambit of the amended HDA Act. Recommended link; Investing in Serviced Apartments. and law for serviced apartment timely.

When buying new off-the-plan housing units or under construction units from primary market ie. from housing developers, it is advisable to run a checklist and refer to guidelines of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, Malaysia. There are other local consumer-centric NGOs such as House Buyers Association and National Consumer and Complaints Centre which offer information resources on wide range of housing and consumer related issues from consumer perspective.

However, when you intend to purchase existing completed units from secondary market, a word of caution, always engage the services of a licensed property agent to handle your property needs. It is always safer to deal with licensed property agents as licensed property agents are covered by professional indemnify insurance which is a requirement to renew their license annually. Beware that there are thousands of illegal or freelance brokers moonlighting in the marketplace of Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Don’t use illegal property agents and British cabbie taken for a ride. You can now verify online whether the person you are dealing with is registered with Malaysia’s regulatory body ie. Board of Valuers, Apppraisals and Estate Agent Malaysia by login to its website; and key-in the person’s name or the firm’s name.

View of inner city condos in George Town, Penang

For next episode, will look into the importance of strata titles and overview on strata titles for high rise buildings in Penang. (To be continued).