Archive for May, 2007

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.

Upmarket condos at KLCC; Malaysia’s top real estate enclave

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (ISM) has recently organized a technical visit to Petronas Twin Towers (Skybridge). Members of ISM were given a short briefing on the construction of this magnificent world’s tallest twin towers with a guided tour to the 58.4 metre-long Skybridge at Level 42.

This iconic landmark of Malaysia boasts a modern 88-storey twin office towers with a total built-up area of 395,000 square metres or usable floor area of 213,750 square metres per tower. Situated in the KLCC on the northern boundary of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), the towers have won Fiabci Malaysia top award under the category of special award for national contribution in year 2000 and Fiabci Prix d’Excellence 2002 Award (Office/Industrial Category).

KLCC remains the country’s top real estate enclave within the golden triangle of Kuala Lumpur. [Click here for location map of KLCC].This 100-acre mega development boasts a 50-acre landscaped park, a crescent-shaped shopping mall of Suria KLCC, a state of the art gallery and convention centre and a world class concert hall. In recent years, many high end super condominiums and service apartment developments have sprouted in the vicinity of KLCC. For more insights on these upmarket residential schemes, Intproperties.com has blogged and found that theedgedaily offers the most web information on KLCC developments. Notable upmarket condominiums in the vicinity of KLCC are Binjai, Avare or Avare in a class of its own, Dua Residency, Suria Stonoy, The Troika, myHabitat, Stonor Park, Ascott and Kirana, Marc Service Residence in Jalan Pinang area and developments along Kia Peng area.

The prices for upmarket condominiums in KLCC area seems to be on the uptrend, ranging from RM700 psf to RM1,500 psf. More related info on high end condo in KLCC area at Prices going up, up and away, property prices move up near KLCC area and Big demand for luxury condos.

For advisory on individual property needs and expatriate accommodation, please email to our Kuala Lumpur office or call +603 9283 9782 and we would be pleased to assist.

Snapshots of the Petronas Twin Towers and skyline of KLCC surrounding developments taken from the Skybridge during the visit.

The national icon of Malaysia - Petronas Twin Towers

View of the KLCC park

Skyline of KLCC area – south view

Skyline of KLCC area – north view

Fore more latest updates on KLCC condos, read more at Star online;
KL’s 10 most expensive condos;The Lure of KLCC and Fewer new projects as land costs escalate.

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…