May 26, 2015 Last Updated 6:09 AM, May 26, 2015


KUALA LUMPUR: Commercial banks in Malaysia have come out in full support of the government’s initiatives to assist households from low and middle-income groups to buy their own homes, says The Association of Banks Malaysia (ABM).

It added on Monday that it is untrue that there are tougher credit checks on potential buyers.

While keeping the household debt under control, ABM executive director Chuah Mei Lin said its member banks that have participated in government schemes such as ‘PR1MA’ and ‘Skim Rumah Pertamaku’, are frequently reviewing their strategies to boost home ownership in the country.


“The rejection rate for housing loans have been on a declining trend from 25% in 2012 to 18% in 2014 reflecting borrowers and lenders adjusting better to the affordability assessments,” he added.

Chuah noted that consumers must make sound decisions of their own affordability according to their financial circumstances.

Moreover, AMB said consumers are encouraged to disclose information on their financial position so that its member banks that are offering several housing loan packages can provide to the needs of its consumers.

“Commercial banks are committed to playing their role in this process and will continue to provide loans to eligible applicants,” it added.







source: The Star


KUALA LUMPUR, May 24, 2015: 

The red-hot demand for properties in Johor seems to be cooling fast for Singaporeans ever since the minimum price threshold was raised to RM1 million from March 2014.

Singaporean property commentator Aaron Loy, whose peeve was published at The Online Citizen, noted that the minimum property price means such developments “are not made to be affordable for the locals. They’re there to maximise profits from foreigners (read: Singaporeans) with cash to spare”.

While this may not be a major factor yet for those who still consider such prices to be “cheap”, Loy said such thinking may be wrong as it does not consider longer term issues like who the property can later be sold to.

“Unless the government lowers the limit or there’s a miracle spike in property prices, the limit effectively eliminates all foreigners as potential buyers for your property. So, how can you sell.. when there are no buyers?”

This sentiment was echoed by UK’s Financial Times, which reported: “The idea that the Malaysian developments in Iskandar would satisfy a huge demand for a Singaporean overspill is being tested to its limits.”

It reported that Monetary Authority of Singapore board member Lawrence Wong warned residential developers, especially those from China, have built too many condominiums too quickly, stoking fears of a glut.

Wong had reportedly said there were 336,000 private residential units in the pipeline in the Iskandar development zone . “This, he said, was more than the total number of private homes in Singapore and would depress prices.”

FT also cited sales problems at Country Garden, a giant property developer from China that’s building 45 condominium towers offering a total of 9,500 units on the Danga Bay waterfront overlooking Singapore, to be completed by 2017.

“The number booked or sold has stalled at around two-thirds since October 2013, when construction began.

“Another Chinese developer, Guangzhou R&F Properties, has sold only about half of the 1,400 units in the first phase of its Iskandar development. Greenland Group, another Chinese developer, has a further 2,000 units coming on stream, adding to market pressures.”

As to the prospect of Singaporeans and many working there want to live in Johor, Loy asked: “How many are willing to spend the extra time, at least twice a day, five times a week, enduring traffic jams going to and fro work via the check points?”

This factor, said Lot, means the potential for rental income remains low and as an indicator, he asked would-be property buyers to consider patronage at Johor businesses: “Are customers mostly locals or Singaporeans who visit Malaysia during the weekends?

“From what I see so far, demand from local business staff is extremely low. So, who’s going to rent your property?

“In my opinion, Iskandar Malaysia is, especially residential projects, in effect, is like Batam Island, in that they’re made to cater to Singaporean cash cows who are willing to be milked. In other words, most of it is hype, with inflated prices and an excess of fake demand.”





source: The Rakyat Post


PETALING JAYA: UEM Sunrise Bhd, which is targeting RM2 billion sales this year, expects to launch the stalled Aurora Tower at KLCC project next year, said its managing director and CEO Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib.

"We're nearly there. We're talking with Rakyat Holdings Sdn Bhd at this point in time to find an amicable solution and discussions have been very positive because both parties are interested to see this thing up. Hopefully we can conclude before end of the year and move forward," he told reporters at its AGM yesterday.

He said the project will be launched in mid or end of 2016 and plans for the project remain the same.

"We spent so much money on the design and it's a world-class design with a world-class architect so we'll keep it as what it is," he added.

The old Bangunan Angkasaraya site came into UEM Sunrise's portfolio through its acquisition of Sunrise Bhd. In April 2013, the company said that Rakyat Holdings was taking it to court for allegedly breaching an agreement dated Jan 14, 2008 between Rakyat Holdings and UEM Sunrise's subsidiary Aurora Tower At KLCC Sdn Bhd (previously Tanah Tuah Development Sdn Bhd) for the sale of Angkasaraya.

Rakyat Holdings, a subsidiary of Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Bhd, was the original owner of Bangunan Angkasaraya. Sunrise had bought Aurora Tower At KLCC, then deemed to be the owner of Bangunan Angkasaraya, in May 2008 for RM57.4 million in total (inclusive of a RM30.4 million loan) from two companies, Reliance Pillar Sdn Bhd and Lembaran Segimaju Sdn Bhd.

On its RM2 billion sales target this year, Anwar said it expects less contribution from international sales this year compared with last year. Last year, it achieved RM2.4 billion sales, of which RM1.498 billion came from international sales.

"In terms of sales mix, our international sales will not be as much as what we had last year, but it will be quite evenly spread across the southern region, central region and international," he said.

He said the gross development value (GDV) of The Conservatory project in Melbourne is about RM650 million (AU$200.6 million) while the retail and service apartment/hotel portions of the Aurora Melbourne Central project has not been sold yet and could add up to international sales this year.

On its project in Durban, South Africa, the company expects to obtain approvals by the fourth quarter this year. It expects to launch the project in 2017 or 2018. The company has partnered the city council for this project.

"We can't give you the GDV at this point in time because the density of the development has also changed. We have been working hard to get higher plot ratios in the area. In terms of acreage, it is just below 30 acres and located in a very prime location," he said.

In terms of launches this year, it has eight projects with a total GDV of RM3.7 billion in the pipeline.

Anwar said it is confident of achieving higher net profit this year. Last year, its net profit fell 17.1% to RM479.8 million from RM579.1 million the year before.

For its first quarter ended March 31, 2015, net profit fell 13.6% to RM53.1 million from RM61.5 million a year ago while revenue rose 3.9% to RM417.4 million from RM401.5 million a year ago.

Its chairman Tan Sri Dr. Ahmad Tajuddin Ali said it has allocated RM500 million cash per year for land acquisitions, for the next three to four years.

Anwar said it has sufficient headroom for land acquisitions with gearing at 0.37 times and net gearing at 0.22 times.






source: The Sun Daily