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Iskandar developers see continued strong momentum [05-08-2013]  
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Property developers in Iskandar Malaysia are reaping big rewards as the property outlook in the economic growth region remains vibrant.

Johor Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) branch deputy chairman Wong Kuen Kong said many Johor Rehda members had reported good response for most new launches.

He said the “feel-good” factor was a continuation from last year, with many optimistic that the momentum would be maintained in the second-half of this year and 2014.

“The confidence level among developers in Iskandar is now at an all-time high,” Wong told StarBiz.

He said this could be seen from the many new property launches that had taken place almost every weekend in the first half of the year.

Wong said Johor Rehda members had already started planning for more new launches until the end of this year.

“Previously, Klang Valley and Penang were high on the radar screen. Now Iskandar has joined the two as the most-sought-after location when it comes to property,” he said.

Developers that participated in the Malaysian Property Exposition (Mapex) held in May this year raked in RM1.6bil in sales over a one-month period compared with RM672.14mil from the Mapex held in November 2012.

The total units of properties transacted had also increased to 2,000 in May compared with 1,449 in November.

The 30-day period starting from the first day of Mapex is the benchmark used by Rehda to determine the value of sales by participating developers.

However, he reiterated that the prices of properties in Iskandar were still low compared with those in the Klang Valley and Penang.Iskandar is a long-term development and if the prices of properties do not skyrocket in the mid-term, it will continue to attract strong interest from investors,’’ added Wong.

SP Setia Bhd divisional general manager Hoe Mee Ling said the cooling measures implemented by Singapore for foreigners buying private properties in the republic were good for Iskandar.

She said the presence of Singapore’s CapitaLand Group in Danga Bay sent a strong signal to other developers that the company had strong faith in Iskandar.

“Many investors, especially Singaporeans, are taking the cue from CapitaLand’s presence, and most of them do not want to miss the boat,’’ said Hoe.

She added that the proposed Rapid Transit System linking Johor Baru and Singapore would make Iskandar more attractive to investors, as connectivity and accessibility between the two countries would improve.

Hoe said apart from Singaporeans, Japanese, South Koreans, Indonesians and mainland Chinese were also buying residential properties in Iskandar.

He said there was strong interest from multinational corporations as well as Singapore’s small and medium enterprises to relocate their operations to Iskandar, as the cost of operating in Iskandar was 30% lower than on the island republic.

KGV International Property Consultants (M) Sdn Bhd director Samuel Tan Wee Cheng said the company had received queries from local and foreign developers to buy land in Iskandar.

He said many had seen the progress and development taking place in Iskandar in the past seven years, and hence, they also wanted to be part of the action.

He said the completion of major infrastructure projects and iconic developments in Iskandar further reaffirmed that the economic region was moving in the right direction.

He said the price of land in Iskandar had appreciated over the years, with the asking average price for development land now stood at between RM15 and RM20 per sq ft from RM10, and RM65 per sq ft for industrial land from RM20.

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