Iskandar to become Malaysia’s Shenzhen


With the backing of Singapore and Malaysia’s governments, Iskandar is anticipated to transform into a thriving production and technology hub just like what happened to China’s Shenzhen, Hong Kong’s neighbour, reported The Financial Times.

Prime Minister Najib Razak said Malaysia, particularly Iskandar, can have a mutually beneficial relationship with Singapore, similar to New Jersey’s close ties with Manhattan.

Ravi Menon, the Head of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has also proposed that the city-state and Iskandar be considered as a single economic zone that would give investors an “integrated production and services base” in the ASEAN region.

3Policymakers see the possibility of businesses being co-located in Iskandar and Singapore,” said Singapore Management University Associate Professor Eugene Tan.

“We just don’t have the land here and Iskandar is close enough for companies to have manufacturing there but the finance and R&D in Singapore.”

In fact, some Singapore companies have already relocated a portion of their operations in Iskandar. For instance, a firm involved in machine tools reconditioning transferred its workshop to a hangar in the Malaysian region.

“Our sales office is 30 minutes from here, in Singapore. There’s a lot of walk-in customers and we can bring them here to test the machines,” said its Manager Angela Pang.

“Our rental in Singapore was going to expire and this is cheaper,” she noted, explaining that the rental cost of commercial space in the city-state is more expensive than those in Iskandar by about three times.

However, real estate investments in Iskandar have recently plummeted due to worries over a supply glut of residential properties.

In the year to March 2017, overall property investment there plunged to only US$86 million compared to US$1.4 billion during the corresponding period in 2013.

“The drop in volumes between now and 2013 is highly noticeable,” noted Real Capital Analytics Director for Asia Pacific, Petra Blazkova.

“Our view is that it stemmed from an imbalance between the supply of land or property and demand from real estate investors.”

One major factor behind the oversupply is the fact that China’s Country Garden is building a massive development on four reclaimed island off the coast of Johor.

Known as Forest City, the US$100 billion development is forecasted to have a population of 700,000 people in about 20 years.

However, Beijing’s restrictions on money outflows has affected the apartment sales in the project as most of its buyers are from China. The developer even closed down its sales galleries in the country and is planning to attract other buyers from other nations.

Iskandar Regional Development Authority’s (IRDA) CEO Ismail Ibrahim also admitted that there is a “temporary” oversupply of homes in the region. Nevertheless, he is confident that the excess units will be eventually absorbed by the market as Iskandar’s economy is anticipated to flourish.

Among top properties in Iskandar Malaysia are:

1. Meridin Medini

2. Meridin SOVOs

Image sourced from Iskandar Properties


Investing In Luxury Properties

johor bahru property

The prospective market for luxury real estate is now a larger market, all thanks to the growing total global wealth. Luxury properties have been emerging one after another in Malaysia, especially so in Iskandar Malaysia region. So what makes luxury property a good investment?

  1. Distinctive Living Experience

The drawing aspect of luxury properties has to be the bespoke qualities that are superior, exclusive and unique. This extraordinary luxury lifestyle will grant you the opportunity to live your life at its finest.

  1. Long-term Value

With intensely desirable amenities and services such as absolute privacy and security, efficient traffic system, unhindered views, spacious living spaces, landscaped gardens and custom home designs, these luxury properties do not depreciate easily. A higher selling rate can also be obtained and hence make them worthwhile investments.

  1. High Rental Yields

Supplementary income can be earned from this luxury real estate investment through renting out the premise. People today want the best of both worlds, not having to pay off mortgage, yet still be able to enjoy the extravagance and lavishness that luxury properties offer.

Iskandar confident of RM30bil target for new investments






Based on its achievement since its launch nine years ago, economic growth corridor Iskandar Malaysia is confident of achieving the RM30bil target set for new investments this year.

According to Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) chief executive officer Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, it had already received RM3bil in new investments in the first quarter of the year. Irda is the regulatory authority mandated to plan, promote and facilitate the development of Iskandar Malaysia.

Ismail said the RM3bil new investments came from the manufacturing, services and property sectors and an official announcement on the breakdown of the investments would be made by the end of the month.

“The party is not over yet. The background music is still on and all stakeholders have to work even harder for Iskandar Malaysia to stay attractive and relevant,” Ismail said at a press conference yesterday.

He said this after giving a closed-door briefing on Iskandar Malaysia’s development and progress to Penang Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas during his visit to Kota Iskandar.

Ismail stressed that it was not easy to attract strong interest from domestic and foreign investors to Iskandar Malaysia.

He added that Irda and other stakeholders would not rest on their laurels as Iskandar Malaysia is facing competition not only from other economic growth corridors in the country but also from other countries in the region.

The other corridors are the Northern Corridor Economic Region, the East Coast Economic Region, the Sabah Development Corridor and the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy.

“Although we have surpassed the investment target since our launch, more effort is needed to continue attracting investments to Iskandar Malaysia,” added Ismail.

How To Find A Good Property Negotiator



Choosing and buying the right property as well as selling your own property have never been an easy task, especially if you are doing so without engaging in any form of help. The process of buying and selling properties is not only time-consuming but also requires lots of your energy as many of the tasks that a property negotiator would usually do for you, will require your own effort in order to be done. Buying and selling without a negotiator might pose as a challenge for many, which is exactly why you need a property negotiator, particularly a good one.

When it comes to choosing property negotiators, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. He/She Must Have Your Best Interests At Heart

The property negotiator must have your best interests in mind, above all, instead of trying to hastily close the deal. This ensures not only the property negotiator’s good reputation, but also encourages repeat buyers and recommendations.


  1. He/She Must Have Closed Many Properties’ Deals

The property negotiator must have had worked for at least a few years, preferably full time. More closings are equivalent to more experiences.


  1. He/She Must Be Online

Property negotiators in today’s digital landscape must be internet savvy for most buyers tend to search for properties online first. Therefore, agents today must be skilled in email, text as well as be available online to both buyers and sellers.


  1. He/She Must Be Knowledgeable

In order to find out whether or not the property negotiator you are about to engage is a seasoned one, remember to ask questions about real estate in which you might have probably learned beforehand. They should be experienced in their field so as to guide you through the complexities of the buying and selling process.


  1. He/She Must Be Able To Communicate Clearly

Communication is undoubtedly vital in any relationship, especially so when you are considering to buy or sell properties in which involve a lot of money. Hence, make sure your property negotiator is fully aware of your requirements.


We are here to hear, to understand and to keep everything simple for you. Best of all, we fit all of the requirements listed above. Contact us today for a non-obligation discussion!

☼ +60 19 718 7004

Malaysia clinches 20th spot in Global Competitiveness Report


Malaysia’s ranking in the Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 improved as it took the 20th spot, up from last year’s 24th position, reported the media.

Despite being the country’s best position so far, Malaysia Productivity Corp director-general, Datuk Mohd Razali Hussain said the government plans to continue to intensify efforts in the pillars of labour market efficiency, macroeconomic environment and technological readiness.

Notably, macroeconomic environment posted a drop of “six places to 44th position from 38th last year. Our area of concern is the government budget balance and general government debt,” said Mohd Razali.

“On technological readiness, Malaysia declined nine places to 60th position from 51st previously.”

He said MPC plans to propose the creation of task force to improve Malaysia’s technological readiness.

Among the initiatives that will be intensified include international Internet bandwidth, mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 population as well as fixed broadband Internet subscriptions per 100 population.

On the labour market efficiency pillar, which climbed from last year’s 25th position to 19th, Mohd Razali revealed that the government will continue to intensify initiatives to promote women’s participation in the labour force.

Notably, 52.4 percent of the country’s entire female population are working last year.

“We will hold discussions with various ministries and agencies to improve Malaysia’s position in the three pillars, as well as, hold more engagements with the business community,” he added.

The Global Competitiveness Report, which is based on the Global Competitiveness Index, was introduced in 2004 by the World Economic Forum.

Farah Wahida, Editor of PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact her about this or other stories

High Speed Rail (HSR) project to drive new industries


The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high speed rail (HSR) project could help create many new industries and breathe life into towns, according to MKH Bhd Managing Director Tan Sri Eddy Chen.

For instance, it can help transform Seremban into a tech valley or regional headquarters for biotechnology firms due to its proximity to research and training centres, while Malacca’s tourism industry could benefit from the fact the visitors don’t have to drive once the HSR is completed.

Day trips will become spontaneous and visitors will have more to spend in Malaysia.

But to achieve this, long long-term planning is a necessity, he said, citing how Japan used its Shinkansen (high speed rail) to open new integrated towns along its route. Moreover, there would be a need for more hotels, malls and location logistics services, he said.

Meanwhile, the upcoming Sungai Buloh-Kajang Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) has boosted the land prices in Kajang from RM7 to RM8 psf to RM17 psf.

“It does not seem to matter to them that the MRT is scheduled for completion only in 2017. The MRT has helped to close the gap between the city and Kajang,” said Chen, who is also the President of Malaysia Shopping Malls Association.

“We are seeing Kajang apartments now selling between RM400 and RM500 psf. These are prices at Mont’Kiara and Seri Hartamas,” he added.


Farah Wahida, Editor of PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact her about this or other stories email


Signs of property bubble noted


A leading U.K. organisation has said a bubble may be forming in the Philippines property market, although while the fast-increasing rate of household lending has raised alarms in both Thailand and Malaysia, it does not necessarily think it is problematic in the latter two countries.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) said in its quarterly report commissioned by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) titled Economic Insight: Southeast Asia, said: “Strong growth underpinned by low interest rates in the Philippines is stoking fears of a property bubble in Manila.

“Inflation is relatively low and economic policymakers are keen to maintain rapid growth; however, property prices in Manila’s financial district, already at a record high, are projected to rise 8 percent this year.”

CEBR also cited an International Monetary Fund (IMF) warning of a domestic asset price bubble, which includes real estate.

The think tank also noted how Southeast Asian countries have showed rising consumption, and over the past four years, the largest economies “have shown a clear trend of putting aside less as they spend more”.

Rising consumption, the report stated, highlights the risks of promoting lending.

It also noted a “striking similarity” in the present situation in Southeast Asia with what transpired during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.

In particular, it spotlighted on how investors have again been turning emerging markets, such as those in Southeast Asia, in search for higher yields, with interest rates in the region still better than those in advanced economies.

“A property bubble is often linked to a rise in household debt as it expands the collateral of would-be borrowers, a pattern evident in the U.S. and U.K. property markets in the run-up to the global financial crisis,” the report said.

Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of PropertyGuru Group, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email

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