Johor property growth seen steady

By THE STAR

KUALA LUMPUR: There was a last minute change to the pre-arranged meeting with United Malayan Land Bhd’s (UMLand) subsidiary Exquisite Mode Sdn Bhd.

Its head of subsidiary Ken Ng had to leave Kuala Lumpur earlier for a briefing by the Iskandar Regional Development Authority on the next 10-year plan for the Iskandar region in Johor.

The number of projects may appear to have come down but things are still moving.

“It’s good that the growth is steady,” he said of the Johor property market.

Compared with two years ago, the number of projects announced in the southern state has reduced. During that period, land transaction prices recording new highs grab headlines.

But it has cooled down a little since.

Ng said the property landscape in Johor has softened a little but it’s definitely thriving.

“Guess who are the biggest investors in Johor? It’s the Singaporeans!”

So simply put, Johor would do well as long as Singapore did well, he explained.

One of the developments in the Johor Bahru City Centre is the multi-billion transformation programme. The plan is to rejuvenate and revitalise the city.

Along Jalan Wong Ah Fook and Jalan Trus is home to Suasana Iskandar, a RM500mil integrated project that includes serviced apartments, hotel and retail space.

“The Sungai Segget stretch will be the next Orchard Road,” he said.

There will be one block of 29-storey serviced apartments with 343 units for sale, an 18-storey hotel with 242 rooms on a podium with facilities and a two-storey shopping mall.

The hotel will be operated by Onyx Hospitality Singapore Pte Ltd, which runs several hotel chains in Thailand.

“There is still shortage of good hotels here.

“The hotel will be four to four and a half stars,” Ng said. On the other hand, the company has sold a third of its residential units at an average of RM1,100 per sq ft.

The built-up of the houses range from 644 sq ft to 1,238 sq ft.

Half of the home buyers are locals while the other half are foreigners, most of which are Singaporeans and about 10% of them are Japanese.

The company has partnered with Samsung to build smart homes with smart technology features. Next, it will be launching the second batch of the apartments at about RM1,200 per sq ft.

As for the mall, the company would be meeting potential tenants from Singapore next week and local tenants in early July.

“About 30 Singaporean retailers have expressed interest. We want to bring something different to Malaysia while maintaining a local touch,” said Ng.

Singapore’s Neverland Group will be one of its anchor tenants. The new club will be close to 6,000 sq ft in the basement of the mall.

The proposed extension of the rapid transit system Thompson line that links Johor Baru with Singapore will have a stop right in front of the project, he added.

The project is expected to be completed in 2016 with the opening of the hotel towards the second half of the year.

– Malaysia Property News

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