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A Tougher Year for Property Investors with Abundant Opportunities

Gavin Tee: 2013 – A Tougher Year for Property Investors with Abundant Opportunities

Across the globe, both developed and emerging countries are practising an open door policy to compete for funds and are spoilt for choice due to the many options available. “The march of globalisation has not spared any country and we will see sweeping changes in the real estate world in the coming years,” said Gavin Tee, an international property consultant and speaker.

Currently, emerging markets such as Myanmar, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam are high on the radar of many global funds but even developed nations such as Germany, China, Australia and Singapore are on the market for such funds. As a result, the world will witness a shift in the flow of funds as funds gravitate towards countries that offer the best returns in an increasingly uncertain global economic and political environment, Tee added. He was speaking at the ‘Changing Face of the Real Estate World’ seminar held at the Putra World Trade Centre.

The property consultant continued: “This year will also see a move towards more tightening of financing and more tax increases around the world. This will benefit the bigger players who have more leverage in a challenging environment. One of the consequences would be more emphasis by investors on how to handle taxes payable.”

“As rapid development takes place, some key issues that will arise are traffic jams which may see countries focusing more on infrastructure this year, that makes properties located in government’s mega plans and special economic zones (SEZ) more attractive,” said Tee, who is also the Founder and President of Swhengtee International Real Estate Investors Club.

In general, the flow of funds since 2009 has clearly moved towards the southern part of the globe and even within countries, the southern part appears to be more popular. For example, Australia, Brazil and India located nearer the equator are ‘hot’ while Europe, USA and Japan are ‘cool’.

Within Asia, Southeast Asia is booming while North Asia like Japan and Hong Kong are looking to Southeast Asia to invest in especially Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Singa- pore. On the other hand, Southern Chinese cities such as Nanning and Guangdong are also attracting the interest of investors especially those from Southeast Asia, according to Tee.

Property hotspots

Globally, the hotspots that stand out in 2013 are as follows: London, New York, Miami, Madrid, Jakarta, Greater KL, Iskandar, Queensland region and Wuxi.

Within Malaysia, the Iskandar Region and Johor Bahru will take the lead this year while the southern part of the Klang Valley, although quieter this year, will still be buzzing along due to the development of many new townships and mega projects including the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit).

The Klang Valley hotspots can be found all the way from Subang West, Dengkil, Cyberjaya, to Section 14, PJ. Within KL city centre, expect the upcoming Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), Pudu Jail and the Sungei Besi airport redevelopments to provide some excitement this year, Tee revealed.

2013 hotspot ranking in Malaysia is as follows:

1) Iskandar – Medini/Puteri Harbour

2) Greater KL – KL City south (TRX, Imbi, Bukit Ceylon)

3) Kota Kinabalu

4) Penang – Second bridge area and the mainland

5) Kuching

6) Pangkor

7) Melaka

8) KLIA zone

9) Tebrau Area, JB

10) Cyberjaya

Tighter financing

The secondary market in most of the world may face a challenging time this year due to the stricter financing measures put in place in most countries. Singapore just recently made it harder while more cooling measures are expected this year in China. In some jurisdictions, loan margins for second house onwards have dropped to below 50 percent. In Malaysia, it is a lot harder now to get loans, said Tee, adding that the biggest impact will be on the secondary market as developers

could still adjust to make purchasing in the primary market easier.

He forecasts the secondary market may face a very tough year where tourism-related property globalized urban areas and medium cost will be exceptional.

More Malay participation

This year will also see more Malay participation in the property market. While mega projects and SEZs like Cyberjaya and Iskandar are domi- nated by the government or Malay businessmen, most prime residential areas, with the exception of a few areas are still dominated by the Chinese. Having said that, expect some Malay reserved land and even

kampung areas to experience development, according to the property consultant. Additionally, as rural – urban migration increases, more younger Malays are getting interested to buy their own properties in town areas. This is giving rise to a new phenomenon of more Malay property speakers and consultants entering the market.

Tee’s word of advice for those planning to buy this year is to avoid areas which are going to experience valuation and financing challenges, for example where there is an oversupply and overpriced situation although there are not many of such places.


February 25, 2019

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