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#The Edge Forum* New infrastructure boons for popular property markets

PETALING JAYA: Massive new infrastructure projects are poised to create more investing opportunities in already-popular property markets, according to a presentation by mapmaker Ho Chin Soon.

During his presentation at The Edge Investment Forum on Real Estate 2014 on Saturday, April 19, titled “Are there any more hotspots – Where to put your money?” he cited several locations that he believes will be major future hotspots.

“For Penang, in the years to come, you should look carefully at Batu Kawan as well as Gurney Drive as there will be possible reclamation projects. In Iskandar Malaysia, they have announced the High Speed Rail (HSR) and the Rapid Transit System (RTS) while in Greater Kuala Lumpur, the centre of gravity is heading south driven by the recently approved mass rapid transit (MRT) line 2, among other new infrastructure works,” said Ho, who is founder and director at property research firm Ho Chin Soon Sdn Bhd.

In Penang, Ho noted that in due time, there will be a new highway built in Gurney Drive with land reclamation and new developments to happen near the Gurney roundabout.

“Banyan Tree has plans for a resort in Teluk Bahang while in Batu Kawan, there are still a lot of land left for development. Ikea is also entering Batu Kawan while Seri Tanjung Pinang and the Royal Military Air Force base is receiving attention due to the proposed undersea tunnel project.”

He also noted that down south, the HSR will create more hotspots starting at Bandar Malaysia with the last stop likely to be Gerbang Nusajaya in Iskandar Malaysia, although plans have yet to be finalised.

As for the RTS, all eyes are on Stulang Laut as it has great potential depending on where the Singapore government plans to place the RTS stations, said Ho.

He also highlighted Woodlands North as China-based Guangzhou R&F Properties Co Ltd had acquired a 116-acre parcel of land from the Sultan of Johor for RM4.5 billion.

“In five years time, the Thomson line will open in Woodlands North, opening up opportunity for a cross border link between Johor Baru and Singapore. Whether it will be an undersea tunnel or above ground has yet to be determined,” he said.

Meanwhile, Greater Kuala Lumpur’s  centre of gravity has shifted to the south towards Kinrara Army Camp, spurred by the new Serdang-Kinrara-Putrajaya Expressway (Skip), Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex), Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Elevated Expressway (Suke), and Damansara-Shah Alam Highway (Dash).

“Of more importance besides the highways is the MRT. As you all know, real estate prices along the first line, the blue line, have gone up tremendously and last month when they approved the MRT line 2, the market again buzzed with excitement.”

“The first station for the blue line starts at Sungai Buloh. It will then pass through Kampung Baru and the city centre on its way to the Tun Razak Exhange. The Kampung Baru development authority has a master plan for what it wants to do and there will be a water feature.”

This is the eighth year of the property forum, which was organised by The Edge Malaysia. The forum was sponsored by Hong Leong Bank and supported by Sunway Property.

For the full coverage of The Edge Investment Forum on Real Estate 2014, read the coming April 28 issue of City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge weekly.

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