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THE EDGE REIF 2015: Follow the infrastructure!

PETALING JAYA (April 25): Proposed infrastructure developments in Penang, Iskandar Malaysia and Greater Kuala Lumpur will create opportunities for new property hotspots.

This was highlighted by Ho Chin Soon and Ishmael Ho, chairman and CEO respectively, of Ho Chin Soon Research, during their presentation entitled “Property Hotspots: Heating Up or Cooling Down?” at the The Edge Investment Forum on Real Estate 2015 today.

“In Penang, the upcoming infrastructure projects to look out for are the Sky Cab as well as the first proposed LRT project on the island,” said Ishmael (pictured bottom), adding that it would ease Penang island’s transport woes.

The 17.5km LRT project that stretches between the Komtar tower and Penang International Airport is expected to be awarded in June and targeted for completion within five to six years. 

The 3km-long Sky Cab is a cable car system connecting Butterworth to Georgetown. It is expected to start operations in 2018. 

Ishmael added that the proposed Eco Marina Development by Eco World Development Group on Batu Kawan island in Seberang Perai is a development to look out for.

Down south in Iskandar Malaysia, Chin Soon (pictured top) provided information regarding the potential MRT stations in Johor linking to Singapore. He singled out three locations: Tanjung Puteri, Bukit Chagar, and JB Sentral, as potential sites for the rapid transit system (RTS).

Moving people faster

Ishmael said that “moving people faster is the key” when it comes to identifying property hotspots as the ideal time for daily commute to work is generally under 20 to 30 minutes. He also noted that rental for properties within a 500m radius of LRT routes are generally 20% higher than those located further.

Ishmael compared our current transportation infrastructure to those of cities such as Hong Kong and Shenzhen, and noted that high speed rails in Hong Kong and Shenzhen easily carry more than 200,000 people each day, whereas we struggle to cater to 60,000.

Additionally for Johor, Ishmael noted that the third bridge and proposed bridges to Pengerang will also create potential property markets in Johor, such as for those who frequently commute to Singapore.

For Greater KL, Chin Soon highlighted the locations for stations one to seven of the KL-Singapore High Speed Rail from Sungai Besi to Gerbang, Nusajaya. The locations are Sungai Besi/Bandar Malaysia, Putrajaya, Seremban (Labu Estate), Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat (Ayer Hitam), and the last station at Gerbang, Nusajaya.

MRT Line 2

As for the MRT Line 2 in Greater KL, Chin Soon noted that a proposed realignment of its route will no longer see it passing through the Cheras area but instead rerouted to cater to areas of Sungai Besi/Bandar Malaysia. He said that hotspots will depend on the final structure of the alignment, which will be more certain after the public objection period that is to start in May for three months.

Meanwhile, Ishmael speculated that the 857,000 who registered for PR1MA houses may be disappointed to find that the “supply will be coming in very slowly”. Chin Soon added that although most would like to buy properties near infrastructure routes, affordability could be an issue.

“Follow the infrastructure. If you get the infrastructure correct, the hotspots will follow,” he said.

For the full details of The Edge Investment Forum on Real Estate 2015, read the May 4 issue of City&Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia

Also, do check out the videos here and here.

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