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Melaka’s big draw

KUALA LUMPUR: The property market in the historical city of Melaka, particularly its commercial retail and hospitality sectors, will continue to grow as long as it continues to draw tourists, said real estate consultants.

Its listing as a Unesco World Heritage Site has also boosted its tourism sector, which accounts for 70% of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP).

With the state government targeting 10 million tourists this year, optimism abounds in the market.

Known more for its centuries of history and touristy charms, Melaka has seen much growth since 2005 with large infrastructure and real estate developments flowing into the state.

New developments in Melaka include Hatten Group Sdn Bhd’s Hatten Square mixed-development and the newly launched Hatten City, the new Hard Rock Café, the Casa del Rio hotel, new Tesco hypermarket in Cheng and several land reclamation projects along its coastline.

Both values and rents are expected to appreciate in tandem with the growth of its tourism sector, said consultants. The shophouses in the city, they said, have been seeing significant value appreciation over the years.

For instance, the average price of a 3-storey shoplot in the prime commercial area of Jalan Merdeka surged 150% to RM1.5 million in 2010 from RM580,000 in 2003, said Rahim & Co Chartered Surveyors Sdn Bhd in Melaka manager and valuer Chah Yau Yee.

Meanwhile, the prices of shops in the heritage zone of Jonker Street have doubled to RM1.4 million currently from RM700,000 a year ago, he says.

In comparison, prices of shophouses in Kuala Lumpur’s Bukit Bintang area, for instance, may range from RM4 million to RM38 million depending on location and frontage.

JS Valuers Property Consultants (Melaka) Sdn Bhd executive director Tee Ping Lim said in the buffer zone of Heeren Street, shop values have appreciated by 10% annually since the Unesco listing.

C H Williams Talhar & Wong Sdn Bhd branch manager Teh Hong Chua said investors, especially Singaporeans, are snapping up these shops. With such investment opportunities, perhaps Melaka will once more be a hub of renown for reasons apart from tourism.

To find out more about Melaka’s investment potential, read the special report in the May 9 edition of The Edge.

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