KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Property Inc (MPI) recorded an encouraging first quarter at its sales gallery in Singapore with RM41.7 million worth of properties transacted between October and December last year, said its CEO Kumar Tharmalingam.
October and November saw a combined sales of RM21 million while December recorded sales of RM20.7 million. December sales spiked as the holiday season attracted more Singaporeans to the gallery at SGX Centre 1 along Shenton Way.
“Of the RM41.7 million properties sold, 40% were in Johor, 40% in Kuala Lumpur and 20% in Penang. Most of the purchasers were investing to stay and some of them were contemplating the MM2H programme,” Kumar told The Edge Financial Daily.
He said the Singaporeans purchased mainly residential properties.
“To Singaporeans who are tired of the high prices in the island-state, investing across the causeway has become a more affordable option,” he added.
Meanwhile, commercial real estate such as shop houses and boutique offices were not as popular.
According to Kumar, Malaysia is now seen as a core investment destination by foreigners, as the country has low inflation in real estate, reasonably priced property in relation to cost with yields of between 5% and 7% with very little volatility, and stable interest rate policies.
“In Asia at this time you cannot get better than this,” he added.
The MPI office-cum-sales gallery in SGX Centre provides space for Malaysian developers and government agencies to promote their properties.
Developers that have exhibited there include Sime Darby Property, Ireka Group, Sunway City Bhd, IOI Properties Bhd, Dijaya Corp Bhd, UEM Land Holdings Bhd, Hunza Properties Bhd and Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB).
Asked if MPI is looking to set up similar galleries in other parts of the world, Kumar said the board might consider expanding if there is support from the Malaysian developers for other locations and after taking into consideration the success of the current sales gallery.
Among the countries that MPI has been to promote Malaysia as a real estate investment destination are South Korea, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
“We seem to have attracted some attention as we have received delegations from these countries to our office to seek opportunities for investment here,” said Kumar.
MPI has scheduled more missions to Delhi and Mumbai in India this month, Japan next month, and Riyadh, Doha and Korea in May.
MPI was set up in 2008 as a joint venture between the government and the private sector to promote Malaysia as a real estate investment destination.
This article appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, March 4, 2011.
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