Promising outlook for Malaysia's industrial property market

KUALA LUMPUR: The outlook of the industrial property market in the near-term is "promising", underpinned by the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), the economic recovery and the shortage of industrial land in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Penang, said VPC Alliance (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd managing director James Wong.

This was despite falling levels of contribution by the manufacturing sector to the gross domestic product (GDP), as the focus of the government was now on more capital-intensive, high-technology types of industries such as bio-technology, nano-technology and so forth, he said in his talk on the outlook of the industrial property market at the 4th Malaysian Property Summit on Tuesday, Jan 18. The Summit is organised by the Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants in the Private Sector Malaysia (PEPS).

Wong also pointed out that prices of semi-detached factories showed a 8% to 18.3% increase on average in the first half of last year.

He said there were opportunities for property developers to cater to industries related to the seven key sector manufacturing areas under the ETP namely oil and gas (O&G), ICT, palm oil and its derivatives, medical devices, advanced electrical and electronics, food processing and halal products as well as small and medium enterprises (SME) and industrial parks.

Meanwhile, there are also opportunities in halal parks, which are industrial parks for the manufacture of halal products, said Wong citing the Halal Industry Corporation Malaysia data stating that the halal market has seen investments worth RM4.8 billion to date.

Meanwhile, SMEs contributed 31.2% to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009. "Private developers should develop SME parks for the SME industries of smiliar trades to group them together, such as shoes SMEs industrial park with amenities such as common canteen, food courts, and also staff housing for their workers," he said.

Industrial parks are also areas where property developers with large land banks and former plantation tracts in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur can tap into, he added.

Going forward, Wong expects more property developers to jump into the industrial property bandwagon, especially the light industrial, multiple-use semi-detached factories.

"For the buyer, it is a cheaper than buying a three-storey office while offering bigger land area and built-ups," he said.
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