Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Malaysia - the 10th friendliest nation

PETALING JAYA: Forbes Online has rated Malaysia as the 10th friendliest country in the world, based on HSBC's recent Expat Explorer Survey, “Better quality of life, a satisfying social life, easy local travel and better housing than in their home country helped put Malaysia in fifth place overall though many reported difficulty integrating into the local community (often because of a language barrier),” a recent Forbes Online article stated.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak lauded the article and tweeted yesterday, “We welcome the world”. Forbes Online listed Cayman Islands, Australia and Britain as the top three friendliest destinations for expatriates. Referring to the survey, the article stated that the three nations were the “easiest to befriend locals, learn the local language, integrate into the community and fit into the new culture”. It quoted an expatriate living in Cayman Islands who gave the place the thumbs up for not having any income or payroll tax, hardly any crime and for being pollution-free, besides an all-year summer.

Canada took fourth place in Forbes Online's World's Friendliest Countries 2012, followed by New Zealand, Spain, United States, Bermuda, South Africa and Malaysia. The HSBC survey, which is in its fifth year, looked into various aspects of an expatriate's life including economics, namely income, disposable income and a measure of luxury; overall experience; and raising children abroad which took into account childcare, health and well-being and integration of children.

It also noted that expatriates living in Asia such as in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong found it difficult to integrate with the local community compared to many English-speaking countries mainly due to the language barrier. According to the survey, Malaysia was a top destination for career-driven expatriates and a great quality of life but noted that many looked at it as a temporary base. A total of 5,339 expatriates from 97 countries took part in the online survey which was carried out from May 11 to July 3.

The Star Online - Monday 29th October, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

The showcase at Penang Times Square

This was WR's first visit to one of the latest lifestyle hotspots in Penang - the Penang Times Square. The PIP Property & Home showcase may not be have the same magnitud as the other more prominent property events but it is nevertheless, a good platform to showcase your properties and create even more awareness in the market.

Monday, October 22, 2012

PIP Property & Home Showcase 2012

WR will be at this event. Please do come visit us and find out more about Chic Urban Living redefined.

Venue: Penang Times Square
Booth: A6 (1st floor, Concourse Area)
Date: 26 - 28/10/2012
Time: 11am - 10pm

Friday, October 19, 2012

Malaysia Property Market 2012/2013

Generally, property prices in Malaysia have appreciated dramatically between 20%-100% beyond the affordability of most people giving rise to much discontent in the last few years especially in the state of Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Low interest rates, high liquidity, high labour costs as well as compliance costs and inflation which leads to rise in building material costs are some of the major elements that contribute to this surge in prices. Is Malaysia experiencing a 'property bubble'? It is a question yet to be answered.

It is a true fact that Malaysia property market has been doing well in the past couple of years. However, the Malaysian Government intervention has taken place recently. Malaysia Government is trying to 'cool' the local property market and prevent the property prices from rising further by introducing several 'cooling' measures.

Under the Central Bank's new lending guidelines which took effect on 1 January 2012, loans are now approved based on net income rather than gross income. The volume of loan applications for residential properties declined by 3 percent year-on-year in August 2012, leading to a decline by 12.7 percent in loan approvals, according to OSK Research. This trend is said to be an indicative of the residential property market cooling following tightening measures by Central Bank. However, it is not rational to conclude that the demand for local property has been decreased based solely on this single data as the loan volume might actually remains relatively constant; it is probably just means that people are still able to borrow, just that they have to apply to a few more different banks nowadays compared to last time.

Under Budget 2013, the real property gains tax (RPGT) rate for properties sold within two years was increased by 10 percent to 15 percent while the rate for properties sold within three to five years was raised from 5 percent to 10 percent. This second year of hike in RPGT acts as a very first step to contain the issue of rising property prices although it is less likely to have an impact in curbing excessive property market speculation, according to property analysts.

The various minimum limits for foreign purchases imposed by the Government for different states also aim to protect the interests of local Malaysians. For instance, the minimum limit for foreign purchases of all properties is RM1 million in Penang while landed properties is in higher limit which is RM2 million starting from 1st of July 2012. However, the limits are considered low for foreigners who are cash rich. The developers will most probably rising the property prices in order to target and attract these potential foreign buyers. Besides, these foreign purchase transactions constitute only 2.26% in the year of 2011 in Penang. Thus, there is a big question arises as to whether these limitations will be effective enough to control speculation in Penang properties that is continuously driving up in prices.

It is believed that the property prices in Malaysia will continue to rise, but at a slower pace in the coming months and will continue to rise in the coming year of 2013 because the local buying interest will remains strong due to increasing affordability, the local buyers see homes as hedge against inflation and have no other options in alternative investments. Additionally, the cooling measures taken by the Government is said to be not good and effective enough to prevent property prices from rising further. Besides, there are many foreign buyers who are very interested in buying Malaysia property. For illustration, there is a lot of interest from Singaporean in buying Johor Bahru property. The Malaysia property market is expected to grow despite rising property prices in the near future.

Based on the article by Alecia Tan

Friday, October 12, 2012

Luxurious Condominium - Living a life you fantasized

Everybody has their dream house. Then, others have their dream condo! Getting a condominium unit is becoming popular these days. Most young couples prefer getting a condo unit rather than a house, primarily because it is financially easier to acquire, not to mention it is more flexible in payment terms. Due to the fact that most condo developments are also conveniently built near every important site such as schools, office buildings, supermarkets, churches, parks, and transport stations.

Imagine how effortless it would be to get to work (or school) or to dash to the grocery when you run out of some supplies. In an aesthetic sense, condominiums are mostly fine-looking, with trendy styles ranging from neo-Asian to Mediterranean to ultra-modern, even futuristic. It is all so nice to go home to your loved ones in your luxurious condo after a tiring day.

What is a luxurious condo like? Despite the differences of people's taste and style, they all seem to agree on the qualities of a perfect condo and condominium community. Why do you think people should choose for a luxurious and remarkable condominium? Other than its proximity to key locations, it has plenty of lush greenery that are soothing, calming, relaxing. The ambiance is pleasant and inviting, and the whole community is secured at all times. It has disaster management as well as fire protection systems.

Luxury condominium community have a good combination of urban and rural elements. You get the nature vibe right in the heart of the city. There are sensible amenities. Pools, cabanas, gyms, and clubhouse are standard. There are also jogging paths where you can have rejuvenating morning jogs and a field for sport activities such as tennis/badminton, basketball, and the likes. Biking trails are starting to get in style, too. They have a well-organized parking area. The infrastructures are of fine quality.

A dream condo is spacious and clean, and offers spectacular view of the world outside your private little world. The place is warm and hospitable towards locals and foreigners alike. It is a primary consideration if you are looking for an excellent condominium living experience. While some people want the freedom to decorate, select color schemes and style the interiors of their own condo unit, others prefer a fully furnished one. Luxury condominiums give its clients both choices.

Another significant importance is the location of the condominium. If it is built within a tourist destination, or a melting pot, then it would be perfect! Diversity of culture is always interesting, plus it gives the added benefit of value appreciation should the time come when you decide to sell your unit for a new one. And if you are not ready to sell it yet, then maybe you can rent it out to tourists when you are going to be away on a holiday. You can generate really handsome income from doing so.

Considering all the things discussed, a truly luxurious condo is a place that you can call your sanctuary; it is your own little paradise; a place where you really want to be.

Based on the article by Jennylyn P Pereira

Friday, October 5, 2012

Determining How Much Real Estate You Can Afford

Real estate is one of the largest investments most people will make in their lifetime. However, it is also one of the safest investments to make. When you buy a home and maintain it for the long-term, the value is likely to increase. There will be times when the value dips and you find yourself wondering if you made the right decision. However, if this is a home that you love and want to remain in, it is worthwhile. Before you do make any buying decision, understand the actual cost of this property to you.

Determine What You Can Afford
Prior to buying real estate, most experts tell homebuyers to focus first on what they can afford. Work with a lender to determine how much of a loan you are able to obtain. When you do this first, you do not end up looking at homes out of your price range. Additionally, you should not simply believe that what the lender tells you it will lend to you is what you can afford. In other words, determine how much you would like to spend per month on a mortgage payment. Then, determine how much of a home that can get you.

Using Calculators
There are various mortgage and loan calculators available to use online that can provide you with a wealth of information. It can help you to see how much the loan will cost you, for example. An amortization table is a spreadsheet of information that shows you some key important facts including how much each of your mortgage payments will be. It also shows you how much of each payment goes towards the interest and the principle on your loan (separately) so you can see where you are in the cycle. It also gives you a few big figures including the total amount of interest you will pay to buy the home and the total cost of the property, which includes both interest and principle.

Use these figures to help you to make a wise buying choice. When using a calculator like this, you can see the difference if you make just a few changes in your monthly payment. For example, if you choose to pay your mortgage every two weeks, you will shave years off your mortgage life and thousands of dollars off your balance.

By working with these tools as well as your real estate agent, you can find the right home for you. Focus on the investment. How much of a down payment will you make? What interest rate do you qualify for from your lender? All of these factors play a role in the overall monthly payment that you will make as well as what you can afford in the long term.
Based on the article by Aloysius Aucoin

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Construction of second Penang Bridge 84% finished

GEORGE TOWN: Construction of the second Penang Bridge is surging ahead of schedule, with 84% of the project completed. Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd construction director Hamizol Ngah said work was about 2% ahead of plan as of Sept 20. “We are two months ahead of schedule from the September 2013 deadline. “We aim to have 90% of the bridge completed by end of the year,” he said in a briefing for state officials at the China Harbour Engineering Co Ltd (M) Sdn Bhd (CHEC) office in Batu Maung.

Rapid progress: Work on the second Penang Bridge is two months ahead of schedule from the September 2013 deadline. Rapid progress: Work on the second Penang Bridge is two months ahead of schedule from the September 2013 deadline.

Hamizol said if work continued as planned, the two ends of the bridge would converge at the main navigation span in early April next year. The 24km bridge will then be on record as the longest bridge in South-East Asia. Hamizol said the bridge would have a lifespan of 120 years and the ability to withstand earthquakes up to 7.5 on the Richter scale by using the “High Damping Rubber Bearing” system. State Public Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng, who was present at the briefing, said two traffic dispersal projects on the island end of the bridge were expected to kick off next year. “The Federal Government had approved RM262mil to upgrade the coastal road (Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway) from the entrance of the second bridge to the mouth of the first Penang Bridge.

“Aside from that, RM161mil has been allocated to upgrade roads leading south to Teluk Kumbar from the Batu Maung Interchange.” He said both projects were expected to be completed about a year after the second bridge opened to traffic in September next year. “We expect about 30% of the first bridge's traffic (70,000 vehicles per day) to move to the second bridge, so we think traffic will be manageable until the two upgrading projects are completed,” he said. He also said the state had been informed that CHEC, one of the contractors for the second bridge, was not involved in the building of the Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge that collapsed in China on Aug 24. Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had previously called for an immediate safety audit on the second bridge following speculation that China Communications and Construction Company Ltd, the parent company of CHEC, was the contractor of the collapsed bridge in Heilongjiang province.

Source: The Star Online - Wednesday, 3rd October 2012