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Iskandar property tips at seminar

EXPERT ADVICE: Chris Tan, founder and managing partner of Chur Associates, discussed the main factors investors should consider when buying Sabah properties at the My Paper Advance seminar yesterday.


    Oct 20, 2014

    Iskandar property tips at seminar

    ISKANDAR is a popular destination for Singaporeans looking to park their money in real estate. But they need to know what they are getting into, says an expert in the Johor region.

    Khalil Adis, founder of Khalil Adis Consultancy and brand ambassador for Iskandar Malaysia, pointed out that not all zones are equal.

    "Before you invest, you must first understand the geography of the region," he told participants at a My Paper Advance seminar yesterday.

    "The heart of Iskandar Malaysia lies in Flagship Zone B - Nusajaya - where the initial success story first occurred."

    At about a 45-minute drive away from Singapore's Changi Airport and with 9,712ha of land, Nusajaya is one of the largest property developments in South-east Asia.

    One of the most attractive factors for investors in Nusajaya would be EduCity, said Mr Khalil. This is a fully integrated education hub comprising universities and other institutes of higher education such as Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia, Marlborough College Malaysia and University of Southampton Malaysia Campus.

    Mr Khalil also gave a brief rundown of the other "flagship zones" in the region.

    Flagship Zone A, the city of Johor Baru, receives 60 per cent of tourists who visit Malaysia. Its key economic activities consist of financial services, commerce and retail, arts and culture, hospitality, urban tourism, plastic manufacturing, electrical and electronics, and food processing.

    The Western Gate Development situated within the south-western region of Iskandar makes up Flagship Zone C, which is centred on the port of Tanjung Pelepas. Some of the key economic activities include port and marine services, warehousing and logistics.

    Flagship Zone D, the Eastern Gate Development, covers Pasir Gudang Port, Pasir Gudang Industrial Park, Tanjung Langsat Port and Tanjung Langsat Industrial Complex. The zone's economic activities comprise heavy industries and logistics, as well as ports and warehousing.

    This zone also has the largest concentration of palm oil-refining industries and downstream activities in the world.

    The final zone, Flagship E, covers the towns of Senai and Skudai. The Senai-Skudai development is located in the northern region of Iskandar Malaysia.

    Some key activities include airport services and engineering. Senai Airport is envisaged to be the No. 2 airport in the region after Changi by 2025.

    Mr Khalil also urged prospective investors not to dismiss commercial and industrial properties, as their supply is limited compared to residential properties.

    He said: "There is a limited supply of industrial and commercial properties and it is a good thing, as it means there is less competition for investors who are targeting the huge supply of residential units."

    He noted that with Iskandar's population of 1.6 million expected to nearly double by 2025, "property prices across all sectors will appreciate".

    "However, the oversupply in residential units in Iskandar Malaysia will put pressure on rental returns for investors," he said. 

    The seminar, entitled Strategic Game Plan: Buying Property In Johor And Sabah, was held at Singapore Press Holdings' News Centre auditorium.

    Another speaker was Richard Oon, national tax director at TY Teoh International, who shed light on Malaysia's impending goods and services tax (GST) roll-out, and how it could affect property investments in the country.

    The final two speakers were Vincent Tan, head of Mah Sing Group's Singapore office and Chris Tan, founder and managing partner of Chur Associates.

    Mr Vincent Tan touched on the subject of real-estate trends in Malaysia while Mr Chris Tan discussed the main factors investors should consider when buying Sabah properties.

    Retiree David Low, 65, said he was glad he attended the seminar. "I came to learn about the GST implementation. The 6 per cent will affect our future purchases and also the ones that we have already bought," he said.