Hillside Retreat – New role for old bungalow in Penang Hill

September 20th, 2020 No comments 中文版


A nearly century-old Hillside Bungalow in Penang Hill has been restored to enhance visitors’ experience on the hill.

The project, named Hillside Retreat, is among the state government’s initiatives to further promote Penang Hill as the ‘hill resort of choice’ in Malaysia and the region.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who attended the opening ceremony of the bungalow, said that the initiative was in tandem with the state government’s effort in promoting eco-tourism.

“The bungalow, which is classified as a Category (II) Heritage Building under the Penang Hill Local Plan (1998) and Penang Hill Special Area Plan (2016), has its unique features.

“The project is a partnership between Penang Hill Corporation (PHC) and a private company, Pembinaan YSBT (M) Sdn Bhd, who will be managing the bungalow stay,” Chow said.

PHC is also working on the restoration of the Edgecliff Bungalow to be turned into an information centre-cum-gallery.

A few other restoration works such as the Woodside Bungalow , Convalescent Bungalow and Fernhill Bungalow are ongoing.

“All development proposals in Penang Hill will be evaluated by the corporation’s technical panellists. The panellists will follow strict guidelines when evaluating the proposals.

“PHC will ensure the sustainability of Penang Hill and will not work against it,” Chow said.

The project architect and designer Thesis Architects Sdn Bhd, applied a mixture of contemporary and British colonial style in its interior design.

The newly restored bungalow has four boutique rooms with four bathrooms, four bunker rooms, and a space with 14 tents to accommodate a total of at least 66 people at any one time.

Those who are interested can check out Hillside Retreat’s facebook page at https://m.facebook.com/hillsideretreatpenang/

On a separate note, Chow said the Cabinet has approved the application by PHC for Penang Hill to be recognised as a Unesco Biosphere Reserve.

“Now, we await the relevant ministry to submit the application on behalf of PHC.

“If PHC gets the approval from Unesco, the impact on Penang Hill would be great, just like when George Town was declared as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

“However, it may take two, three or five years before more tourists from all over the world visit Penang Hill – a hill that is 130 million years old,” he said.

PHC general manager Datuk Cheok Lay Leng said the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources would be sending the application to the Malaysian National Commission for Unesco (MNCU).

“The approval may take a year or two and the officials from the Unesco may be visiting us. We just have wait. We will follow the matter closely.

“The 12,481ha proposed Penang Hill Unesco Biosphere Reserve encompasses the Penang Hill, the permanent forest reserves, Penang National Park and the marine park,” Cheok said.


Source: Buletin Mutiara


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Penang land deals transacted in 2019

September 19th, 2020 1 comment 中文版

Today land costs account for about 30% of any property development cost. If you are wondering how much does the land costs in Penang, below is an infographic that shows several land deals transacted in 2019 with a value of more RM10 million. This report is based on data published by The National Property Information Centre (NAPIC) for the year of 2019.


Land transacted at more than RM10mil in 2019


An 11,000 sq.ft. commercial land with pre-ware building near Penang Times Square was the most expensive land transacted in 2019 at RM12mil, which is about RM1,080 per sq.ft. Technically, one piece of land with a size of 1 car park lot would cost around RM125k. It is also 72 times more expensive than the development land in Tasek Gelugor.

The 144-acre freehold land in Tasek Gelugor was acquired by Scientex Bhd at a cost of RM14 per sq.ft, for the development of 2,332 affordably priced double-storey terrace houses.


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Reduce facilities in high-rise residential projects to lower price

September 19th, 2020 1 comment


Will developers start to build fewer facilities in their future integrated developments or high-rise residential projects to reduce cost and lower the selling price for home seekers?

Reducing home prices are the right thing to do if developers want to stay afloat amid the current Covid-19 pandemic and they can entice buyers with more affordable properties, said a senior property consultant.

He said developers are bracing for tough times ahead with the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic and they are implementing cost-cutting measures to reduce their expenses and improve profitability.

“To achieve their sales target and maintain profitability, developers are building smaller apartments with fewer facilities. Some developers tend to build more than 30 facilities, including an infinity pool with floating cocoon, pavilion garden, BBQ deck, herb and zen garden and they take up valuable land resources. These are not free for the property buyers as the developer has incorporated the cost in the selling price.”

“There is no developer that is going to give you more than 20 or 30 facilities to use for free. If they can reduce the number of facilities, then surely they are able to bring down the property price and this would make it more affordable for people.

“I think the priority now for home seekers when looking for a property to purchase is the unit size, price, location, and the reputation of the developer. With the Covid-19 pandemic, they are no longer giving priority or considering the facilities that are featured in the development,” he said.

According to the PropertyGuru Malaysia Consumer Sentiment Study H2 2020, 84 per cent of younger home seekers would consider purchasing properties in developments with fewer facilities such as a swimming pool and badminton court, in exchange for lower property prices.

The study, among others, focused on the impacts of Covid-19 on domestic property and how the market here is evolving as a result.

It showed that the demand for property in Malaysia remains healthy despite the Covid-19 outbreak and the implementation of Movement Control Orders (MCO).

PropertyGuru Malaysia country manager Sheldon Fernandez said that about 81 per cent of Malaysian first-time home seekers were eager to purchase a home by the end of 2021.

“There is a surge of interest among younger home seekers and renters, whereby 47 per cent and 51 per cent of whom respectively shared that Covid-19 had not caused them to delay their property transactions,” Fernandez said.

He said these demographics are prioritising homeownership following months of restricted movement under the MCO.

Source: NST Online


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Garden Superlink @ Jesselton Hills

September 17th, 2020 No comments


Garden Superlink, is the 3rd Garden Homes Collection offering by Wing Tai Asia in Bukit Mertajam. It is part of the 120-acre Jesselton Hills development, which was first launched in 2011. The residential enclave is strategically located near Jalan Rozhan, with easy accessibility to an abundance of nearby amenities. AEON Mall and SJKC Sin Ya primary school are only five minutes drive away.

This development comprises 70 units of 2-storey superlink homes surrounded by lush greens with 3 layout options to choose from. Each unit comes with a minimum land size of 22′ x 79′, including an extra green space for gardening purposes or future extensions.

Project Name : Garden Superlink @ Jesselton Hills
Location :
 Alma, Bukit Mertajam, Penang
Property Type : Residential
Land Size: 22’ x 79’  (Type A), 23’ x 79’ (Type B) & 24’ x 79’ (Type C)
Total Units: 70
Indicative Price: (to be confirmed)
Developer : Wing Tai Asia

Register your interest here

*By submitting this Form, you hereby agree to our PDPA Consent Clause.
(This information may be used by the developer or their appointed agent to initiate follow-up communications with you on the project.)

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Rent-to-own way to address housing affordability issue

September 17th, 2020 No comments


The concept of affordable housing in Malaysia needs a complete reset, with ”rent-to-own” (RTO) schemes being effective to way improve the lives of the lowest income group (B40) nationwide, property expert believes.

Alpha REIT Managers chairman Datuk Stewart LaBrooy said the reset was needed as the term “affordable housing” in Malaysia was an oxymoron. “It doesn’t exist, ” he said. “How do you sell a house to a person who does not have money?

“If you look at the level of wages for the B40 group, which make up the bulk of the population, they cannot afford to buy, ” he said during a panel discussion at the 2020 National Housing and Property Summit on Tuesday.

LaBrooy said the concept of affordable housing should be replaced with the concept of “affordable rents”.

“Here, the government can step in and subsidise rents for these people who can then live in furnished apartments and have quality lives, and can pull themselves up into a higher wage bracket. Because, when you’re sitting in the gutter, you can never get out of it.

“It’s pointless to keep bashing down on minimum wage and forcing people to work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, just to earn enough to stay alive. How can you build affordable housing when the people you’re trying to target just can’t afford them? There’s no market. Zero demand.”

LaBrooy said the only way to deal with the situation is for the government to take the excess demand, subsidise the rent, place the people into decent accommodations and let them start to pick themselves up.

“That’s the starting point. When they start earning more money, they may have an option to buy a unit or move out and buy their own place. You can’t ask them to apply for a loan and buy a house. They’ll default. It’s a given!

“So, this whole thing about affordable housing is not even a debate. It needs a complete reset and we need to go back to the drawing board.”

Meanwhile, Rahim & Co International Bhd executive chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman (pic below) said there was too much political interference when it comes to the property sector.

“Even in affordable housing, there is too much political interference. Land is a state matter. When a political party falls in one state, the policies that were done before are changed because of new politics.

“Therefore, there needs to be less politicking and more focus on the rakyat. If we concentrate on what the rakyat wants, the better it is for all of us.”

The B40 represents the bottom 40% of income earners in Malaysia. In 2019, the mean income was RM1,849 for households in the lowest tier.

The RTO programme was introduced in 2016 to help those earning below RM3,000 a month. The scheme allows the individual to own the unit they are living in after paying rent for a certain period.

Source: TheStar.com.my


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