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March 31st, 2020 No comments

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Real estate market hit hard by Covid-19

March 31st, 2020 No comments

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The coronavirus, or Covid-19, has brought the whole world to a standstill, and the property market is no exception with mounting pressure on the supply and demand.

Knight Frank Malaysia is expecting lower activity in leasing and investment in commercial office.

The firm’s executive director of corporate services Teh Young Khean said the Covid-19 pandemic and Movement Control Order (MCO) has forced companies to limit or halt physical operations, pushing them to work more flexibly and remotely.

He expects that both local and multinational companies may delay or put on hold their real estate decisions, resulting in a lower level of leasing activity.

“Business sentiment is at its lowest level, with many operations severely impacted by the outbreak. The sense of uncertainty will lead to slower demand as businesses and occupiers will likely continue to postpone major expansion or relocation decisions.

“In the immediate term preceding the lifting of the current MCO, co-working or flexible space may be less popular as there will be reduced desire for clients or members to congregate and interact face to face in one location. Revenue derived from memberships fees and events may be affected during this period although e-events will continue to progress,” he said.

Nevertheless, Teh said that once confidence has been restored with businesses back to work, as usual, co-working or flexible space may be a good option for new occupier(s) and those looking to expand to navigate in the near term before committing to a longer-term plan.

Retail segment heading downward

In the retail segment, rents will come under further pressure due to the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) until 14 April 2020.

The covid-19 pandemic is sending the country’s economy reeling. All industries have been hit and those which have been hit the hardest are hospitality, tourism and aviation-related segments, evident by cancellations of flights, tour packages and hotel bookings following international travel restrictions and lock down of countries.

The escalating number of infected cases has led to Malaysia being placed under the MCO until 14 April 2020.

Knight Frank Malaysia associate director of retail consultancy & leasing, Ben Ooi said Malaysian retailers, especially those located at tourist zones, have been experiencing sales decline at their outlets at the onset of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Ooi said after the MCO, occupancy of malls will be under pressure as some retail outlets may be forced to close due to the strain on their cash flow and unsustainable businesses.

“With the rakyat staying at home during the current extended MCO, retail and entertainment outlets with the exception of those providing essential goods or services, have no sales as they are not allowed to operate,” he said.

The good news is that landlords are stepping up during the MCO to assist retailers by introducing relief measures, for example, rent-free package for non F&B related retailers and rental rebates.

Commercial investment to be under pressure

During economic instability, real estate transaction volumes typically moderate, this is according to Knight Frank Malaysia executive director of capital markets, James Buckley.

Buckley said that the profit recycling process could be interrupted by the effect of the Covid-19 outbreak, as institutional investors move more cautiously during uncertain times.

“With the reduced leasing and investment activity, commercial office and retail rents will be further under-pressure. In the short term, investment transactions will be limited as viewings are not happening,” he said.

Buckley said that in comparison to other cities, feedback the firm often receives from overseas investors is that real estate asking prices do not reflect the actual value given the country’s perceived risk profile and higher returns can be achieved elsewhere.

He said there will be a large gap in the expectation between sellers and buyers, and yields are bound to increase as values come under pressure.

“Genuine, motivated sellers will consider reducing their price, pushing yields higher. Domestic investors should also consider the benefit of investing some of their capital in overseas real estate markets which will provide diversification in real estate returns and currency,” said Buckley.

Disruptions in residential transaction

Knight Frank Malaysia managing director Sarkunan Subramaniam said that in light of the current MCO, there are disruptions to the property transaction process, including difficulties in conducting property viewings and title searches, among others.

As both buyers and sellers have become more vigilant amid the outbreak, a wait and see approach is prevalent as people will try to avoid showrooms and sales galleries during this critical period, he said.

Subramaniam also foresees an increase in non-performing loans that will conclusively lead to more auctions in the market, with the potential of more job layoffs due to the challenging business environment.

However, he believes that the central bank’s announcement on the automatic moratorium on loan repayments for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and individuals to relieve the burden on businesses and households affected by the Covid-19 outbreak may help to cushion the impact in the short term.

Source: NST Online

 

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Penang shuts down Sri Aman market for disobeying MCO

March 30th, 2020 No comments

market-closed

The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) has temporarily closed the market in the Sri Aman Complex in Relau for three days, beginning from today.

It is the first market in the state to be shut down by the authorities since the movement control order (MCO) was enforced on March 18. The adjacent foodcourt, however, is allowed to operate.

State Local Government, Housing, Town and Country Planning chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the closure was for the sake of public health as the market had infringed the MCO.

The MCO, which was originally scheduled to end on March 31, has been extended to April 14.

“They did not obey instructions and we have to close it. It’s not an easy decision to make,” Jagdeep told a press conference at Sri Aman Complex this morning.

“Don’t play, play. This is a life and death issue. And I am giving a warning to all public markets that if they don’t follow the MCO, we will take the same action.

“The Sri Aman market did not observe social distancing, did not allow a certain number of people in the market an any one time and did not prepare hand sanitiser for the market-goers.

“We took the decision to shut down the market last night. It’s for the good of the people and their loved ones. Our priority is public health and safety.

“This decision was not easy to make but as the government representative, it is my responsibility. It might not be accepted (by all) but I want to stress that on the part of the government, we won’t compromise.

“I hope all will understand and I believe no one can be angry with me over this decision.”

Jagdeep said he saw no reason why Sri Aman market could not obey the MCO when the MBPP and the Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP) have both reported 99% compliance rate to date.

“When the MCO was enforced, we initially had a 80% compliance rate. But now both councils have reported a 99% compliance rate. I want to thank them and the public for their cooperation.

“I hope all public markets will continue to work together and follow the regulations. We will not allow the 1% to disobey the MCO.”

Also present were Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh, Paya Terubong assemblyman Yeoh Soon Hin, MBPP mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang, MBSP mayor Datuk Rozali Mohamud, MBPP secretary Datuk Addnan Mohd Razali and the Sri Aman market owner Liew Piang Chong.

Liew, who admitted that the crowd control was lacking, said he had managed to get four Rela personnel to help when the market reopens on Wednesday (April 1). The market has 20 stalls.

“We tried to control the crowd but they would not listen. Most of the people who come here for their marketing are foreigners.

“I managed to get four Rela personnel to help out today but the authorities had made their decision last night,” Liew explained.

Yew said the roadside stall in Jelutong, which was earlier allowed to sell vegetables, would be closed from tomorrow until further notice.

MBPP had earlier ordered all roadside stalls in Jelutong (except for the one selling vegetables), Air Itam, Bayan Baru, Perak Road and Pulau Tikus to close to curb the spread of Covid-19.

For MBSP, Rozali said he is appealing to shoppers and traders to change their attitude during this MCO period.

He said market-goers should decide what they want to buy instead of dilly-dallying inside the market as about 100 people could be waiting to get in.

Besides that, Rozali said traders should also modify their business by packing certain items in advance for sale, such as in packets of one kilogramme, two kilogrammes or five kilogrammes.

Source: Buletin Mutiara

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No jogging even within gated housing communities

March 29th, 2020 No comments

gated-picture2Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri reminded the public today that the movement control order (MCO) applies even within gated vicinities, the Malay Mail reported today.

The warning followed allegations that many residents in gated communities were found outside their homes, with some said to be jogging in large groups.

Ismail, however, provided no photographic evidence.

“The MCO must be observed even within gated communities,” he told a media briefing in Putrajaya.

“We were informed by the police that people can still be found outside and going jogging in large groups.”

The Malay Mail said authorities banned outdoor running as part of the MCO despite initially suggesting that exercising in public is acceptable provided social distancing is observed.

Yesterday, 11 joggers of various nationalities, including two Malaysians, were among the scores of people arrested for flouting the order currently enforced nationwide.

Over 400 arrests have been made since Thursday, Ismail revealed today.

Source: EdgeProp.my

 

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360 Aerial View: Tanjung Pinang

March 28th, 2020 2 comments

Surrounding Development

 

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The Tamarind

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