JOHOR BARU: The property market in Iskandar Malaysia remains attractive for many developers, despite the recent slowdown in sales, as investors are still optimistic on the long term growth prospects of the economic region here.
Johor Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) branch chairman Hoe Mee Ling said as far as the fundamentals remained strong, Iskandar Malaysia would continue to attract interest from domestic and foreign investors.
“The slowdown is short term. It is attributed to the overcautious reaction to the goods and services tax, government property cooling measures and tighter lending conditions by banks,’’ Hoe said in an interview.
The latest investment figure released by the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) last week reflected the confidence level amongst investors in the region.
According to Irda’s statistics, from end-2006 to March 31, Iskandar Malaysia had received RM166.10bil in total cumulative committed investments from RM158.13bil as of Dec 31, 2014.
Hoe was commenting on National Property Information Centre (Napic) data which showed that in the fourth-quarter of last year, transactions in Iskandar Malaysia plunged 33% compared with the third-quarter of 2014.
A Maybank Investment Bank report on the Napic data showed that property prices in Johor had weakened by 1% quarter-on-quarter compared with the national average of a fall of 0.2%. Prices of property in Kuala Lumpur were down 0.9%, Selangor (-0.1%) and Penang (-0.3%).
“With developments in economic activities and catalytic projects moving in tandem with the property sector, we will see more sustainable demand in Iskandar Malaysia in the long-term,’’ said Hoe.
She pointed out that the progress of property investments here had outweighed other sectors thus creating a mismatch between supply and demand of property in the short term.
“The acceleration of other sectors such as services, tourism, healthcare, manufacturing, logistics and creative industries will bridge the gap,’’ she said.
Foreign developers were targeting a different segment compared with local developers, supplying properties to buyers from their home country and foreigners especially Singaporeans.
“This should not create anxiety over the oversupply situation and the performance of the market as a whole,’’ added Hoe.
KGV International Property Consultants (M) Sdn Bhd director Samuel Tan Wee Cheng concurred with Hoe that the slowdown was a short-term situation and Iskandar Malaysia would continue to attract investors.
“Iskandar Malaysia remains attractive due to its proximity to Singapore and it is more viable compared with other economic growth corridors in the country,’’ he said.