The Edge Investment Forum: The Edge Investment Forum on Real Estate 2014 draws in the crowd

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PETALING JAYA: More than 650 people attended The Edge Investment Forum on Real Estate 2014 last Saturday. Participants had the opportunity to gain insights into the current state of the Malaysian property market as well as London’s residential market. There was also a panel discussion with industry experts on whether homes will cost less in the future.

It was the eighth annual forum organised exclusively for readers of The Edge weekly, held at the Royale Chulan Damansara in Mutiara Damansara. Themed “Buy, sell or hold?”, the forum was sponsored by Hong Leong Bank and supported by Sunway Property.

“We know that the property landscape is fast evolving and this renders the investment decision-making more and more challenging,” said The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd managing director Au Foong Yee in her opening speech.

“For example, while there is seemingly a lot of supply out there, it may or may not be what you are looking for, whether it’s the location, price or design concept. The Edge, as the leading and premier business and investment publication, we strive to continue to provide you with credible and timely information that we hope will help you make informed investment decisions.”

The forum began with a session by Zerin Properties CEO Previndran Singhe titled “Are property prices falling? What to expect in 2014”. During the session, Previndran shared his views on the impact on home prices after cooling measures were introduced and implemented by the government.

He also highlighted that loan approvals were low, especially for properties below RM500,000. Nevertheless, he said, property prices this year are expected to increase moderately despite less supply coming into the market.

The next speaker, Ho Chin Soon, director of Ho Chin Soon Research Sdn Bhd, provided a lively talk about the hot spots in Penang, Iskandar Malaysia and Greater Kuala Lumpur. “Follow the infrastructure,” he advised.

Ho revealed that some of the emerging hot spots in the Klang Valley are Telok Panglima Garang, Jenjarom, Cyberjaya, Dengkil, Kajang and Semenyih, thanks to highways such as the KESAS highway, South Klang Valley Expressway (SUKE), Maju Expressway (MEX), Seremban Highway and Kajang-Seremban highway (LEKAS) passing through these areas.

Nicholas Holt, Knight Frank’s Asia-Pacific head of research, took the stage for his presentation titled “Investing in London: Is it too late?”. Holt highlighted that infrastructure project Crossrail will see areas along new stations in Canary Wharf, Whitechapel, Liverpool Street, Farringdon, Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street and Paddington outperform the general prime central London residential market.

A panel discussion themed “Homes to cost less — is it possible?” featured Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) Malaysia’s president Datuk Seri Michael Yam, Master Builders Association Malaysia’s (MBAM) immediate past president Kwan Foh-Kwai and Sunway Bhd property development division’s joint managing director Ong Pang Yen. The discussion was moderated by Au.

The panellists concluded that property prices may increase at least 5% when the goods and services tax (GST) takes effect in April next year.

Participants found the forum helpful. “It’s always good to attend this forum as I can update myself with new information regarding the property market. Also, the speakers are always knowledgeable and informative,” a participant who works for a property development company told The Edge Financial Daily. It was his third time attending the forum.

Buy, sell or hold? (From left) Zerin Properties chief executive officer (CEO) Previndran Singhe, Knight Frank Asia-Pacific head of research Nicholas Holt, The Edge senior managing editor Azam Aris, MBAM immediate past president Kwan Foh-Kwai, Sunway Bhd property development joint managing director (MD) Sarena Cheah, Hong Leong Bank general manager for mortgage Karen Hew, The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd MD Au Foong Yee, Rehda Malaysia president Datuk Seri Michael Yam, Sunway Bhd property development joint MD Ong Pang Yen and Hong Leong Bank group MD/CEO Tan Kong Khoon at The Edge Investment Forum on Real Estate 2014 last Saturday

First-time participant Yee said: “I think it will be interesting and useful for us to know what’s happening in the property market so that we don’t make the wrong purchase.”

Participants also took the opportunity to visit the booths of Sunway Property and Hong Leong Bank, which displayed various financing products and property projects respectively. Also drawing the crowd were the maps and books available at the Ho Chin Soon Research booth.

For the full coverage of The Edge Investment Forum on Real Estate 2014, read the coming April 28 issue of City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge weekly.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on April 21, 2014.