Johor Baru market to remain stagnant this year

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on June 3, 2019 - June 09, 2019.
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The property market in Johor Baru is expected to remain stagnant this year. “It is not going to be an exciting year for the Johor Baru property market. The market has been quiet in 1Q2019 as it is usually a quiet season,” says KGV International Property Consultants (Johor) Sdn Bhd executive director Samuel Tan when presenting The Edge–KGV International Property Consultants Johor Baru Housing Property Monitor 1Q2019.

Tan sees a few factors that may influence the Johor Baru property market this year. One is gross domestic product, which is projected to hit 4.9% this year. “It is widely anticipated that the economy will slow down,” says Tan.

“The Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) was adjusted downward from 3.25% to 3%, in view of the recently dovish stance of the US Federal Reserve on slowing the rate normalisation. Any OPR drop ... should ease borrowing costs,” says Tan.

“The Johor Baru-Singapore

Rapid Transit System will be delayed for another six months. Malaysia has asked for more time to study the proposal and look at ways to reduce cost,” he says.

The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail project was suspended last year until May next year. “There has been no official news on the progress of the review. So it is uncertain whether the project will proceed as planned,” says Tan.

“It was announced in February that Iskandar Malaysia will be extended to include parts of Kota Tinggi, Kluang and Pontian for land development and modern agriculture.

“The total area will be expanded from 2,217 to 4,749 sq km. It is aimed at bringing growth to other areas in the state after more than 10 years of concentrating on the Johor Baru region.

“With the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC)  and RAPID projects running at almost full steam and the opening of Hard Rock Hotel and Water Theme Park in Desaru, the Pengerang–­Penawar–Desaru region appears to be a hot spot, with many developers gearing up to launch new housing schemes to capitalise on the pent-up demand for accommodation.”  

Tan also highlights the government’s efforts to in build more affordable housing. “The government has been focusing on affordable housing, targeting to build one million units in 10 years.

“There were hardly any major launches [during the review period]. Most developers are concentrating on clearing their unsold properties.

“Nevertheless, we have noticed that some are getting ready to launch high-rises in the next few years. There are at least 3,600 high-rise residences in the pipeline.”

The upcoming launches of high-rises are Central Park @ Tampoi Phase 2 (1,304 units), BRIO atop the Paradigm Shopping Mall (263 units), Pandan City Residence (1,012 units), Twin Tower at Bukit Chagar (458 units) and the mixed-use development at Taman Century (556 units).

“In other words, some developers are set to roll out high-rise residences in selected locations while waiting for market conditions to improve,” says Tan.

 New launches in 1Q2019

 Tan highlights two new launches in Johor Baru. “Aspira Park Homes (Phase 1) and Rini Homes 7 (Phase 6R) will offer 2-storey homes with a typical land size of 1,400 to 1,540 sq ft.”  

Aspira Park Homes is located in Gelang Patah, close to Leisure Farm, Gerbang Nusajaya and the Second Linkway to Singapore.

Developed by UEM Sunrise, Aspira Park Homes (Phase 1) comprises 162 units of 2-storey terraced houses. Launched in January, the freehold units have built-ups of 1,931 to 2,012 sq ft. “With selling prices starting at RM599,000, the project has achieved a strong sales rate of 80%,” says Tan.

Rini Homes is located at Taman Mutiara Rini, Pulai. Developed by Mutiara Rini Sdn Bhd, Rini Homes 7 (Phase 6R) comprises 163 units of 2-storey terraced homes. The leasehold units have built-ups of 2,053 to 2,272 sq ft, with selling prices at RM585,000 upwards. “It managed to achieve a sales rate of 60% for non-bumiputera units,” notes Tan.


Price and rental movements in 1Q2019

According to the monitor, price and rental movements across all segments in Johor Baru have been stable in 1Q2019. The prices of landed homes remained mostly unchanged. Two-storey semi-detached homes in popular areas such as Austin Heights, Horizon Hills and Taman Molek were going for RM1,200, RM1,100 and RM900 psf respectively.

Prices of 2-storey cluster homes at Taman Bukit Indah, Horizon Hills, Austin Heights and Senibong Cove remained at RM950, RM820, RM780 and RM970 psf respectively.

There was a marginal increase in prices for 2-storey terraced houses during the period under review with Taman Bukit Indah inching up from RM520 to RM550 psf and Taman Ponderosa rising from RM550 to RM600 psf.

“Prices and rents at most schemes were stable. Only 2-storey terraced homes in Taman Bukit Indah and Taman Ponderosa saw price increases of 5.8% and 9% respectively,” says Tan.

Prices of apartments or condominiums in selected schemes were stable. Developments such as Straits View Condominium, Tropez Danga Bay and Danga View were going for RM560, RM500 and RM380 psf respectively.

Gross monthly rents in all segments have remained unchanged. For 2-storey terraced houses, rents at Taman Bukit Indah, East Ledang and Horizon Hills held steady at RM2,000, RM2,300 and RM2,500 respectively.

For 2-storey semi-detached houses, rents at East Ledang, Bandar Seri Alam (Type Sapphire) and Taman Ponderosa maintained at RM4,500, RM3,200, and RM4,500 respectively.

Rents of 2-storey cluster homes at Taman Bukit Indah, Horizon Hills, Austin Heights and Senibong Cove remained at RM2,500, RM3,000, RM2,800 and RM3,500 respectively.

Rental rates for apartments or condominiums in selected schemes were stable. Sky Executive, Ujana, Straits View Condominium and Tropez Danga Bay continued to fetch RM2,000, RM2,000, RM3,000 and RM1,800 respectively.

Gross yields for all segments have remained mostly unchanged during the review period. For 2-storey terraced houses at East Ledang, Horizon Hills and Taman Molek, they at 4.2%, 4.6% and 3% respectively. However, at Taman Bukit Indah yields dipped from 4.6% to 4.4%.

2-storey semi-detached houses at East Ledang, Bandar Seri Alam (Type Sapphire) and Taman Ponderosa continued to see yields of  3.2%, 4.4% and 3.6% respectively.

For 2-storey cluster houses at Taman Bukit Indah, Horizon Hills, Austin Heights and Senibong Cove, yields remained the same at 3.2%, 4.4%, 4.3% and 4.3% respectively.

Yields for apartments and condominiums in selected schemes were also stable with Straits View Condominium, Tropez Danga Bay, Danga View and Molek Pine (Tower 2) remaining at 6.4%, 4.3%, 5.7% and 6.5% respectively.