5 August 2019: Rich investors focusing on commercial properties; Govt agrees to land insurance security

Rich investors may focus on commercial properties
Wealthy investors may shift their attention to commercial properties as the property market is set to perform better in 2H2019. “From a long-term perspective, commercial property should be the preferred investment option over residential property considering that oversupply in the latter sector would linger on. Wealthy individuals may shift their interest to shopoffices in established and active commercial enclaves and office suites in strategic locations. Also, they may focus on REITs and equity investments in shares of listed companies with a prudent commercial property portfolio or industrial players aggressively investing in the property sector,” said CBRE | WTW managing director Foo Gee Jen. Overall, sentiment remains on the weak side across almost all property sectors. However, a soft market could open up short-term windows for opportunistic investments rather than development prospects, he added. (The Edge)

Govt agrees to land insurance security to prevent property fraud
The government has agreed in principle to the proposal of land insurance security concept for land transactions, said the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry. The insurance was created for land registrations to prevent fraud in the registration of property ownership. “Since there are currently many cases of fraud and forgery of property rights, the concept of insurance security will be reviewed so that losses to the owners involved can be avoided,” it said in a statement. The proposed amendment to the Small Estates (Distribution) Act, 1955, to increase the valuation jurisdiction of the land office from RM2 million to RM5 million would also eliminate the requirement to own the immovable property and to allow inheritance applications to be filed at any land office in the state where the immovable property is located. (NST Online)

Malaysia’s household debt deleveraging to continue
The stock of household debt as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) in Malaysia has declined over the years, thanks in part to a weaker housing market, and more deleveraging is likely to continue. HSBC Global Research said it sees this phenomenon continuing, even with some resurgence in mortgage lending activity. It pointed out that direct bank lending to households has declined sharply, led primarily by a sharp drop in auto sales. The decline in housing prices and sales has reduced loan demand. Meanwhile, thanks in part to higher disposable income growth and contained lending rates, HSBC Global Research said that in Malaysia, household debt servicing, as a share of disposable income, has stabilised. (The Edge)

LPPSA to disburse RM12b housing loans to civil servants this year
The Public Sector Home Financing Board or (LPPSA) has targeted to disburse up to RM12 billion housing loans to more than 40,000 civil servants this year. Its CEO Datuk Kamal Mohd Ali said LPPSA had to date disbursed about RM6 billion housing loans for 20,000 applicants. “Currently, we have about RM70 billion outstanding housing loans representing about half of the total 1.6 million civil servants in the country.” The board, he said, would be more open to collaborating with financial institutions to help civil servants secure loans. Meanwhile, LPPSA also launched the financing management system (FMS) to help civil servants with their application. Being in operation since April 1, FMS allows customers to apply and check their financing information such as annual statement and account balance. (NST Online)

No cover-up on Kerinchi PPR lift incident’, says FT minister
Federal Territory Minister Khalid Abdul Samad said there would be no compromise if it was found there was negligence on the part of the parties responsible for the maintenance of the elevator that crashed at the People’s Housing project (PPR) in Kampung Kerinchi, Kuala Lumpur on Friday (August 2). In the incident, eight people sustained injuries after the lift they were in malfunctioned before plunging from the fifth floor of the building. “We will investigate and there will be no cover-up. If it is a result of negligence or if the contractors were not doing their job all these will be exposed,” he said. (Malay Mail)

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