Eco Meadows

September 2nd, 2014 14 comments

Eco Meadows, an upcoming township development by EcoWorld, situated on a 75.7-arce piece of land in Simpang Ampat, Penang. This gated and guarded township to be developed in two phases over a period of 6 years.

The initial phase of Eco Meadows comprises 375 units of 3-storey terrace houses and a 2-storey resident clubhouse. More residential and commercial units will also be built in the future phases.

More details and photos to be available upon project launch in 2015.

Property Project : Eco Meadows
Location : Simpang Ampat, Penang
Property Type : Township Development
Total Units: 375 (3-storey terraces)
Tenure : Freehold
Developer : Eco World Development

Categories: Simpang Ampat Tags: , ,

UPCOMING: Bagan Lallang / Venn Group

September 1st, 2014 9 comments

Proposed residential development by Venn Group along Jalan Segamal 4, within the established township of Bagan Lallang in Butterworth.

Plot 1 comprises one block of 12-storey residential building with 108 condominium units. It will also comes with a rooftop garden.

Plot 2 is a gated community with 25 units of landed houses. That includes 20 units of 3-storey terrace, 4 units of 2-storey semi-detached and one unit of 3-storey bungalow houses.

These projects are still pending for approval. If this is going to be launched in the next few months, I would expect something around RM400 psf for the condominium.

Project Name : (Pending approval)
Location : Bagan Lallang, Butterworth, Penang
Property Type : Condominium & Landed
Tenure : Freehold
Total Units : 108 (condo), 20 (terrace), 4 (semi-d), 1 (bungalow)
Developer : Venn Group

Categories: Butterworth Tags:

Sweet success for All Seasons

September 1st, 2014 2 comments

The living area in the show unit penthouse in All Seasons Park, Bandar Baru Air Itam.

Belleview Group has raised the living standards in Bandar Baru Air Itam with the successful completion and strong sales of the RM700mil residential All Seasons Park and the commercial All Seasons Place projects.

The All Seasons Park has, to date, sold 95% of its 808 condominiums, leaving only 5% for sale.

Its managing director Datuk Sonny Ho said in an interview that the effort to engage internationally known consultants to advise on the architectural and landscaping design paid off.

“Bandar Baru Air Itam was previously recognised as a housing-cum-commercial neighbourhood known for its affordable and low-medium cost property.

“Now it has All Seasons Park, comprising 808 units of lifestyle condominiums and surrounded by a three-level strip mall, All Seasons Place,” he said.

Ho said of the 5% units open for sale, eight were penthouses with built-up areas ranging from 1,602sq ft and 2,333sq ft, while the remaining were standard units, with built-up areas of 856sq ft and 1,323sq ft.

“The penthouses are priced between RM1.1mil to RM1.6mil.

“One of the penthouses is the show unit, which is completely furnished.

“The standard units are priced between RM650,000 and RM800,000,” he said.

Ho said when the All Seasons Park was first launched, the selling price ranged between RM300,000 and RM350,000 per unit.

“The price for All Seasons Park has more than doubled, which indicates the popularity of the scheme as a choice residential address among Penangites,” he added.

The success story was recently featured as a cover story in Trends, an internationally known architectural and interior decoration magazine.

There are three key factors that are crucial in accounting for the success of the projects, according to Ho.

“First, there is the surrounding panoramic view facing all the four condominium towers in All Seasons Park.

“Residents get a view of the Penang Hill and the historic Kek Lok Si Temple in Air Itam.

“Secondly, All Seasons Park comes with comprehensive recreational facilities such as viewing deck, flower court with water feature, relaxation and barbecue pavilions, Olympic-sized lap pool, reflection pond, meditation lawn, wading pool, recreational park, Jacuzzi and sauna, games room, and children’s playground.

“Thirdly, All Seasons Place provides integrated lifestyle facilities for the residents.

“There are branded lifestyle retail as well as food and beverage brands such as Giant Superstore, Subway, PappaRich, The Manhattan Fish Market, Guardian Pharmacy, Chatime and 7-Eleven.

“There are 120 shop lots, which are single-entity owned,” he said.

Opened in December 2012, the All Seasons Place strip mall is designed to cater to the needs of modern living.

“It is easily accessible by the over 350,000 people living in the nearby housing estates,” he said.

The show units are open to the public for viewing from 10am to 6pm daily at the Belleview Gallery in All Seasons Place.


Categories: Property News Tags:

Primary, Secondary Or Auctioned Properties: Which Is Worth Buying?

August 30th, 2014 No comments

Comparison between primary, secondary and auctioned properties

Generally people buy a residential home to live in before moving onto property investments, so for someone who is looking to buy a residential home to live in, what are the options out there?

When deciding to buy a house you’ll have to make a decision early on, and that is whether you’re looking to buy a primary, secondary or auctioned property. What do these terms mean?

Buying a primary property means you are buying a brand new property directly from the developer; whereas secondary or sub-sale means you are buying a previously owned property from a private owner and an auctioned property is when a bank sells off a foreclosed property where the previous owner has defaulted on the payment.

So, which type of property stretches your Ringgit the most?

Brand new and shiny

There are advantages and disadvantages in these properties.

What are the advantages for a primary property?

  • For a start they are brand new, and therefore less money is required to be spent on renovation and refurbishment, some units even come with basic furnishings such as kitchen cabinets and built-in wardrobes.
  • Most units come “guaranteed” meaning there is a period where the developer will address defects on your behalf.
  • You get to choose the unit that you want (if available), in other words you can choose your house number, street number, view etc.
  • Most importantly you get special discounts when applicable: early bird, Bumiputera, staff discounts or member’s privilege which can shave off quite a substantial amount from the actual price. For example, a 7% Bumiputera discount will translate to RM42,000 saved if you are buying a RM600,000 property.
  • You can also get special financing packages from developers in the form of rebates, which can help to reduce the upfront cash needed when buying the property.  Other developers may offer furnishings, either fully or partially, so the buyer can save on furnishing cost.
  • You only need to pay interest during construction period, this helps in prolonging your full instalments to the bank.
  • You get ‘Zero-Down deals’ sometimes through rebates, discounts or sometimes 100% loans, this means no need to come up with immediate cash to purchase the property.

Now let’s look at the disadvantages for a primary property:

  • There are some incidences where the projects were abandoned by the developers. This is the greatest risk as  you would have lost your deposit and all that you have expended. On top of that you still will not have your property.
  • There can be delays on the part of the developer. This would prolong your interest payments to the bank and throw a wrench into your financial plans. This can be painful as you would have to maintain a mortgage without the benefit of the property.
  • Another pertinent issue is that the property can’t be sold during the construction period, so you would have to wait it out until keys have been handed over to dispose of it.
  • Sometimes the property doesn’t turn out the way it was portrayed in the scale model, brochures or show houses. This can be quite disappointing and if the specifications don’t meet your expectations it can be something you don’t want – and prove difficult to sell of later on.
  • With the current prices of materials and other financial uncertainties like the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) and other new regulations, developers price their properties at future prices now. This means that the actual value of the property could be much lower, resulting in lower than expected appreciation for the buyer by the time the development has been completed.
  • Due to the number of new units released to the buyers for certain developments, there may be an oversupply during the delivery period. This makes it tough for owners to sell right after completion or rent out due to the stiff competition.

What you see, you get— a better idea?

As with primary properties buying a sub sale or secondary property has its good points and pitfalls too. Generally secondary properties have lower risk, you can touch and feel and see exactly what you’re getting into. It is right there for you to view, not just the property but the area, the infrastructure, the neighbours, the amenities.

These can immediately be gauged as they are usually located in a matured area, with everything more or less established. At times you can get great value for money deals, good agents can actually show you houses with sometimes up to 30% below market value.

The pitfalls are the most obvious: renovation and repairs. Sometimes you may have to redo whole property’s electrical and plumbing works. Other extensive renovations may be needed if the unit is more than 10 years old or was badly maintained.

There is also a higher acquisition costs:  such as the Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA), loan documentations, and stamp duty among others. It also can be very challenging as you have to find a seller who agrees to sell at the agreed price, which will need three parties to agree mutually, the buyer, the seller and the bank. Once all these are settled you can move in which can take up to a year.

Before you can get your financing approved, banks require the property to be valued by professional valuers, and if the value is lower than the asking price, buyer may need to come up with higher down payment to make up for the shortfall. The home loan’s margin of finance is based on the market value, not the asking price.

More luck than due diligence?

For auctioned properties, luck plays a bigger role. If you are lucky you may get a place that is far below market value and that may be the only way to do so. However, these properties are as is basis, so if it’s a dilapidated old bungalow then that is exactly what you will get.

The upside is, often buyers are able to get their hands on properties in a prime area that are below market price.

However, what you save on the price, you may need to expend on renovation as it usually requires major repairs and renovation as most of these properties are left vacant for some time before the auction. There are also usually unpaid bills, such as utilities, building charges, tax assessments and others. If you are going into buying these properties, you need to prepare at least 30% of the asking price in cash in the event of outstanding bills by previous owner.

Sometimes, the previous owner or his/her tenant may still be occupying the unit and there may be a lengthy process of getting a court order to get them to vacate it.

Auctioned properties really are based on luck at the end of the day.

In a nutshell, these three types of property have their pros and cons. To choose the best one that suit your needs will depend on your risk appetite, financial readiness, needs and opportunities.


Categories: Property News Tags:

Penang Property Market – Insight Sharing

August 29th, 2014 1 comment

A few days ago, Charles, the founder of, approached me to share with him some of my thoughts on Penang property market. As I shared my views with him, it is my pleasure to share them with the readers here.


Q1. Statistically speaking, property transactions in Penang has been on a downtrend. Based on all the new properties being announced in, do you see the numbers also on a downtrend? Why?

For new properties announced in, I could see a significant downtrend in 2012. Only 88 projects were introduced  compared to 137 projects in 2011. This represented a drop of nearly 40%. The downtrend continued in 2013 with only 80 projects announced. However, for 2014, I think it is on an uptrend again. Within first 8 months, I have already published 76 projects and there are 4 more months to go till end of 2014.

Secondly, developer are also shifting their focus to mainland . Please review the table below:

Year Projects Island Mainland
2011 137 66% 34%
2012 88 64% 36%
2013 80 56% 44%
2014 (as of August) 76 42% 58%

Of course, please be reminded that the potential uptrend in project announcement may not necessary translate into more transactions. I personally think that the demand (either for own stay or investment) for properties in Penang has not changed a lot while the property curbing measures by BNM and stricter loan approvals has contributed to the downtrend in transactions.


Q2. Between a new property launch in island versus one in mainland, which normally gets more attention. Why do you think that is the case?

Obviously, property launches in the Island gets more attention. There’s always a significant spike in the website traffic whenever I publish a new project in the island, particularly for projects in Tanjong Tokong, Bayan Baru, Relau and Sungai Ara area (most popular are those selling below RM600k). The demand for these areas mainly come from the buyers in the electrical and electronics industry. There are people buying for own stay, backup (for various reasons), and also for investment. More than half of the people I know has more than one property in Penang.

However, the gated and guarded housing schemes (especially those with facilities and easy access to Penang bridge) in the mainland are gaining traction since last year. Many are buying for upgrades and some are from Island.

Today, a 2-storey terrace house in mainland is selling at around 600k and achieves more than 80% take-up rate within a few months after launch. I was also told that a gated & guarded 3-storey semi-detached nearby Jalan Song Ban Kheng in Bukit Mertajam was recently transacted near to 1.2 Million in the secondary market.


Q3. Most of the time, what is the type of property which gains the most attention? number of views or comments etc.

In Penang Island, a condominium in a desirable locations which is selling around 600k or less will gain the most attention. The desirable locations includes Tanjong Tokong, Bayan Baru, Sungai Ara & Relau.  For the mainland, there are a lot focus on gated and guarded housing scheme. Properties with prices below 600K seems to be a sweet spot. This is especially when coupled with easy access to the Penang bridge, such as Jalan Song Ban Kheng, Jalan Baru and Seberang Jaya.


Q4. Personally, do you agree that properties in Penang are getting more unaffordable or do you still see lots of values both in new launches and secondary properties?

To be more accurate, I would agree that newly launched properties in a desirable location are getting more unaffordable.

Affordability issue is very subjective. If you start your house search by fixing a location and the new project you wish to buy, that is when the question of affordability comes in. This is worsened with all the new launching by developers and property fairs. Those events would actually further emphasize how nice the new project is and how expensive it is.

However if you start by setting a budget, then only start looking around to see where is the best location based on your affordability, you would be surprised that there are actually a lot of reasonably priced decent houses in secondary market. In fact some of them are in matured and nice location with good accessibility.

To bring the awareness level up, for Penangites, I would like to suggest that the state government or Rehda can organize some kind of affordable housing fair that focuses only on affordable housing projects together with a large collection of affordable houses from the secondary market. Of course, the property fair is not about having a long list of affordable houses from the secondary market. Instead, it should offer an AFFORDABLE LIVING SOLUTION – bringing awareness to the people of decent affordable homes in the secondary market, where you can easily find schools, markets with good accessibility. In Penang, that’s not too hard, really.


by Ken Lim
(Founder and Principal Reviewer,


Categories: Property News Tags:

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