Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Property growth expected on Penang mainland
PERAI: Batu Kawan and Simpang Ampat will be major areas of growth in mainland Seberang Perai this year, predicts international property asset consultant Henry Butcher Malaysia (HBM).
“Batu Kawan in particular would become a major township, comprising residential, commercial and industrial areas,” said HMB (Seberang Perai) associate director Fook Tone Huat at a press conference here today.
He said the overall property market outlook in mainland Seberang Perai was expected to be bullish in the second half of the year, largely due to the Penang second bridge – the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge.
“We expect a surge in demand for properties on the mainland, particularly in the Batu Kawan township and surrounding areas of Seberang Perai Selatan.”
Other areas of growth will be Alma in Bukit Mertajam and Jalan Baru, the RMAF base in Teluk Air Tawar and, Byram and Changkat plantations.
“Once Batu Kawan becomes congested, investors and developers will look at turning Byram and Changkat plantations into development areas,” Fook said.
“The new bridge will attract investors and purchasers to relocate to the mainland, especially in Batu Kawan, which is directly linked to the island’s Batu Maung via the 24km Penang second bridge,” he added.
Built at a cost of RM4.5 billion by the federal government, the elevated mega sea highway is the longest bridge in Southeast Asia and third longest in the world.
Fook said that initial volumes of property buying in Batu Kawan would however be moderate due to cooling measures and stringent financing policies imposed by Bank Negara to control speculation.
He however expects property prices to remain high due to the escalating land and development costs.
“The second bridge will also cushion the effects of these cooling measures and spur future growth,” said Fook.
Moreover, he said industrial land value in Batu Kawan would be cheaper between RM30 and RM35psf compared with RM80 and RM100psf across the Penang channel in Bayan Lepas and Batu Maung.
He said the low land cost in Seberang Perai would attract more investors to Batu Kawan.
He revealed that Penang’s major investments last year took place in Batu Kawan and surrounding places such as by Hoemonetics Corp, Magneti Marelli, Ibiden, Penang Designer Village, Universty of Hull and GEMS International School.
Fook also predicted property market speculation would surge due to the entry of major investors and big property industry players from the Klang Valley in search for land in Seberang Perai Selatan.
“The industrial property sector is set to see a high demand, especially in Bukit Minyak Industrial Park, Penang Science Park and Batu Kawan Industrial Park.”
Currently the mainland’s industrial area runs from Mak Mandin in north Seberang Perai and cuts through Batu Kawan to Nibong Tebal south Seberang Perai is the longest industrial belt in the country.
The HBM report revealed that Penang island and Kuala Lumpur central areas remain as the most expensive property market in the country, way above Seberang Perai.
Fook also advised property developers to cut down on the development of high-end housing to avoid loss risks as individual house buyers are having difficulties obtaining loans due to stringent fiscal policies.
“Bank Negara should relax its financing policies on first time house buyers to enable every family to own a home,” he urged.