Double whammy of Penang’s tunnel and land reclamation
Penangites recently woke up to the news that the state had sealed a preliminary agreement for a new undersea tunnel and three major roads costing RM6.3 billion. This whas inevitably stirred a lot of interest in how the projects will impact the local community and landscape.
Stretching some 6.5km, the tunnel will connect Gurney Drive to Butterworth while the highways, covering a total of 20.8km, will significantly shorten travel time between key sites on the island.
But there is one important link in this matter that has been overlooked by many. It has to do with the distinct prospect that this mega-project will be tied — financially and functionally – to the Sri Tanjung Pinang Phase II — or STP2 — which is nearby, around Gurney Drive itself.
There are those who fear that the tunnel will contribute to further congestion on the island’s roads as vehicles from the mainland get increasingly drawn in due to the new link.
The crowding is bound to increase also because of the sheer density of houses and commercial units to be built in the massive STP2 project. — www.fz.com
UEM Sunrise acquires land in Melbourne
One of Malaysia’s leading property developers, UEM Sunrise Bhd, marked its maiden foray into the Australian market by acquiring two pieces of prime freehold land in Melbourne, Australia.
Managing director and CEO Datuk Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim said Australia is one of the key countries in its strategic regional expansion plan.
The parcels — 3,197 sq m (0.8 acre) in LaTrobe Street and about 2,030 sq m (0.5 acre) in Mackenzie Street — are in two of the city’s hot spots and have existing commercial tenancies.
They will be redeveloped as premium residential developments with a retail component and infused with arts and culture elements to achieve a vibrant and edgy mixed community within the developments. — Bernama
Housing market set for moderation
The Greater Kuala Lumpur housing market is poised for stabilisation with the significant growth in capital values seen since 2009 being replaced by an era of more gradual increases, according to CB Richard Ellis Malaysia’s (CBRE) latest market view report.
CBRE partly attributed the growth of capital values in many areas of Greater Kuala Lumpur since 2009 to a decline in new starts. The supply growth of residential properties in Greater Kuala Lumpur since the end of last year is less than 1% — a wider slowdown since 2006.
Due to the rapid growth of Kuala Lumpur and its suburbs, development land has become increasingly scarce, driving the capital values of properties even higher. The transaction value of 2 or 3-storey semi-detached houses or bungalows averages RM2 million in Kuala Lumpur.
The second quarter of 2013 saw an increase in new developments with 196,092 units in incoming supply. Of these, 95.1% are under construction. CBRE suggests that this increase in new starts will moderate the housing market in the future.
Supply of office space in 2014 to exceed that of 2013
The supply of office space in 2014 is expected to exceed that in 2013 with as much as 6.27 million sq ft in Greater Kuala Lumpur, according to CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) Malaysia’s latest market view report.
CBRE noted that although a considerable supply was of strata-titled or secondary buildings, the market was poised to favour tenants in the near future.
The Golden Triangle and central business district’s office vacancy rates dropped to 12.7% from 13.2% quarter on quarter.
CBRE noted the leasing of 200,000 sq ft in Integra Tower by an oil and gas company. Integra Tower is a prime office building within MGPA (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd’s Intermark integrated development. As at 2Q2013, the total supply of office space in Greater Kuala Lumpur stood at 91.1 million sq ft, up from 89.2 million sq ft in 1Q2013.
The report stated that vacancy rates had increased in the suburban areas. Selangorshowed an improvement from 19.4% in 1Q2013 to 17.7% in 2Q2013. Despite the fall in vacancy rates and leasing within the city centre, the overall vacancy rate in Greater Kuala Lumpur was 15% in 1Q2013 against 14.4% in 2Q2013.
This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on Oct 21, 2013.