Iskan­dar’s rise and rise

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - DAULAT TUANKU SULTAN JOHOR - By ZAZALI MUSA zaza@ thes­tar. com. my

ISKAN­DAR Malaysia will drive the growth of the prop­erty sec­tor in south Jo­hor in years to come even amidst the global eco­nomic un­cer­tain­ties. Lo­cated in the south­ern­most part of Jo­hor, the coun­try’s first eco­nomic growth cor­ri­dor spans 2,217sq km – three times big­ger than Sin­ga­pore and two times the size of Hong Kong.

“Ten years on, Iskan­dar Malaysia is pro­gress­ing well and will def­i­nitely ben­e­fit the Jo­hor prop­erty mar­ket,” says Real Es­tate and Hous­ing De­vel­op­ers As­so­ci­a­tion ( Re­hda) Jo­hor branch chair­man Hoe Mee Ling.

Launched by the late Sul­tan Iskan­dar Ibni Sul­tan Is­mail on Nov 4, 2006, it was known as the South Jo­hor Eco­nomic Re­gion be­fore the name was changed to Iskan­dar Malaysia in April 2008.

It is di­vided into five flag­ship de­vel­op­ment zones – the JB City Cen­tre, Iskan­dar Pu­teri for­merly known as Nusa­jaya, East­ern Gate De­vel­op­ment Zone, Western Gate De­vel­op­ment Zone and Se­naiKu­lai.

“Iskan­dar Malaysia is more vi­able com­pared with other eco­nomic growth cor­ri­dors in the coun­try,” says Hoe.

The other eco­nomic cor­ri­dors in the coun­try are the North­ern Cor­ri­dor Eco­nomic Re­gion, East Coast Eco­nomic Re­gion, Sabah De­vel­op­ment Cor­ri­dor and Sarawak Cor­ri­dor of Re­new­able En­ergy.

From 2006 un­til Nov 30, 2015, Iskan­dar Malaysia had recorded to­tal com­mit­ted in­vest­ments of RM187.96bil, of which RM93.38bil has been re­alised as projects on the ground.

Hoe says the com­ple­tion of cat­alytic projects in the last five to six years proved that Iskan­dar Malaysia is mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion un­der its Com­pre­hen­sive De­vel­op­ment Plan ( CDP) 2006- 2025.

Un­der the CDP, Iskan­dar Malaysia is poised to be­come an in­ter­na­tional me­trop­o­lis, en­sur­ing the sus­tain­abil­ity of the prop­erty mar­ket in the state, es­pe­cially in south Jo­hor.

“Im­prove­ment in con­nec­tiv­ity and ac­ces­si­bil­ity makes most ar­eas within Iskan­dar Malaysia flag­ship zones at­trac­tive to prospec­tive prop­erty buy­ers,” she adds.

Hoe says the in­flux of do­mes­tic and for­eign in­vestors will cre­ate job op­por­tu­ni­ties in Iskan­dar Malaysia and the pres­ence of new res­i­dents bodes well for the prop­erty mar­ket in south Jo­hor.

She adds that the fun­da­men­tal de­mand for prop­er­ties will re­main high and strong as long as de­vel­op­ers could adapt to their prod­ucts to suit this de­mand.

“The out­look is still good as prop­er­ties fetch good yields and are the best hedge against in­fla­tion,” says Hoe.

KGV In­ter­na­tional Prop­erty Con­sul­tants ( M) Sdn Bhd di­rec­tor Sa­muel Tan Wee Cheng says de­spite crit­i­cism and un­favourable com­ments from cer­tain quar­ters since day one, Iskan­dar Malaysia has not failed to at­tract do­mes­tic and for­eign in­vestors.

“As the Govern­ment- backed eco­nomic growth cor­ri­dor, it has strong back­ing from the Fed­eral Govern­ment in terms of fund­ing for in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment projects,” he says.

It had spent al­most RM8­bil on in­fra­struc­ture projects since 2006, for the up­grad­ing and con­struc­tion of new roads and high­ways, flood mit­i­ga­tion projects, river clean­ing and pub­lic hous­ing schemes.

Tan says the com­ple­tion of New Coastal High­way, the East­ern Dis­per­sal Link Ex­press­way and the South­ern Link help to push de­mand for prop­er­ties.

Tan says among the ar­eas ben­e­fit­ing from bet­ter road link­ages in­clude Bukit In­dah, Per­ling, Sun­gai Danga, Nusa Be­sa­tari, Sutera Utama, Seri Alam, Kem­pas, Se­tia Tropika, Se­nai, Ku­lai, Iskan­dar Pu­teri, Sku­dai and Te­brau.

“Prior to the in­cep­tion of Iskan­dar Malaysia, prop­erty prices in south Jo­hor have not seen many changes but now prices are on the up­ward trend,” Tan says.

He points out the av­er­age sell­ing price for an in­ter­me­di­ate dou­ble- storey link house now starts from RM500,000 to RM600,000 from be­tween RM250,000 and RM350,000 while a new bun­ga­low’s price tag is be­tween RM3mil and RM5mil, from RM1.5mil over the last five years. He says prop­erty prices in south Jo­hor will con­tinue to be on the up­ward trend due to sev­eral fac­tors such as the Sin­ga­pore fac­tor.

“Jo­hor Baru re­mains a pre­ferred place for Sin­ga­pore­ans and ex­pa­tri­ates based in the re­pub­lic to buy res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties as prices are much lower here than in the re­pub­lic,” says Tan.

He says that apart from res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties, there is also good de­mand for in­dus­trial build­ings in Iskan­dar Malaysia as many Sin­ga­pore- based man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies are look­ing to re­lo­cate their op­er­a­tion to south Jo­hor.

Tan says it is a well- known fact that both Jo­hor and Sin­ga­pore are in­ter­twined in eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties due to their close prox­im­ity.

Po­ten­tial home­buy­ers look­ing at mod­els of hous­ing units at the Coun­try Gar­den Danga Bay sales gallery in Jo­hor Baru.

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