10 reasons why you should invest in Iskandar Malaysia

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Aerial view of Senibong Cove with the Straits of Johor and Sembawang Shipyard at the backdrop. Photo: Khalil Adis Consultancy.

There are many opportunities to be sought in Iskandar Malaysia in 2016. We list our top 10 here.

By Khalil Adis

Check the masterplan. Caption - Aerial view of Iskandar Puteri in Iskandar Malaysia. Iskandar Puteri is one example of a well masterplanned township development

Aerial view of Iskandar Puteri. Photo: Khalil Adis Consultancy

Reason 1: Iskandar Malaysia is the top performing economic corridor in Malaysia.

Due to its close proximity to Singapore, Iskandar Malaysia is the most successful out of the five economic corridors in Malaysia. Latest figures from Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) showed that Singapore is the top foreign investor followed by China, the United States of America, Spain and Japan. The total cumulative investment from 2006 to October 2015 is now RM78.53 billion with the manufacturing sector leading the way at RM50.82 billion.

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Murals on shophouses at the heritage area of Johor Bahru old town. Photo: Khalil Adis Consultancy.

Reason 2: Tourism boost
With Singapore being an international hub and the closest to the Malaysian state of Johor, government officials are setting its sight to get more Singaporeans and international travellers to cross the border.

Figures from Johor Immigration Department showed that Singaporeans were the top visitors to the state in 2011 and 2012 with 13,448,062 and 17.192.742 visitor arrivals respectively. This was an increase of 27.8 per cent. Meanwhile, according to figures from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), the Lion City recorded 1.72 million tourist arrivals from China and 940,000 from India in 2014. In the same year, 620,000 and 290,000 Chinese and Indian tourists respectively visited Johor.

With many using Singapore as a transit point, the aim for 2016 is to attract around five million tourists from China, India, Indonesia and the Middle East. Excluding visitors from Singapore, the figures could hit beyond the five million mark.

With so many things to look forward to by the end of this year, like taking a stroll along Sungei Segget and exploring the many rich cultural gems that Johor Bahru has to offer, 2016 could well be a busy year for the tourism industry and its related sector like retail and food & beverage.

View land reclamations at the causeway from Johor Bahru going in to Singapore. Since Iskandar Malaysia's inception in 2006, the property market in Johor had witnessed a remarkable turnaround thanks to the spi

View of causeway from Woodlands to Johor Bahru. Photo: Khalil Adis Consultancy.

 

Reason 3: Enhanced connectivity to Singapore
Bukit Chagar in Johor Bahru and Woodlands North in Singapore are set to be the next property hotspots once the planned cross-border rail service linking Johor’s Rapid Transit System (RTS) and Singapore’s MRT system is completed in 2018 to 2019.

First announced by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Abdul Razak at the Leader’s Retreat in May 2010, the cross-border rail service will enhance cross-border travel and bring about a positive impact on property prices on both sides of the causeway.

Already, the project is making good progress with a joint feasibility study completed.  Bukit Chagar has been announced as the final site.

Flagship A of Iskandar Malaysia includes Johor Bahru CBD and Danga Bay

A dedicated bus lane will serve the BRT lines in Iskandar Malaysia. Photo: Khalil Adis Consultancy.

Reason 4: BRT Lines
In addition, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines are expected to commence their services soon with the interchange station at Bukit Chagar. It will feature a dedicated bus lane with three lines. Therefore, this will increase the desirability for properties that are located along the lines. BRT Line 1 will span from Bukit Chagar to Tebrau, BRT Line 2 from Bukit Chagar to Senai and finally, BRT Line 3  from Bukit Chagar to Nusajaya.

Bukit Bintang Monorail Station which will be connected to the KVMRT line as part of the Economic Transformation Programme. Gen Ys should research and study new economic drivers and look for affordable propert.JPG

Monorail in Bukit Bintang. The entire train system will be connected to the High Speed Rail Station in Bandar Malaysia. Photo credit: Khalil Adis Consultancy.

Reason 5: High Speed Rail Project
The Johor stop for the High Speed Rail project will be in the vicinity of Gerbang Nusajaya, not to far away from East Ledang and Motorsports City. This will be the final leg of the Malaysian station before it enters Singapore, terminating at Jurong East.  While the station in Nusajaya has not yet been announced, government officials have indicated that it will be located close to Motorsports City near East Ledang.

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Towering office buildings in KLCC. Photo credit: Khalil Adis Consultancy.

Reason 6: A new CBD in Gerbang Nusajaya
In April 2015, Nusajaya’s master developer UEM Sunrise Berhad further revealed its comprehensive development plans for Gerbang Nusajaya which will have its own CBD similar to Jurong Lake District.

Spread across 4,551 acres of land, this second phase of Nusajaya’s development will be designed with catalytic industries similar to the various economic drivers in Nusajaya and Medini.Both these areas are home to tourism, logistics, finance, information communication technology and creative industry establishments just to name a few.

In anticipation for the HSR terminus in Gerbang Nusajaya, a number of catalytic developments have been planned. They include Nusajaya Tech Park, a 519-acre integrated eco-friendly tech park and FASTrack Iskandar which is a 300-acre ‘motorsports city’. This is the closest hint we can get on the possibility of the Nusajaya HSR station being located here. With a gross development value of RM42 billion,property values for existing homes in Nusajaya and Medini will enjoy a boost from the economic spillover.

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RM18 billion boost for the Pengerang RAPID Project. Photo credit: Khalil Adis Consultancy.

Reason 7: RM18 billion boost for Pengerang RAPID project
Outlined as one of the key areas under Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Plan (ETP), the Pengerang RAPID project aims to raise the quality of life, create jobs and income levels in eastern Johor.

Launched in 2013 with an initial investment of US$20 billion, this massive oil and gas project has already created jobs for some 50, 000 construction workers and 400 engineers. So far, the first phase, which comprises a RM9 billion Pengerang Independent Deep Water Petroleum Terminal, has already been completed in 2014. The first phase of its petroleum storage facility will have the capacity to store up to 1.3 million cubic metres of petroleum products. By end 2016, a further 4, 000 jobs will be created for trained technical staff once the project comes progressively on-stream.

Once the refinery is completed, the Pengerang RAPID project will have the capacity to produce 300, 000 barrels per day of higher grade fuels meeting European specifications and other byproducts for the different industries. RM18 billion has been allocated here as part of Budget 2016.

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A lonely stretch of road in Desaru. Photo credit: Khalil Adis Consultancy.

Reason 8: The Eastern Gate is the next growth centre
Deemed as an ‘ulu’ area, homes in Pasir Gudang are currently averaging between RM300 to RM400 per sq ft. However, this is an up and coming area as the Eastern Gate is the only zone that has received budget allocation from Budget 2016.

The Pengerang RAPID project is expected to have a spillover impact in Pasir Gudang. In addition, the budget had also allocated for a new public hospital in Pasir Gudang to cater to its growing population. With this, the Eastern Gate is poised to be the next growth centre in Iskandar Malaysia. If we study the history of Nusajaya and Johor Bahru, homes in these areas have seen almost 50 per cent increase in their values. History could repeat itself in the Eastern Gate.

The state and federal government had allocated spending for public infrastructure. These include the upgrading of the Pasir Gudang Highway and a new hospital.

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Petronas Twin Towers in KLCC. More jobs are expected to be created in Pengerang. Photo credit: Khalil Adis Consultancy.

Reason 9: More jobs to be created
With phase one of Iskandar Malaysia successfully launched in Nusajaya in 2006 and phase two currently taking place in Johor Bahru, the Eastern Gate is what many perceive as phase three of Iskandar Malaysia’s economic development.

With the Pengerang RAPID projects and a new business park in Pasir Gudang as the major economic drivers, these are expected to create job opportunities for Johoreans.

The business park for instance is anticipated to create around 12,100 jobs in the sectors of food and beverage production, garment manufacturer, printing and packaging industries, electronics, storage and warehousing, services, information technology, machinery spare parts, carpentry and furniture production and automotive workshops

Meanwhile, the Pengerang RAPID RM70 billion project spanning 2,000 hectares, has already created 40,000 jobs in the construction industry, 400 jobs for engineers and a further 4,000 jobs for trained technical staff. With the further allocation of RM18 billion, more jobs will be created.

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Hershey’s is the leading North American manufacturer of quality chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery and chocolate-related grocery products. The company also is a leader in the gum and mint category. Photo credit: The Hershey’s Company.

Reason 10: Senai and the chocolate factory
Senai and Skudai comprises agricultural, industrial and pockets of residential and commercial areas.  There are two small towns located here – Senai and Skudai.. Over the years, Senai and Skudai has developed as a hub for food & agro processing and retail tourism. In 2013, it scored a major coup when Hershey’s opened its chocolate factory here just opposite Senai Hi Tech Park.

With an investment of RM816 million, this will be Hershey’s second largest plant in the world and is expected to create 400 jobs Johoreans. It will have the capacity to produce tens of millions of Hershey’s Kisses, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Hershey’s Bars every day.

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Iskandar Malaysia’s Eastern Corridor could be game changer for supply overhang

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Budget 2016 had allocated RM18 billion worth of funds for the Pengerang RAPID project. Photo credit: Khalil Adis Consultancy.

Developments in the eastern corridor will hopefully help to absorb the supply of homes coming on-stream and solve housing woes among Johoreans.

By Khalil Adis

Iskandar Malaysia’s eastern corridor is poised for the next phase of economic growth as various developments are being planned in the pipeline to ensure that the spillover impact is more evenly distributed so as to benefit Johoreans and give the property sector a much-needed boost.

Home to the largest oil & gas project in Pengerang as well as manufacturing and port industries in Pasir Gudang, the centre of gravity appears to be shifting away from Nusajaya and Johor Bahru as more jobs are expected to be created from two major projects in the eastern corridor.

In Pasir Gudang, a new mixed-use development by UMLand called Taman Seri Albion was announced in September last year by the current chief minister of Johor Dato’ Mohamed Khalid Nordin. Dato’ Nordin is currently the area’s MP.

The development within his stronghold is expected to create 12,100 jobs for Johoreans with 865 units of affordable housing to be built by 2018.

Over in Pengerang, Malaysia’s largest oil & gas hub is being developed under the RAPID project undertaken by Petronas.

This RM70 billion project spanning 2,000 hectares has already created 40,000 jobs in the construction industry, 400 jobs for engineers and a further 4,000 jobs for trained technical staff.

Dato’ Nordin had noted that Taman Seri Albion project is in line with the state government’s vision to see Johoreans thrive in businesses as a result of its economic spillover as well as from the oil and gas industries in Pengerang.

Drawing in investments in the manufacturing sector equals demand for homes

Since Iskandar Malaysia’s inception in 2006, the manufacturing sector is a force to be reckoned with and has continued to be a major contributor to its economic growth.

According to data from Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), from 2006 to March 2015, the region has attracted about RM166.1 billion worth of investments.

Of this, a majority of the investments (RM50.82 billion) are in the manufacturing sector followed by the residential property sector (RM40.06 billion).

The data suggests that there is a strong correlation between drawing in investments in the manufacturing sector and demand for residential properties.

Therefore, it is not surprising that this is an important sector for Iskandar Malaysia’s success as it has helped create jobs for both locals and foreigners, which has continued to lead the demand for properties.

Economic spillover impact

That appears to be the game plan in Pasir Gudang for Taman Seri Albion.

Measuring 347 acres, the township will be developed by Tentu Teguh Sdn Bhd, a wholly own subsidiary of UMLand.

Its first phase project is a business park that will comprise 89 units of terrace, cluster and semi-detached factories with a built up size from 3,276 sq ft to 14,532 sq ft.

Called Dover Business Park, its estimated pricing will start from around RM300 per sq ft with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM 178 million.

“The township will change the investment landscape here. It is a step in the right direction considering it is a mixed-use development with affordable housing for Johoreans,” Dato’ Nordin said at the groundbreaking ceremony, UM Land’s third township in Iskandar Malaysia and its fourth in Malaysia.

The business park’s target markets will be Malaysian and Singaporean small and medium-sized enterprises which are involved in industries such as food and beverage production, the garment manufacturer, printing and packaging, electronics, storage and warehousing, services, information technology, machinery spare parts, carpentry and furniture production and automotive workshops.

This will in turn create business opportunities for Johorean entrepreneurs from small “mom-and-pop” shops to hawkers.

Strategic partnership forged during the recent leaders’ retreat

The developments in the manufacturing and industrial property sectors in the eastern corridor of Iskandar Malaysia appear to be in line with what was discussed by both the Singaporean and Malaysian Prime Ministers at the recent leader’s retreat held in May in Singapore.

During the retreat, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had reaffirmed that Iskandar Malaysia is important to Singapore.

Both countries will be implementing the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) measures by the end of this year and deepen economic integration beyond 2015. In addition, more co-operation were announced in the manufacturing and industrial property sectors.

The target industries include advanced materials engineering, electronics, creative services and food industries.

Oversupply: Perception versus reality

The oversupply in homes has been a huge concern in Iskandar Malaysia as Chinese developers from China have been aggressively acquiring land banks with plans to build condominium units by the thousands.

The overhang in supply is certainly valid for high-end condominiums targeting foreigners from Danga Bay condominiums targeting foreigners from Danga Bay all the way to Johor Bahru.

This is where the danger is.

When it comes to mass market homes, however, the supply is still lagging behind demand as developers have been busy chasing the foreign dollar.

This is where to next focus is for the state government as there is genuine demand from Johoreans for such homes.

The chief minister, therefore welcomed such initiative at Taman Seri Albion as it will add to 37,000 affordable housing that will be coming on-stream by 2018 in Johor.

Homes to be kept within means

Housing affordability was a contentious issue during the last Malaysian general election. Johoreans had complained of rising property prices, especially within the areas of Nusajaya, Danga Bay and Johor Bahru where economic development have been taking place at breakneck speed since Iskandar Malaysia’s inception in 2006.

Dato’ Nordin said that the affordable homes that will be offered in Pasir Gudang will be different from the federal-launched PR1MA housing project.

The highest quantum price here will be capped at RM150, 000.

The homes will benefit workers in the industries and will be equipped with sustainable development features and high-speed internet connection.

With the job creation from the developments in the eastern corridor of Pengerang and Pasir Gudang, this will hopefully help to absorb the supply coming on stream for high-end homes especially among white collar professionals while solving affordable housing woes for Johoreans.

This story was first published by iProperty.com in its September 2015 issue

What’s in store for us in 2016

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Petronas Twin Towers in KLCC. 2016 will be a tough year for the Malaysian property market. Photo: Khalil Adis Consultancy

 

The brew of the weakening Ringgit, oversupply in the property market and political climate could impact buying sentiments for this year.

By Khalil Adis

Malaysia faces a delicate balancing act in 2016 in providing affordable homes for locals while trying to lure foreign investors to its property market. The announcements of Budget 2016 clearly dictate that the mass market segment will drive its property market ahead.

However, there have been no revisions to the Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT), minimum purchase price and state levies in popular states like Johor and Kuala Lumpur.

This would make it even more challenging to attract foreign buyers despite the falling Ringgit.

In addition, negative sentiments from the political developments in the country and the perceived oversupply in the market may have spooked potential investors and could result in a “wait-and-see” situation.

With developers marketing high-end projects, they are faced with a difficult situation of finding the right group of buyers in an already small and niche market.

With the pressure to move their existing stocks, they may offer further discounts and other attractive packages.

This would certainly spell good news for buyers with plenty of good deals to be found in the market.

The secondary market will be especially attractive in 2016 as there will be those who are desperate to sell, especially with so much supply in the market.

With this in mind, bargain hunters looking for already completed properties will be spoilt for choice.

Household debts across Malaysia are also on the rise.

This, combined with the increased cost of living, will mean some cannot service their mortgages and will have their homes repossessed.

Therefore, auction properties are expected to rise accordingly, presenting very good buying opportunities for savvy investors.

Here’s a breakdown of the outlook for 2016 by the different popular markets.

Iskandar Malaysia

Iskandar Malaysia received very little interest in Budget 2016 with the exception of the Eastern Gate – in the corridors of Pasir Gudang and Pengerang.

In all, RM18 billion has been allocated for the massive oil and gas Pengerang RAPID project that is expected to have a spillover impact in Pasir Gudang.

In addition, the Budget had also allocated for a new public hospital in Pasir Gudang to cater to its growing population.

While analysts and market watchers are feeling somewhat disappointed with the allocation of budget for Iskandar Malaysia, it also confirms what many have been saying – the Eastern Gate is poised to be the next growth centre in Iskandar Malaysia.

As more jobs are being created, this will fuel demand for homes in and around the Eastern Gate.

The great thing is property prices here are still relatively affordable for locals averaging around RM300 toRM400 per sq ft.

In addition, the state and federal government had allocated spending for public infrastructure.

These include the upgrading of the Pasir Gudang Highway.

In fact, Dato’ Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Chief Minister of Johor had announced that 865 units of affordable housing will be built here by 2018.

Therefore, Johoreans hunting for their first home should target this area.

As for foreign buyers, although they are far and few between, I would say this is the best time to buy a property in Iskandar Malaysia as some developers are desperate.

It is best to get a home for your own stay rather than for investment.

If you are buying for investment, hotel suites are a good choice especially those in JB Sentral and Nusajaya.

Kuala Lumpur

Despite the falling Ringgit, the property market in Kuala Lumpur is admittedly quiet.

Foreign investors are few and far between, while locals feel that they are priced out of the market.

PR1MA homes that are planned around transport hubs and train stations, is a good opportunity for locals to start their property hunts.

A total of 5,000 units of PR1MA and PPA1M houses will be built in the vicinity of LRT and monorail stations in 10 locations, including Pandan Jaya, Sentul and Titiwangsa.

In my opinion, Bangsar is a “to-go-to” location as it has an affluent neighbourhood with plenty of amenities, trendy cafes and shopping malls.

While rentals in Bangsar have remained relatively flat since 2014 remaining at RM3.35 up to the first quarter of 2015, in the secondary market, the capital values based on transacted price has strengthened to RM898 per sq ft.

Thus the secondary market is where all the good deals are.

Selangor

Government linked companies (GLCs) are planning to build 800 affordable homes near MRT lines.

With the Ampang LRT Extension Line now open from Sri Petaling all the way to Putra Heights, plus future extensions along the Kelana Jaya Line, locals should look for housing projects in and around the vicinity.

Kwasa Damansara is also a hot area to watch ou他 for as it will contain two stations within the township.

Penang

The RM27 billion Penang Transport Master plan will drive the property market on the island.

The LRT line will comprise a 17.5km elevated line stretching from Penang International Airport all the way to Menara KOMTAR.

Penangites buying their first homes should look to the Bayan Lepas and Gelugor area near the LRT station.

Those who are priced out from the island should look to Seberang Prai.

For foreigners, avoid the Gurney and Batu Ferringhi area as a massive project being planned will result in massive traffic congestions.

Instead look to properties along the LRT line. I particularly like the Georgetown area due to the heritage sites and abundance of delicious local food there.

Malacca

Hotel suites is a good product to consider in Malacca due to the shortage of quality hotel rooms.

Due to the increasing number of visitors to Malacca, hotels and shopping centres have benefitted immensely from the spill over in the tourism industry.

There is strong pent-up demand among tourists for 4 to 5-star hotels in the city centre due to its convenience and easy access to tourism hot spots like the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jonker Street and shopping belt.

When investing in hotel suites, make sure to go for mixed-use development with hotels, shopping centres and residential components.

This will ensure good traffic to maximise on your return of investment.

 

This story was first published in the January 2016 issue of iProperty.com Malaysia.

Are there still affordable homes for Johoreans?

Yes there is. However, first time home owners should target for homes near to new growth corridors in and around Iskandar Malaysia and near to transport hubs.

Country Garden in Danga Bay. Photo: Khalil Adis Consultancy.

Country Garden in Danga Bay. Photo: Khalil Adis Consultancy.

By Khalil Adis

Take a drive from Nusajaya all the way to Tanjung Puteri and you can’t help but notice the many housing projects marketed as “luxurious” by developers in Iskandar Malaysia.

With an average pricing of RM1, 000 per sq ft for condominiums in Nusajaya and around RM900 for condominiums in Johor Bahru, a studio unit would range from RM450, 000 to RM500, 000.

Is this something that locals can afford?

Let’s do the maths.

Assuming a loan of 80 per cent with a current interest rate of 4.45 per cent (Base Lending Rate of 6.85 per cent minus 2.4 per cent) for a RM 450,000 property, the monthly mortgage would work out to around RM1, 813.

With an average income of RM3, 000 per month, these homes are by no means affordable for Johoreans and are more geared towards the Singapore and overseas markets.

Additionally, let us look at statistics that will help give us an idea of what affordability means to Malaysians.

According to iProperty.com Malaysia’s Asia Property Market Sentiment Survey for the second half of 2014, majority of Malaysians (49 per cent) have an annual income of RM30, 001 to RM90, 000

This means their monthly income would range from RM2, 500 to RM7, 500

Of the 5,295 respondents surveyed, 5 per cent are from Johor, while the majority is from Selangor (48 per cent) and Kuala Lumpur (31 per cent).

Majority (53 per cent) of the respondents have a budget of less than RM500, 000 for their homes.

If we take a median income of RM5, 000 across Malaysia servicing a mortgage for an RM450, 000 home, this will leave them with around RM3, 200 for other expenses.

For Johoreans, however, we have to adjust this downwards to RM3, 000 as this is the average income for most graduates here.

Thus, this will leave them around RM1, 200 – perhaps just enough to get by.

Hence, affordability will be a major issue for fresh graduates and first time home owners.

The next question is then, “are there still affordable homes for Johoreans?”

The answer is yes.

Affordable homes will drive the market in 2015

With a general slow down in property transactions in Iskandar Malaysia from Singaporeans and overseas buyers, developers are already bracing for a tough time ahead.

Data from the National Property and Information Centre (NAPIC) showed that property transactions in Johor saw a steep decline of 33 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter of 2014.

While this will mean a challenging time for the medium to high-end market segments, this will spell good news for local buyers as affordable homes will be the focus for this year.

Already the state government has put on hold approvals for serviced apartments in Iskandar Malaysia while developers are shifting their focus to the local market.

New hot spots

The eastern corridor of Iskandar Malaysia where the Pengerang RAPID project is located at is the next area of growth. Photo: Khalil Adis Consultancy,

The eastern corridor of Iskandar Malaysia where the Pengerang RAPID project is located at is the next area of growth. Photo: Khalil Adis Consultancy,

For those of you who are thinking of buying your first home, you might be wondering, “where are the affordable homes and which areas should I target for?”

If you have missed out on Nusajaya’s and Johor Bahru’s transformations, fret not.

There are other areas where the federal government is focusing on for the next phase of Iskandar Malaysia’s economic development – the corridors of Pasir Gudang and Pengerang.

In fact, Pasir Gudang and Masai are poised to be the new hot spots as it will enjoy the economic spillover from Malaysia’s largest oil and gas hub in Pengerang.

First announced in March 2012 by Datuk Sri Najib Tun Abdul Razak, this RM70 billion project spanning 2,000 hectares has already created 40,000 jobs in the construction industry, 400 jobs for engineers and a further 4,000 jobs for trained technical staff.

This has fueled demand for homes in and around the area.

To gear up for the economic spillover from this Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), a new mixed-used development will be coming up in Pasir Gudang that is expected to create some 12,100 jobs with 865 units of affordable housing to be built by 2018.

Developed by UM Land, the project called Taman Seri Albion will comprise an industrial park targeting Malaysian and Singapore small manufacturing enterprise (SMEs) including food and beverage production, garment manufacturer, printing and packaging industries, electronics, storage and warehousing, services, information technology, machinery spare parts, carpentry and furniture production and automotive workshops.

This will not only create businesses and jobs for locals but also enhance the desirability of homes in Iskandar Malaysia’s next growth corridor.

Chief Minister of Johor Dato’ Mohamed Khaled Nordin, who was the guest-of-honour at the event, had noted that this project will add to 37,000 affordable housing that will be coming on-stream by 2018 in Johor.

“The township will change the investment landscape here. It is a step in the right direction considering it is a mixed use development with affordable housing for Johoreans,” he said.

He also noted that this project is different from the federal-launched PR1MA housing project as the highest quantum price here will be capped at RM150, 000 with high-speed internet connection.

PR1MA homes

Speaking of PR1MA homes. there are four projects of choices for bumiputeras spanning from Tebrau to Pasir Gudang..

The starting prices for the projects in Tebrau and Pasir Gudang start from RM180, 000 to RM185, 000 respectively onwards.

There is no indicative pricing yet for the projects in Masai and Pulai.

Transport hubs

The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines are expected to commence their services this year.

Therefore, this will increase the desirability for properties that are located along the lines.

Areas that are worth looking into include BRT Line 1 spanning from Bukit Chagar to Tebrau, BRT Line 2 spanning from Bukit Chagar to Senai and finally, BRT Line 3 spanning from Bukit Chagar to Nusajaya.

This article was first published by iProperty.com Malaysia in its June 2015 issue.

A Singaporean in Iskandar Malaysia

Living across the causeway has its advantages and disadvantages. Take it from a fellow Singaporean who now calls Iskandar Malaysia home.

The expansive view of Nusajaya from Wayne Wong's apartment in Ujana. Wong now considers Iskandar Malaysia home. Photo: Courtesy of Wayne Wong.

The expansive view of Nusajaya from Wayne Wong’s apartment in Ujana. Wong now considers Iskandar Malaysia home. Photo: Courtesy of Wayne Wong.

By Khalil Adis

Back in 2009 when Nusajaya was still very much an undeveloped green field, one Singaporean braved his way there by purchasing the very first condominium to be launched there – Ujana by UEM Sunrise.

Wayne Wong, a retiree, was among the few Singaporeans who saw the potential of Iskandar Malaysia and wanted a simpler life.

“I bought the property because the location was the nearest to my residence in Clementi where it is very easy to travel to and fro by car, bus and motorbike. I also needed a retirement home because Singapore has become really too crowded and expensive for a then-working-class person,” said Wayne Wong, a retiree.

At a time when many were still wary about the potential for Iskandar Malaysia, Wong’s bold move has paid dividends.

Being a pioneer, Wong was among the few who witnessed his property value appreciate.

Asking prices for units at Ujana are now around RM700 per sq ft thanks to improved infrastructure such as the Coastal Highway and the many federal launched projects spanning from EduCity to Legoland Theme Park.

“It was affordable back then. I paid for it in cash from savings that I had accumulated, from my car-use budget. I had decided not to use my car for daily work-commute and the funds saved over a few years allowed me to afford Ujana,” said Wong.

The push factors from Singapore to Iskandar Malaysia were many.

Among them – the high population density as well as the many rules and regulations, just to name a few.

“Firstly, despite the better living standards in Singapore, I feel that our intrinsic living quality has dropped. Secondly, Singapore has become over-regulated and over-enforced, over the smallest issues. One example is my motorcycle’s In-Vehicle Unit (IU) device. To live in Singapore, I need to remember about 200 different rules, procedures, thus adding to the mental stress,” said Wong. “In comparison, when live in Malaysia, and all I have to remember is to be observant to the surroundings, respectful and to be friendly to everyone”.

Indeed, the laid back lifestyle and the slower pace of life that Iskandar Malaysia offers can be seen as a sort of an “escape valve” for stressed out Singaporeans crammed within a tiny city-state of 5.4 million population on a 714 sq km island.

Money can’t buy happiness

Singapore, a city with a population of 5.4 million crammed into 714 sq km.

Singapore, a city with a population of 5.4 million crammed into 714 sq km. Photo: Shutterstock.

Despite not having natural resources, Singapore has overcome the odds and is considered one of the richest nations in the world.

According to Forbes, in 2012, Singapore is the third richest country in the world behind Qatar and Luxembourg.

Using available data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Forbes cited Singapore as having a GDP (PPP) per capita of nearly US$56,700.

In contrast, however, in 2011, international pollster Gallup’s survey showed that Singaporeans were the unhappiest and most emotionless people in the world.

Gallup ran a survey based on some 150,000 individual surveyed worldwide conducted in 2011.

In 2014, a survey by Randstad, an international recruitment and human resource service provider, concluded that employees in Singapore are the unhappiest in the Asia Pacific.

Randstad 2013/2014 World of Work Report showed that 64 per cent of employees planned to leave their jobs in the next 12 months.

In fact, try saying “hello” or “good morning” to a stranger in Singapore and you will most likely get an odd stare in return.

On the other side of the straits, however, people seemed a little bit warmer.

“Malaysians generally are easier-going people, compared to overly-prejudiced Singaporeans,” said Wong, who has been to many road trips across the Malay peninsular and made friends with locals along the way.

Wide open spaces

View of EduCity from Wong's apartment. Photo: Khalil Adis.

View of EduCity from Wong’s apartment. Photo: Khalil Adis.

With a land size of 2,217 sq km and a population of 1.6 million, Iskandar Malaysia is three times the size of Singapore and less densely populated, giving Wong ample space to breathe and surround himself with nature.

“One of the more immediate advantages when living in Nusajaya is the wide open spaces and much fresher air – intangible things you cannot get in Singapore. There’s also a heightened awareness that I have towards nature. From my apartment, I see Gunung Pulai on my left and the Straits of Johor on my right,” said Wong.

When Wong gets restless, he would take his Malaysian car for a road trip with his wife as they brace for the adventures that lie ahead, be it in Desaru or various small towns in, Kota Bahru, Kelantan.

“Here, I have the ability to simply visit the many rustic towns, beaches and waterfalls anytime,” said Wong who purchased his Perodua Viva for RM27,600.

The lower costs of living here mean Wong can keep his car for life and wifi is readily available here at many establishments.

Indeed, take a drive through any regular coffee shops in Johor and you can immediately log onto their network.

The cost? Well, buy a teh tarik and a roti canai or two, at least, to keep the shop owner happy.

“Almost every F&B establishment, including the Indian Muslim coffee shops have free wifi. In my opinion, this is a more practical internet ecosystem, compared to Singapore, whereby one has to follow more procedures and pay more costs,” said Wong.

While at first glance, Iskandar Malaysia offers a much needed breathing space, Wong admits, the grass is not always greener on the other side.

“There are some inherent cultural differences and things work at a much slower pace here,” said Wong.

Not a bed of roses

One example is the language barrier.

Wong does not speak Bahasa Malaysia.

However, he has picked up a smattering of the language over time.

“The living experience gets better once you can speak the language,” he said.

Another is the slow response time from management staff at the condominium.

“The developer was and still is extremely slow, to attend to my queries and feedback. I have to persistently push the developer to get things done,” said Wong who has to be tactful so as not too be seen as too aggressive.

According to him, the committee’s focus is to make money rather than ensuring a better living environment,

There’s also a sense of loneliness amid the slower pace of life.

“As the place that I am staying in is an expat enclave, many residents exhibit the pretentious behaviour of being well-to-do or “keeping up with the Joneses”, which is not really genuine. There’s also less social activities here compared to Singapore,” said Wong.

And while you can take the Singaporean out of Singapore, one bad habit still remains – kiasuism (being afraid to lose).

This is something Wong had encountered with fellow Singaporeans living in Ujana.

“Some Singaporean neighbours exhibit the “kiasu” mentality of wanting only to take something from me, but not helping me in any other way,” he laments.

Others disadvantages include the peak hour traffic jams at the Second Link and the banning of bicycles from crossing the causeway.

Undeterred by negative press

The Singapore government has recently issued warning to its citizens warning of an oversupply situation in Iskandar Malaysia.

This has been picked up by both press from across the pond and shared widely on social media.

Still, Wong who considers himself a traditional investor is undeterred.

“Yes, it is a short term concern because of the frequent noises that the media makes. Such “noises” affect the sentiment. Sadly, most people fail to think independently and simply follow the herd,” he said.

According to the latest investment figures from Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), despite the negative press, Singapore remains the top foreign investor in Iskandar Malaysia.

“We continue to see strong support from Singapore, China, the United States of America, Spain and Japan. However, it is the domestic investments which truly reflects the confidence our local society have in the region’s development,” said Dato’ Mohamed Khaled, chief minister of Johor and Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) co-chairman.

Majority of the investments are in the manufacturing sector which accounts for 31 per cent of RM50.82 billion of the total investment.

While oversupply is a valid concern, it will only affect those who are buying for investment or to flip their properties.

“I bought my property for my own use and not as a speculator. Being old-fashioned, I bought with cash, and am therefore not exposed to any lending interest rates risks,” he said. “The problem may be exacerbated by the many property speculators, who buy multiple properties, all based on banking loans.  This creates a false sense of “market success”. However, what happens if the installments are not serviced? These loan defaults will damage the market in a disproportionate way,” he said.

Tips for Singaporeans

Wong’s advice for fellow Singaporeans is to be conservative in their investment which is to buy for your own use, buy with cash, or with minimum loan and to not be greedy.

“Johor welcomes legitimate investors who enter to contribute to the betterment of the place and hopefully uplifting society. The over-emphasis on “making money” using easy methods of leverage – is an immoral, opportunistic act that distorts the market,” he cautions.

In addition, the way the property market works in Malaysia is very different from Singapore.

While in Singapore, investors may be able to find a tenant after the project is completed, it is not the same in Iskandar Malaysia where the population is much less compared to Singapore.

“Malaysian properties are for own long-term use. The business model of rental income between Singapore, and Johor, really is very, very different,” said Wong.

He also advised Singaporeans to buy when sentiment is bad as there are many good deals in the market.

“The media reported many good news in 2012 to 2013, and as a result, many people bought properties priced at the peak. When we buy or invest into such items, we have to take a really long-term view,” he said.

From an oil palm plantation to an exciting new city

View of East Ledang from Ujana. Photo: Khalil Adis.

View of East Ledang from Ujana. Photo: Khalil Adis.

 

Indeed, when Singaporeans stayed away from Iskandar Malaysia in 2008, the following years saw property price appreciate for Horizon Hills from a launch price RM288, 000 to asking prices ranging from RM800, 000 to RM1.2 million for a landed terrace home.

Wong, who now considers Iskandar Malaysia home, is here for the long-term.

“Here, you get that “once in a lifetime experience” of witnessing the birth of a fast rising, new city which is more well master planned,” said Wong who had witnessed for himself the price appreciation due to the improved infrastructure in Nusajaya as well as the various economic drivers such as in tourism, education and logistics, just to name a few.

Now that Nusajaya is fairly developed, Wong is now looking to sell his unit at Ujana below the market price of RM700 per sq ft.

“I am selling it at this price in order to allow the prospective buyer a better chance to enjoy capital gains in the future,” said Wong who has a landed home nearby at Eco Botanic and do not need the additional space.

Indeed, come 2022, Nusajaya is set to be a buzzing satellite city, much like Jurong Lake District in Singapore with an exciting new CBD called Gerbang Nusajaya

Comprising 4,551 acres, this second phase of Nusajaya’s development will be designed with catalytic industries, similar to the various economic drivers in Nusajaya and Medini.

The highly anticipated High Speed Rail station is expected to be located here.

With a gross development value (GDV) of RM42 billion, property values for existing homes in Nusajaya and Medini are set to rise further as the area becomes highly accessible in the near future.

Gerbang Nusajaya’s master developer, UEM Sunrise, anticipates it to have an estimated 220,000 population, tying it nicely with its site for Nusajaya’s HSR terminus.

“In order for Iskandar Malaysia’s success to be realised faster, we need to forge a community of like-minded individuals who can genuinely collaborate in the same direction,” he said.

Any takers?

If you are interested to view his unit, email investorsclub@khaliladis.com

Can Iskandar Malaysia succeed without Singapore?

With waning interests from Singaporeans, will it be boom or bust for the special economic zone?

View of the Woodlands Causeway from Johor Bahru. Photo: Khalil Adis

View of the Woodlands Causeway from Johor Bahru. Photo: Khalil Adis

By Khalil Adis

The history between Singapore and Johor is a long and interesting one spanning centuries and one that is often intertwined.

With a history spanning back since the 14th century when Singapore was once the seat of governance for the Johor Sultanate to the signing of the treaty with the British in 18th century, our history and economy are often inextricably linked although we are now a sovereign state.

What changed the course of history was the signing of a treaty that Sultan Ali had signed in 1855 with the British to transfer his power in Johor to Temenggung Daeng Ibrahim.

Temenggung Daeng Ibrahim subsequently moved his seat of governance from its old capital in Teluk Blangah in Singapore to Tanjung Puteri which is now known as Johor Bahru.

While the imposing palace in Singapore still remains today, it has been converted to a mosque housing the Johor Royal Mosouleum and where members of the royal household are laid to rest at a nearby cemetery – a reminder of its glorious past.

Over the other side of the causeway, however, is where Johor’s exciting future lies – Iskandar Malaysia.

Home to the current Sultan of Johor, it appears our history is set to intertwine yet again with Iskandar Malaysia as a sort of hinterland for Singapore, as the Sultan admits.

“The future is in Johor because Singaporeans, not just Chinese, will be buying homes in Johor. Homes are already beyond the reach of ordinary Singaporeans over there. It is a political issue when the middle-class find themselves squeezed,” Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar told a paper recently

From sceptism to optimism – the Singapore factor

When Iskandar Malaysia was first mooted in 2006 by former Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, Singaporeans were very skeptical about it.

It was only after the land swop deal was concluded in 2010, did sentiment turned positive.

Led by both the Singapore and Malaysian government, both countries had agreed to jointly develop two iconic projects in Medini via Temasek Holdings and Khazanah Nasional.

Subsequently, Temasek Hodings via CapitaLand entered into a joint-venture agreement with Iskandar Watefront Holdings to develop a land parcel at A2 Danga Island.

These factors gave Iskandar Malaysia the much needed confidence booster among Singaporeans to snap up properties just across the causeway.

At the peak of the market in 2013, almost 74 per cent of non-Malaysian property buyers were from Singapore, according to data from UEM Sunrise.

Figures from Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) also showed that Iskandar Malaysia has secured RM24.87billion in new investments from January 2014 to October 2014.

From 2006 to October 2014, Iskandar Malaysia has recorded RM156.51 billion in total cumulative committed investments.

Of this total, 51 per cent or RM79.17 billion represent investments that have been realised.

Singapore remains the top foreign investor.

Has Iskandar Malaysia lost its appeal among Singaporeans?

Site visit to Iskandar Malaysia. Photo: Khalil Adis.

Site visit to Iskandar Malaysia. Photo: Khalil Adis.

While Singaporeans will still look to Iskandar Malaysia to buy a property, buying activity is admittedly, not as robust as before.

Anecdotal evidence on the ground shows some developers are having problems moving units while property launches are not as well-received as before.

Various factors such as property cooling measures announced during Budget 2014, the flurry of project launches by Chinese developers and the recent toll hikes on both sides of the causeway are causing some to stay away.

One Singapore-based investor who has a home in Iskandar Malaysia said the toll hikes in particular will impact investment sentiment.

“This news will be good and bad news to different people. It will be good news to real business owners (such as factory owners) as it will mean faster travelling time even with the higher tolls, as those business owners value their time more than the toll paid. However, it will be bad news for regular visitors to petrol kiosks, cheap car washing facilities and so on,” said William Liong.

With Singapore as the top foreign investors, will this spell the end for Iskandar Malaysia?

Singapore investments include Ascott Somerset Puteri Harbour, Puteri Cove, Motorsports City and Vantage Bay, just to name a few.

Already, AsiaOne Business is reporting that CapitaLand’s investment in Danga Bay as well as other developers had hit a snag.

CapitaLand has said it is “waiting for the relevant regulatory approval for (its) Danga Bay project’s masterplan”.

Iskandar Malaysia too big to fail

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) masterplan for the new Woodlands Regional Centre include a cross border rail link service linking Woodlands North MRT Station to the RTS station in Johor Bahru. Photo: Khalil Adis.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) masterplan for the new Woodlands Regional Centre include a cross border rail link service linking Woodlands North MRT Station to the RTS station in Johor Bahru. The RTS-MRT project will be the game changer for Iskandar Malaysia. Photo: Khalil Adis.

While the Singapore factor may have given Iskandar Malaysia a boost on the international stage due to Singapore being a global city, it is unlikely Iskandar Malaysia will fail.

Here’s why.

While Singapore may be the top foreign investor, majority of the investment are still driven by the domestic market.

Data from IRDA showed that RM99 billion or 63 per cent of the total cumulative investment were from Malaysia while the rest – RM57.5 billion (or 37 per cent) – were contributed by foreign investors.

In addition, the residential property sector forms only RM38.59 billion of the total cumulative investments.

Majority of the investments were driven by the manufacturing sector at RM50.97 billion.

This includes investment from the sectors of Electrical & Electronics, Petrochemical & Oleo-chemical and Food- & Agro-processing.

Perhaps the biggest catalyst will be the cross-border rail link service linking Singapore’s MRT to Johor Bahru’s RTS system.

Once completed in 2019, it will result in more investments in Iskandar Malaysia and this is something the current Sultan of Johor had noted.

“Once the links are in place, it will become the norm for Singaporeans to live in Johor and work in Singapore. That is the future,” he told a paper.

Likewise, investors are looking forward to the link.

“The RTS will impact my investment decision, but only within Johor Bahru or Zone A of Iskandar Malaysia,” said Liong

This has spurred him to look at other developments which are within a one km radius area from the RTS station.

Like siblings, blood is thicker than water and is what best describes the relationship between Singapore and Johor.

Both has had its fair of ups and downs with its history of rivalry and on-and-off close relationship.

As the RTS-MRT link shows, even as we brace towards the future, our history and economies remain inextricably intertwined.

Like it or not, Singapore still needs Iskandar Malaysia as much as it needs Singapore.

This article was first published by iProperty.com Malaysia in its May 2015 issue.

Medini breaks new frontiers

Once a lush forest, Medini is now slowly coming to life with a hive of activities and new standards in luxury living.

Paradiso Nuova by Zhouyuan Iskandar located in Medini in Nusajaya, Johor.

Paradiso Nuova by Zhouyuan Iskandar located in Medini in Nusajaya, Johor. Photo: Courtesy of Zhouyuan Iskandar Sdn Bhd.

By Khalil Adis

For the newly initiated, Medini, located in Nusajaya, Johor, can be quite an assault on the senses, especially since it is a brand new township where the entire buzz is centred at.

Located in the heart of Iskandar Malaysia, this is where the breakneck pace of development has been taking place since Iskandar Malaysia was first mooted by former Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi in 2006.

As you drive past the Coastal Highway from the Second Link, you can’t help but be amazed by the sheer size of the developments taking place once you reach the sweeping intersection.

That was exactly how I felt when I was first covering Iskandar Malaysia as a property journalist way back in 2008.

Coming out of my cocoon in Singapore, that year witnessed my first foray into Medini, Iskandar Malaysia as part of a media junket trip to understand and write about what the buzz is all about.

I had heard a lot about Medini and Iskandar Malaysia back then but I wasn’t sure what to make out of it.

However, once I got there, it was something that completely blew my mind.

Measuring just 9.3 sq km, it is hard to imagine that this was once a lush pristine forest filled with oil palm plantations.

Now, Medini has transformed into a Grade ‘A’ site with top-notch infrastructure that rivals even that of Singapore’s.

The Malaysian government has so far spent RM5.9 billion to develop Medini into a world class city with infrastructures such as roads, lightings and sewerage treatment plants.

Medini – the spark that ignited the Iskandar Malaysia success story

Medini will be the hub of Islamic finance and is home to Khazanah-Temasek Holdings JV project and LEGOLAND Malaysia.

Medini will be the hub of Islamic finance and is home to Khazanah-Temasek Holdings JV project and LEGOLAND Malaysia. Photo: Courtesy of Iskandar Investment Berhad.

Blessed with land that stretches as far as they eyes can see, Medini’s area spans from the iconic Legoland Theme Park landmark in the lifestyle zone to the creative buzz of film-making at Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios, near the leisure zone and business district.

First identified as a special economic zone by Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB), the statutory body has over the years developed various catalytic industries to spur the success of Iskandar Malaysia.

From tourism to creative industry, Medini is now slowly becoming a bustling district with a tourism hub at Legoland Theme Park and a film-making facility at Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios.

This was a far cry from the Medini that I was covering when Legoland’s construction was taking place in 2010.

During that year, I went into the heart of Iskandar Malaysia again to write a special report to update readers on the progress taking place.

Armed with a safety helmet and boots, this time round, I braved the elements as I witnessed first hand the construction of what is now the area’s iconic landmark – Legoland Theme Park.

Indeed, the rapid pace of development that Iskandar Malaysia had undergone since 2006 had caught most Singaporeans by surprise, as back then, many had thought Iskandar Malaysia would not take off.

Fast forward to 2015, Iskandar Malaysia is the most successful by far of the five economic zones in Malaysia.

According to Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), Iskandar Malaysia has attracted a total cumulative investment of RM156.51 billion from 2006 to October 2014.

Of this total, 51 per cent of RM79.17 billion of investments has been realised.

Booming residential sector near Legoland Theme Park

LEGOLAND Malaysia Water Theme Park will give a boost to the property sector and lead to job creation for Johoreans.

LEGOLAND Malaysia Water Theme Park will give a boost to the property sector and lead to job creation for Johoreans. Photo: Courtesy of LEGOLAND Theme Park.

As more and more investments and jobs are created in and around Medini, it has led to demand for residential homes to support the various catalytic industries.

Due to its limited size, however, land here is extremely rare and much sought after,

The first game-changer occurred when Temasek Holdings and Khazanah Nasional announced that they will be jointly developing two projects here that arose from the land swop deal in 2010 – Afiniti Medini and Avira.

Since then, Medini has attracted many developers to launch projects, among them Zhuoyuan Iskandar Sdn Bhd, who is the developer of Paradiso high-end residential project in Medini.

“One of the key main reasons we chose to invest in the Malaysian market was the clear identification of the different flagship zones and defined blueprints for each zone. In addition to this, there were considerations such as the ease for foreign investors to enter into the market and form partnerships as well as regulatory incentives that include tax exemptions up to 2020 and no restrictions on foreign buyers. It’s a rare opportunity in Malaysia that aided our decision,” said Wang Bin Wu, chief executive officer for Zhuoyuan Iskandar.

Indeed, Medini is the only area in Malaysia that has been designated as a free trade zone to make it foreign-investor friendly.

For example, in Medini, foreign investors are not subjected to the minimum purchase price of RM1 million and Real Property Gains Tax ((RPGT).

As we speak, the area in and around Medini is buzzing with expatriates from Frost & Sullivan to lecturers at EduCity who now call Iskandar Malaysia home.

Figures from IRDA shows that from January to October 2014, Iskandar Malaysia has secured RM24.87 billion in new investments.

Among the promoted sectors, manufacturing recorded the highest cumulative committed investment at RM50.97 billion.

Chartering new frontiers with revised city blueprint and luxury living

As more and more quality jobs are being created in and around Medini, so are demand for quality homes and infrastructure.

Realising this, IRDA has developed a new city blueprint that will take Medini and Iskandar Malaysia into a new frontier.

“IRDA has also developed several blueprints and the new version of the comprehensive development plan (CDP) incorporates the implementation plan and programmes such as the Iskandar Malaysia Smart City Framework that incorporates the environment, economic and social aspects. It will also help us in planning for the enablers to support future catalyst projects,” said Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, chief executive for IRDA.

The second game changer in Medini is Zhuoyuan Iskandar who has upped the ante in terms of luxury living in the heart of Iskandar Malaysia.

In Medini, the developer’s high-end residence called Paradiso Nuova is breaking new grounds in terms of finishings and fittings.

“Our focus is to develop high quality real estate that is benchmarked to top international standards that will appeal to buyers as a compelling investment opportunity. We have designed Paradiso Nuova to be a class above other developments in Iskandar,” said Wang.

Indeed, Paradiso Nuova offers discerning home owners something not found in other developments.

Paradiso Nuova is an oasis of grandeur that offers personalised attention and luxury from the ground-up featuring a range of luxurious apartments, stunningly designed by world-class architects Ong & Ong. Each unit will be completed with quality finishes such as marble and solid timber floorings. The apartment is also brandished with fittings from Bosch, Signature Kitchen, Teka, Franke, Toto and Grohe.

“All units are also equipped with a 5-tiered security system to provide full confidence in safety for all residents. Paradiso Nuova’s prime location ensures that residents will have easy access to the amenities surrounding the property in addition to enjoying its high-end facilities,” said Wang.

Paradiso Medini is blessed with a 4.2 acres backyard of urban green space at the doorstep. Zhuoyuan Iskandar will enhance this green space into uniquely designed recreational park providing its’ residents with a vast array of communal leisure facilities.