Tag Archives: rentals

Property Slowdown in Johor

It was pretty easy to see the glut in residential property in Johor being created over the last few years, and I wrote about several times: The Potential of Iskandar is Very High but Investing in Iskandar has RisksIskandar Housing Real Estate Investment Considerations (2011), Singapore Sprawl Fueled by Cheap Housing Resulting in Long Delays at Border (2014), Malaysian Real Estate Slowdown May be Taking Hold (2014).

View of Downtown Johor Bahru looking away from Singapore

Downtown Johor Bahru with Danga City Mall (includes map) on the left (looking North-West).

The long term prospects for Johor remain strong. Building on the advantages of being a suburb of Singapore has huge potential. Managing that advantage should provide huge long term benefits. Still in the residential building boom seems overdone and not balanced with brining in enough high paying jobs or improved transportation to jobs in Singapore.

UEM Sunrise shifts focus away from Johor due to glut in the state

Iskandar Malaysia’s biggest property developer UEM Sunrise Bhd will focus on Peninsular Malaysia’s central region, as Johor faces a property glut and slowdown.

Managing director Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib said the company would be shifting focus to the central and northern regions as well as overseas.

“Right now, it’s a bit slow. There’s nothing to hide … everybody is feeling it. Some developers have already cut their forecasts, some are saying growth is stagnant while some say they’re going to do better than others last year,” he said.

Anwar is targeting a lower sales of RM2bil this year compared with RM2.4bil last year as buyers are also finding it hard to secure loans from banks.

“To tell you the truth, there are a lot of people who want to buy and we have a lot of bookings but they can’t get loans, so this is something that’s in the way.

“We need to find a solution and talk to financial institutions and see whether they need to relax a bit in terms of letting people be able to purchase houses for investment purposes,” he explained.

Malaysia should not relax lending standards. Property booms are followed by busts. Booms are most often triggered by huge investor demand made possible by lax lending standards. It is poor economic policy to stoke investor demand in real estate. This is a critical mistake when the rental market is weak, as it is in Johor. The luxury housing market is not supported by jobs in Johor.

The only hope for filling the luxury housing are getting those with high paying jobs in Singapore and retires from Singapore and elsewhere to move in (which has been happening but not nearly at the rate of production of new units). And given the long delays in addressing the transportation problems until the MRT is extended it is hard to see much more room for increased commuting. Once the MRT is complete the Johor market should boom.

Property development creates lots of economic value that can provide large rewards to those in power. When that pressure leads to stoking the fires of a boom the consequences will be felt in the economy very sharply once a bust develops. Johor needs to focus on attracting more high paying jobs and quickly improving transportation issues. Johor should be discouraging more luxury housing development at this time, not encouraging it – but it is hard to put long term economic prosperity above quick, short term cash. Few countries have done that well. Singapore is one that has and the future of Johor is tied to the success Singapore brings with that focus and how well Johor can show the same discipline Singapore has shown for nearly 50 years.

Renting Link Houses in Horizon Hills, Johor

Horizon Hills a gated and guarded housing community in Nusajaya (part of Iskandar) that is very popular with expats – learn more about the Horizon Hills housing estate. The housing estate offers bungalows, link houses and condos. Horizon Hills has its own golf course.

Even with the rapid decline in the value of the Malaysian ringitt the rental prices are not rising, if anything they appear to be falling. Given the amount of vacant properties for rent this makes sense. Of course for those with income in dollars (Singaporean, USA or other) this means rental prices have gone down substantially given he 20% decline in the Ringitt to the USA $ (from $1 = 3 ringitt in May 2013 to now $1 = 3.6 ringitt).

photo of Horizon Hill link house

Terrace/Link houses for rent now Horizon Hills, Iskandar, Johor:

  • RM 3,000; 2 story terrace house; 4 bedrooms; 3 bathrooms; fully furnished; land area 22’x 70′.
  • RM 4,000; cluster home; 4 bedrooms; 3 bathrooms; 2,123 square feet; fully furnished.
  • RM 3,000; 2 story link house; 2,556 square feet; 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, partially furnished, the Golf area.
  • RM 3,300/month; 2 story Terrace/Link House; 3,000 square feet; 4 bedrooms; 4 bathrooms; unfurnished; the Hills area.
  • RM 2,800; 2,300 square feet built-up; 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, partially furnished, the Green area.

Bungalows will cost more but there are many of those options available also.

Related: Plenty of Good Rental Options in Horizon HillsBuying or Renting in Horizon HillsLeisure Farm housing estateMalaysian Economy Continues to Expand, Budget Deficits Remain High

Stulang Villa Condos – Rentals from MYR 2,200 to 2,500

Stulang Villa Condos offer large units in a small building near the Cyberport building (walkable to CIQ, though a long walk). It is an older building close to downtown but in a residential area.

exterior view of Stulang Villa Condo building

Exterior view of the condo building, see more photos.

Given the small size finding units available online may not be easy. Though will all the new condo units going online recently and soon it would not surprise me to see more vacancies here so more chance of finding units available.

See our overview of the Stulang Villa Condos. I personally think the rates are a bit high and would try and negotiate a better rate, they are large units so maybe the rate is reasonable. Units available now include:

These condos don’t have a pool or such amenities that larger condos offer.

Related: Aster Court Condos: Rent 1,800 to 2,200Orchid View Condos Rentals (2,500 to 3,000 MYR)Wadihana Condo (RM 2,000 to RM 2,500)

Horizon Hills Terrace and Link Houses to Rent

Horizon Hills a gated and guarded housing community in Nusajaya (part of Iskandar) that is very popular with expats – learn more about the Horizon Hills housing estate. The housing estate offers bungalows, link houses and condos. Horizon Hills has its own golf course.

photo of Horizon Hill link house

Terrace/Link houses for rent now Horizon Hills, Iskandar, Johor:

  • RM 2,700; 1,845 square feet built-up; 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, fully furnished.
  • RM 3,600; 2,300 square feet built-up; 4+1 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, end unit, “almost fully furnished.”
  • RM 3,000; 2,100 square feet built-up; 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, partially furnished.
  • RM 2,000; 1,845 square feet built-up; 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, unfurnished.

Bungalow and cluster homes will cost more but there are many of those options available also.

Related: Plenty of Good Rental Options in Horizon HillsBuying or Renting in Horizon HillsLeisure Farm housing estate

What is a Reasonable Expectation for Service?

Moving to a new country offers many things you have to figure out and get used to. Really the idea of exotic locals is largely outdated. Most things are basically the same everywhere. It is the details that get a bit tricky.

I knew this so paid extra for my rental with the expectation that the extra payment meant I got the higher level of service expats expected. This made sense to me. It sure seems like I get as bad a service as could possibly be tolerated. I can’t imagine there is a level lower than this.

I don’t know if I am just being taken advantage of by my agent. Or if this is just the state of “customer service.” The condo had many issues to be addressed (it was known it had issues and hadn’t been rented out for years). I said I would go to Thailand for 2 weeks and return when we agreed the items would be taken care of. I returned, nothing had been done.

Numerous follow ups by me were required to get the minimum to finally be done to let me move in. The entire time I have had to ask 3-6 times for things to be done. Repeated request for status always failed to get a response.

People would not show up when they were suppose to, to fix stuff, again I had to manage this as the agent was missing in action. If people didn’t show up at all again the agent was missing in action and I had to tell him. This has repeated for everything. No matter what, I have to ask multiple times (actually there were maybe 3 times when I didn’t have to do so, but by and large I have had to).

Two of the ACs didn’t work (remember the house was not used for years prior). The one in my bedroom I got fixed. Another one I only tested and it seemed to blow out cold air so I went on. A few months later I started using that room and the AC doesn’t work (probably the freon is out – but maybe it is just broken). So it never worked, and they said I can pay to fix the AC that never worked in this unit they assured me was more expensive because they would provide good service and assure things were at an “expat level.” Again this seems like they are just either taking advantage of me of have a very poor standard of service but maybe my expectations are wrong.

The fridge has never been good, but I didn’t care that much. Now the ancient fridge died, ruining all my food. I told the agent. They said he would arrange for someone to fix it. So I cancelled my plans for the day and skipped lunch as I couldn’t leave… Noone came. After lunch I left a message asking what was going on. Still today, no response. As typical, failure of expected functions followed by requiring multiple contact by me. Lousy communication provided by agent. Leaving me stranded with no one showing up. Leaving me stranded without functioning equipment.

Is this just lousy service and response. Or is this typical?

Should I just go buy a new fridge and deduct that from my next rent payment?

I did know I was taking a risk believing the claims of the agent that they would provide good service. They seemed capable and seemed to have a business based upon service clients that would expect good service (so had a reason to build a business that provided it). And I was really tired and just wanted to be through looking for a place (I probably was a fool to just give in, but I did it so I have to live with it).

Plenty of Good Rental Options in Horizon Hills

The sales market for housing in Nusajaya, Johor is hot. Horizon Hills is one of the most popular housing estates in Nusajaya (part of Iskandar in Johor, Malaysia).

Given the positive feeling many have about the future of Nusajaya many investors continue to buy. The demand by investors exceeds the demand of renters so, renters can get some good deals. The biggest thing that will change this market dynamic is more high paying jobs being created in Johor increasing the demand from renters.

I would expect you can get discounts on the listed prices (if they won’t budge talk to others offering rentals – there is a surplus supply). Above asking price of RM 3,500 discounts are even more likely.

There are variety of rental options in Horizon Hills, Johor, including:

  • Link house, RM 2,800/month, 4+1 Bedrooms, Un-furnished (I think).
  • Cluster house, RM 3,500/month, 2,600 square feet, 4+1 bedroom, 3 bathrooms, Partly Furnished.
  • Link house, RM 2,400/month, 2,100 square feet, 4+1 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, unfurnished?
  • Link house, RM 2,900, 2280 square feet built up, 4+1 bedroom, 3 bathroom, partly Furnished.
  • RM 7,000, 3500 square feet built-up, 4+1 bedrooms, 4 baths, Partly Furnished.
  • RM 3,650, 2500 square feet built-up, 4+1 bedrooms, 3 baths, Partly Furnished.

Related: Buying or Renting in Horizon HillsHousing options for East LedangThe Potential of Iskandar is Very High but Real Estate Investing has Risks AlsoStraits View Condos Available: RM 2,500/m to RM 4,000/mo