I was in City Square mall and they have quite a good real estate fair going on (Friday, today, through Sunday). City Square mall is still under renovation but quite a bit of the renovated space is now open with new places, many more quick dining choices than I remember.
The real estate fair is by far the best I have seen. Quite a large number of Johor developments represented – I would guess over 25. It is amazing how many housing units will be delivered from 2014 – 2016. That is mainly high rise condo (as the lead time for the bungalows and link-houses is usually not that long. I still am worried about 3 things: traffic in JB (given all new housing units – as well as attractions for Singapore visitors), backups between JB and Singapore and the surplus of housing unit to office space being constructed. We will have to see how those issues play out.
I am also a bit concerned at so many units being delivered with, I believe, very large leverage currently (people not having to put hardly anything down on these units under development. That is a risky recipe historically. But there are many good indications about Johor economically looking forward so maybe it will work out.
But for those interested in real estate in Johor state this is quite a good fair to visit. I picked up some news in my visit:
- It seems like all the high rises are being delivered from 2014 to 2016 (Setia 88 is 2016). A couple are 2013, I think but I didn’t talk to them (Molek Pines 3. there is a Molek Pines 4 in development).
- There are quite a few units in the CBD being delivered in the next 2 years.
- The continued rapid selling of unit continues. It seems to me it includes quite a bit of speculation.
- There are quite a few more small units being delivered than currently exist. It seems the Singapore mentality is very much in the developers minds. Other than Singapore renters trying to save money, I wonder how popular these small units (under 800 squre feet will be.
- Leisure Farm has quite a bit more to sell and develop. This is something anyone paying attention would know, I just was surprised. They say the retail center, which is a tentative concept now is years away, so they can’t give any guesses about what it will be.
- Far too few of these developments include basketball courts 🙁
- The developers don’t seem to have any trouble increasing prices by even 80,000 MYR to get to 500,000 MYR and then just refunding 80,000 MYR to the purchaser (foreigners have a 500,000 MYR minimum).
- Seasons is one of the few developments that seem to have lower priced condos (under 600,000 MYR). There were a couple with much lower prices but those prices are not available to expats (both due to 500,000 minimum and Bupi requirements – units not available to foreigners). They have sold out 2 blocks, have a 3rd for sale now, and a fourth will be for sale later – all are 20 stories.
- At least one place seemed to say (unless I misunderstood) that certain reserved units a foreigner could get on a list and if they hadn’t been sold within 9 months then you could buy the unit. Maybe this is a common practice.
- The Garden by Scientex was another that looked interesting; I had not heard of them before. If I remember right they also had some lower prices than many of the others.
- Setia Sky 88 will be delivered in 2016. They will also have a 3rd tower starting for sale next year.
- Setia has another condo project in Johor (smaller and not CBD location) but next to a public park. I’ll add a link later. Setia also was showing a development in Singapore that has units available (I think everything else there is just for Johor).
- There was even at least one place showing units in Desaru (furtherest east, right near the South China Sea). They are 36 km away and claim 50 minutes to CIQ. This is in the general area (maybe 10 km away, so not next store) of the proposed large refinery project. That area might be very good for those working there (and there will be many high paying jobs with such a project). There are also two ferries connecting Johor to Singapore in that area (which puts you in Singapore right near Changi airport).
Horizon Hills was one of the few extremely popular places (with visitors to this blog anyway, that was not represented (that I noticed anyway – it might be a developer of bungalows with units in Horizon Hills was there, I didn’t look as closely at bungalows). Twin Galaxy also was not there.