Some looking across the Causeway to invest in property

With stricter property rules and property prices still buoyant, some Singaporeans and Malaysians are looking to invest in property in Johor.

“These are Singaporeans with existing homes – they are not affected by recent cooling measures,” said Neo Keng Hoe, who heads the Singapore office of Malaysian property developer S P Setia International.

“They are looking to invest in the Iskandar Region because of the attractive prices and loans with 80 per cent loan-to-value limit,” Mr Neo added.

Semi-retired trainer Madam M Lim, who attended S P Setia’s property seminar at HarbourFront Centre yesterday, told MediaCorp that she and her husband plan to buy a house in Johor and rent out their Paya Lebar terrace house.

With private property too “expensive” for him, Singapore permanent resident, Mr Clay Lu, 29, invested in a shop-office unit in Region.

“I haven’t decided whether to lease the shop space out or move back to Malaysia and start my own business,” said the IT executive.

Property experts told MediaCorp that developers are targeting the early-birds as property values in the Iskandar Development Region would most likely appreciate when infrastructure and developments like a theme park, medical tourism facilities and rail networks are completed.

“When the location of the MRT is known, it will reduce transport woes and that will have a tremendous impact on the value of property,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s managing director, Donald Han.

However, many Singaporean investors are apparently still reluctant about investing in the region.

They could be concerned with crime, said Suntec Chesterton International’s head of research and consultancy Colin Tan, adding that investors could also have had “too many bad experiences” with developers there.

Source : Today – 13 Oct 2010

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