S’pore property investors move across Causeway for new opportunities

Singapore property investors are now moving across the Causeway in search for new opportunities.

This has caused residential property prices in Johor’s Iskandar region to climb almost four fold since they were launched some 5 years ago.

A bungalow in Horizon Hills which cost about RM1 million (S$400,000) about 4 years ago now costs about RM5 million.

Meanwhile, land plots for bungalow developments in Iskandar are going for around RM90 and RM100 per square foot, up from around RM20 psf about 5 years ago.

With more attractions coming up in the area, experts say demand for properties there are going to jump higher.

Singaporean Olivia Plogmann and her German husband have made a bungalow in Ledang Heights in Johor’s Iskandar region their home since July 2012.

Her German husband now commutes to Singapore daily for work and she sends her two children to school at the German European School in Bukit Timah on weekdays.

Their investment has also paid off.

Olivia says the value of their 15,000 square foot bungalow has more than doubled in less than 2 years.

Market watchers say her bungalow could easily fetch at least RM 3.3 million (S$1.3 million).

UEM Land says land plots for bungalow developments in Ledang Heights are now going for about RM80 per square foot.

This compared to about RM20 about 6 years ago, up almost four fold.

Experts also said it may have cost the couple not more than RM1.2 million (S$480,000) when they first bought the land and developed the bungalow about two and half years ago.

Still, they say the price is just about a tenth of the price of a good class bungalow in Singapore.

The Plogmanns are among the rising number of Singaporeans buying homes in Nusajaya.

Nusajaya is a township located in one of the five flagship zones of Iskandar Malaysia.

Among others, it has a 1,300 acre industrial park, a marina, theme parks like Legoland as well as international schools such as Marlborough College.

Its main landowner and developer UEM Land says 70 per cent of the residential properties there are sold to foreigners.

A large majority of them are Singaporeans and permanent residents.

“The single most important factor why the properties here are taken up by Singaporeans is that they now believe the story. It took some time before they could size us up whether we are for real or whether we can keep to our promises,” said UEM Land CEO Abdullah Wan Ibrahim.

Rising property prices in Singapore is another push factor.

Some analysts say Singapore investors would be better off investing in landed properties in Iskandar than buying a shoebox apartment here.

“In Singapore, as any markets start to peak in terms of pricing, we start to look around our fences to see where else we can put our money and Johor being just across the causeway becomes a very natural segment for one to invest in,” said Donald Han, special advisor at HSR Property Group.

Data from the Iskandar Regional Development Authority shows that total foreign investments in the area rose to RM37 billion (S$14.8 billion) as at September 2012, from RM22 billion (S$8.8 billion) in 2008.

Singapore is also the largest single foreign investor in Iskandar with more than RM5 billion in investments since its inception in 2006.

Experts say that there is still more room for price appreciation for properties in Iskandar Malaysia.

Investors like Singapore billionaire Peter Lim are also planning to invest another RM3 billion in real estate investments in Iskandar.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 10 Dec 2012

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