Wednesday, 1 March 2017

(NST) Property glut: Owners rent-less in Pahang

KUANTAN: The empty shoplots and office blocks here are indicative of businesses less willing to pay high rental due to prevailing economic conditions.

Pahang Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) chairman Chua Say Chai said the empty shoplots and office blocks here had owners who were unable to rent them out to budget-conscious businessmen.

He said a commercial three-storey lot here was about RM5,000 a month in rent, while the rate for ground floor-only was around RM3,000 a month.

Chua said this was a reflection of the non-vibrant economic situation which has not just affected Malaysia but globally.

"The situation started after the implementation of the Goods and Services Act (GST) in April 2015," he said, adding that this led to a general increase in prices of raw materials for property construction.

He said this was exacerbated by the drop in the value of the ringgit versus other foreign currencies such as the US dollar, causing developers here to take a more cautious stance in launching commercial property projects.

"The property glut issue is not too bad here compared to Selangor such as in Bukit Rimau and Kota Kemuning, both in Shah Alam, that have numerous properties with signs indicating "For Sale" or "For Rent"," he said.

Chua said the property situation would improve by the end of the year as more potential buyers from outside Pahang come here due to the recent launch of Visit Pahang 2017 by the state government.

He also sees further improvements on the horizon with the building of the ambitious East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project which would connect the Klang Valley with various parts of Pahang.

"People would be able to travel more easily to Kuantan, which in the long run would further develop the east coast," he said, adding that this would all rejuvenate the property market here further.

When contacted recently, state Housing and Urbanisation Committee chairman Datuk Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail advised developers in Pahang to take heed of market conditions before planning and implementing further commercial property projects.

"Developers must be more careful and carry out detailed market studies before undertaking projects to prevent (property) glut and inability to sell," he said.