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Property market in S`wak still buoyant despite rise in prices
22 July 2013
Chong Kia Hoi
The property market in Sarawak is expected to remain buoyant despite experiencing a rise in prices, says Chong Kia Hoi, managing director of Chong Kia Hoi Realty Sdn Bhd (CKH Realty).

"The property market in Sarawak is very buoyant at the moment. The Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy Score (SCORE) project is gaining momentum and has seen our state attract the most foreign investment in Malaysia of about RM3.75 billion," Chong said on the current status of the property market in Sarawak and in particular, Kuching.

Chong believed that as one of the nation`s main regional development areas under the 10th Malaysia Plan, Sarawak will see continued funds allocated and channelled into the state to sustain continued development in all sectors.

Kuching, being the state capital, will continue to lead the Sarawak market despite the SCORE project shifting attention and investment focus towards the central area of the state.

"For that reason, our development business` main focus will still be in Kuching, developing MetroCity as Matang`s new township for the next five years. However, if opportunities arises elsewhere, we are open to it," he added.

In terms of the rising property prices especially in Kuching`s commercial shophouse sector, he opined that developers in general are faced with major rises in construction costs, particularly the costs of workers which alone has caused overall costs to be 25 per cent higher today than five years ago.

In addition, material prices are also increasing, while diminishing supply of land in prime areas has caused land prices to shoot up astronomically, resulting from factors such as population growth, rural-to-urban migration, foreign investment and education as well.

" Banks are also keen to lend money at low interest rates, meaning people can now afford to buy more expensive properties. The flip side of easy credit and huge liquidity environment is that it creates inflationary forces.

"As a result, land prices have shot up and certain building materials have also become more expensive, meaning the supply has decreased at any given price level. With increased demand and decreased supply, it is only expected that there will be a steady rise in property prices," he noted.

(Taken from The Borneo Post)

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