Analysis Community House Malaysia Malaysian Property Urban

Harmonizing the future landscape of Kampung Baru

Reading time: 4 minutes

The redevelopment of Kampung Baru in Kuala Lumpur has been a hot topic for debate since the last few decades.

There are three different lines of thought championed by various factions with vested interests in that matter.

Contrasting points of view

On the popular side, the traditionalists want the government to preserve the Malay traditional houses.

In other words, the main objective is retaining the identity of Kampung Baru as the last bastion of Malay heritage in the heart of metropolitan Kuala Lumpur.

Meanwhile, the modernists have a completely different view.

They prefer to see new ultramodern high-rise structures in place of the old wooden houses that have always been synonymous with the Malay enclave for about 200 years.

However, there is another point of view which highlights on achieving the balance between the old and the new.

Designing the public realm

In September 2017, Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) published a paper titled “Kuala Lumpur: Designing the Public Realm”.

The research program was co-organized by Harvard University GSD and AECOM, a global design, engineering, and construction company.

A section of that research studio program, prepared by three Harvard University GSD students, discussed the issue of redeveloping Kampung Baru.

In brief, William Baumgardner, Chengyuan Du, and Dandi Zhang presented their interesting ideas in a project named “Micro-Infrastructure as Community Preservation”.

The need for public space

An intimate public space is hard to find in the hustle and bustle of a big city like Kuala Lumpur.

Yet, that objective has been one of the main concerns in the “new Kampung Baru” proposed by Baumgardner, Du, and Zhang.

Seven villages

They suggested that the empty lots and green spaces within seven villages in Kampung Baru be utilized as public spaces.

In case you don’t know, Kampung Baru actually comprises Kampung Atas A, Kampung Atas B, Kampung Hujung Pasir, Kampung Periok, Kampung Pindah, and Kampung Masjid.

Then, village meetings can be organized in those public spaces where the Kampung Baru folks can use, among other things, for resting or gathering.

Central network

Besides, the public spaces will be connected by a central network, contributing to pedestrian circulation.

In the meantime, it will also promote engagement in the neighborhood.

As the students put it in their own words:

“Each village has an opportunity to make its potential public spaces into unique anchors of the community.

“These spaces capitalize on the distinct cultural identities of the people, their houses, and the surrounding landscape.”

Development typologies

The project proposed two sets of typologies that can be used to redevelop the three most common zones in Kampung Baru.

Specifically, those three zones are residential, commercial and mixed-use.

Firstly, the new buildings in Kampung Baru will maintain the vernacular roof structures and at the same time, raise them.

Theoretically, this method can create new spaces for commercial or housing units.

Vernacular culture

Additionally, these roof structures accentuate a vernacular culture and architectural language that seems more significant with Petronas Twin Towers as its backdrop.

Furthermore, another typology suggests to abstract the roof’s form and orients it according to the zoning designation.

In summary, this typology enables the public to recognize the function of each building as they stroll around the area.

Architectural design

For both typologies, the students suggested the one- to two-floor existing buildings to be raised to three- to seven-floor buildings.

They also proposed those buildings to use a grid of 5 x 5 x 3 meters.

Photo: Kuala Lumpur: Designing The Public Realm

As a result, this grid will permit flexibility and modulating in the future.

In addition, other elements like wall units and balconies are modular to allow landlords to work within the provided parameters.

Certainly, uniform zoning regulations in Kampung Baru would ensure the continuation of the variety that already exists there.

Public spaces and sky bridges

Other than pedestrian walkways, the paper also suggested the inclusion of other amenities in public areas.

For example, outdoor theaters, galleries, botanical gardens, amphitheaters, and markets.

Besides, those public spaces will help to construct a continuous transition from indoor to outdoor and private to public.

Sky bridges can also link every parcel in Kampung Baru hence adding another layer of pedestrian circulation.

Where do we go from here?

Yes, the idea is practical and brilliant, if and only if, we live a perfect world.

To make it happen, the government needs to resolve some haunting issues.

Those issues include locating absentee landowners and dealing with current residents who are mostly migrant workers.

Until now, negotiations regarding the future of Kampung Baru with over 5,000 landowners are going nowhere.

In summary, we hope there will be a win-win solution that is beneficial and satisfactory to all stakeholders in Kampung Baru.

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A housing scheme up for grabs for the young ones

Reading time: 2 minutes

Maybe some young people in this country are unaware of the Youth Housing Scheme, an initiative that allows them to get full financing to purchase their dream homes.

For their information, Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) has been appointed by the Malaysian government to implement this scheme effective from 1 January 2020 until 31 December 2021.

To make your life easier, RED ANGPOW has compiled five essential facts about this scheme.

Who is eligible?

If you are a Malaysian youth between 25 to 40 years old with a household income of less than RM10,000 a month, you may apply for this scheme.

Please bear in mind, you must be married.

For those who are still singles, better tie the knot first before filling in the application form.

Yup, the scheme only covers first-time homebuyers.

Details on financing

Amount: Up to 100% from the minimum of RM100,000 to RM500,000.

Tenure: Up to a maximum of 35 years or not exceeding the age of 65 years, whichever comes first.

Interest/profit rate: Up to a maximum base lending rate (BLR) / base financing rate (BFR) -2.4%.

Financing concept: Islamic and conventional.

What do you get from the government?

Homebuyers under this scheme need to pay an installment of RM200 every month for the first two years, starting from the first loan drawdown.

Furthermore, they are eligible to receive a 50% discount on stamp duty for the loan agreement.

Documents you must bring to the bank

Besides the BSN loan application form, you have to present proof of purchase such as sales and purchase agreement, the receipt for the deposit or proforma purchase order.

Don’t forget to attach a copy of Mykad, payslip and bank statement.

Please refer to the BSN website for further details.

housing scheme
Photo: BSN

Other information

Payment will be made via monthly crediting to GIRO/GIRO-i account.

Also, homebuyers are responsible for paying the legal fee.

Just in case you don’t know, this scheme is implemented through a smart partnership with Cagamas and Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF).

So, you may also opt for withdrawal from your EPF account.

Finally, loan applications are subjected to credit guidelines set by BSN.

Before we depart

The Youth Housing Scheme is only limited to 20,000 homebuyers during the two years of its implementation.

What you are waiting for, young people?

Hurry up and submit your application while stocks last.

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Hot air balloons floating over Putrajaya this March

Reading time: 2 minutes

Fancy floating high in hot air balloons to enjoy the breathtaking view over Putrajaya?

Well, you will get the chance to do so during Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2020.

The much-awaited event, also popularly known as MyBalloonFiesta, will return for the 11th year to Putrajaya starting from 19 to 22 March 2020.

Yup, you may bring your kids along to enjoy the amazing view from 60 feet above the ground as schools are closed for the mid-term break during the festival.

Even better, you and your family can take a ride in any of the balloons or just to enjoy watching those weird-shaped ones, e.g. octopus, teapot and clown head.


The exact location of the event is Monumen Alaf Baru, Precinct 2, Putrajaya and entrance is free.

Visitors to MyBalloonFiesta may come anytime from 7 am to 9 pm and that means, you can also watch glowing hot air balloons floating in the darkness of the night.

Besides Malaysia, there will be hot air balloons coming from other countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Italy, France, Spain, Taiwan, and Thailand.


Visitors don’t have to pay anything to enter the venue and to watch the hot air balloons floating across Putrajaya skyline.

But, if you want to get an up-close and personal view of the balloons and the pilots who operate them, please set aside some money to pay for the tickets.

Riding the balloon with your family members or friends will require some extra cash too.

Since the early bird offer has expired (27 – 28 December 2019), visitors may purchase tickets online from 29 December 2019 to 18 March 2020 to enjoy cheaper prices.

Tethered Balloon Ride: Passengers will be enthralled by the experience of watching the wonderful view from the hot air balloons from 60 feet above the ground between five to seven minutes.

Launching Field Access: Visitors can enter the balloon zone to watch the pilots set up and inflate the hot air balloons besides learning briefly on how to handle the balloons.

Night Glow Access: Feel the groove as you see all hot air balloons are inflated and lit up to the beat of the music.

Other activities

There will be plenty of other fun activities available and of course, you can enjoy them after paying the required fees:

Bull Ride – RM15
Wall Climbing (RM15)
Inflatables Zone (RM20)
Water Orb (RM15)
Roller Orb (RM10)
Reverse Bungee (RM30)
Fishing (RM5)
Beca Mini (RM15)
ChuChu Train (RM7)
Beca Royale (RM40)
Beca Animasi (RM30)
Pedal Go-Kart (RM15)

More details

Please visit MyBalloonFiesta website for further information. – RED ANGPOW

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So you want to hire a real estate agent

Buying a home, including in Malaysia, can be a nerve-wracking experience especially when it comes to negotiating the price. The more so for those who are just about to purchase their first houses without the assistance of any real estate agent.

Unless you are good at haggling, the probability of getting the seller to come into agreement with your proposed price is quite slim. Even worse, you may skip negotiating after being dazzled by the glittering first impression the house gives you.

The most convenient way to keep those butterflies away from your stomach when confronting the seller is by hiring a real estate agent.

An experienced and honest real estate agent will be your worthy companion in the process of negotiation since he or she knows every trick of the game in the industry. Besides, they speak in the same language as the seller or his or her agent.

That is understandable because they make a living by negotiating for the best price on behalf of their clients and most importantly, they help you make an informed decision.

Why hire an agent?

There are a number of reasons for hiring a real estate agent. First, they are well-trained and experienced in the art of negotiating the most favorable price possible for their clients.

Maybe you are a good haggler yourself and capable of persuading the seller to give you a 3% discount. Yet, hiring a real estate agent may get you a better deal, let say, a 5% discount on the final price.

To make it clearer, if the seller opens the price at RM500,000, you may get the house at RM485,000 after you are done haggling by yourself.

In comparison, the agent may get the seller to agree to part with his or her property at RM475,000. Do the simple math and you will find there is a RM10,000 difference between those two approaches.

Second, real estate agents can also be your only true friends in this cruel and wicked world. Well, that sounds a little bit melodramatic.

In some ways, a good real estate agent performs better than your Facebook BFFs. He or she is willing to go the extra mile to ensure you get the best deal for the house by checking the defects, applying for a home loan and insurance, identifying nearby amenities or finding out the crime rate in the area.

The fees ain’t free

The best things in life are free, so they say. But, that saying is not applicable to real estate agents. That is understandable because negotiating for the sale and purchase of real estate is their main source of income.

As stated by the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA), the commission fee for real estate agents is set at a maximum of 3% of the property sale price. That rate is only applicable for the sale and purchase of properties in Malaysia.

How about the minimum rate? Well, the least you must pay is RM1,000 per property. Let say the sale price of the property is 30,000 and if you apply the maximum commission fee of 3%, by rights you are supposed to pay only RM900 to the agent.

But, in this case, you still have to pay a minimum commission fee of RM1,000 to the real estate agent.

So you want to hire a real estate agent
Photo by iStock

So, take some time to do the calculation first to help you decide whether it will be moneywise to appoint a real estate agent to deal on your behalf.

Technically, the burden of paying the agent’s commission fee is borne by the seller. Nevertheless, the seller may transfer the cost to the buyer by adding the commission fee to the final price.

Don’t be surprised, you may end up paying the very same price that the seller asks initially.

Calm as a cucumber

After some deliberate thinking, you agree to appoint a real estate agent. Then, comes the moment for both of you to take a look at the house you are interested in buying.

The best thing to do is to let the agent do all the talking and negotiating. After all, that is the main reason you hire him or her.

Yes, you may chip in once in a while but keep it at a bare minimum. Avoid being perky and showing you are very interested while inspecting the house; otherwise, the agent will have a hard time to get the best price from the seller.

So you want to hire a real estate agent
Photo by Pexels

Taking a picture of the house or a selfie in front of it is definitely a no-no. Don’t do that, even when the seller is not around.

Some nosy neighbors may see you doing that and relay the information to the seller. Once the seller learns you are excited about the house, it will be hard for the agent to get the best deal for you.

Words of advice

Please make an effort to verify you are dealing with a REAL real estate agent. If someone approaches you and present his or her business card with the Real Estate Negotiator (REN) number printed on it, don’t take it at face value yet.

Run a check with relevant authorities such as MIEA first. In fact, you can go to the MIEA website and perform a search there.

Or, to save you from the trouble of appointing a fake real estate agent, just pick one that suits your criteria from the long list of REN members listed on the MIEA website.

Happy hunting and may you get the best deal for your dream house.

So you want to hire a real estate agent
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Cheap prices don’t last forever

Reading time: 3 minutes

More than a year has passed since the abolishment of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in June 2018 and the reintroduction of Sales and Services Tax (SST) three months later.

From the very first day of its implementation, GST has been accused as the culprit in driving prices up, especially essential consumer items like food and non-alcoholic beverages.

So, most Malaysians expected prices would at least be stabilized after GST was no longer enforced.

Yes, the prices on a great number of products were cheaper when the GST rate was set to zero from June to August 2018 though the same situation was virtually nonexistent for services.

But, good things don’t last forever, especially when it comes to cheap prices.

The usual suspects

That was evident in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) Malaysia November 2019 report released by the Department of Statistics, Malaysia on 20 December 2019.

CPI (read: inflation) has increased by 0.9% within a span of one year from November 2018 (121.0) to November 2019 (122.1).


Well, the usual suspects in driving the overall index up were Miscellaneous Goods & Services (2.5%), Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels (1.7%), Education (1.6%), Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages (1.5%), Communication (1.5%), and Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance (1.5%).

Besides, the CPI has also increased slightly by 0.1% within a month since October 2019.

The spike was contributed by the increase in the index of Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels by 0.4%, Miscellaneous Goods & Services (0.4%), and Health (0.2%).

In the same manner, the first 11 months of 2019 witnessed an increase in price index at the rate of 0.7% compared to the same period a year before.

For Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages, the index has increased by 1.5% in November 2019 in comparison with November 2018.

To be more specific, the hike was caused by the food sub-group of Vegetables (2.0%), Food Products not elsewhere classified (1.6%), Milk & Eggs (1.4%), Fish & Seafood (1.3%), and Fruits (1.1%).

Costs more to eat out

Since prices of food items are generally up, the cost of eating out was a bit higher in November 2019 when compared to the same month in 2018.

The increase of the price index of this sub-group was caused by the rise in the prices of Rice with Side Dishes, Food Made from Noodles, and Fried Chicken.


Absolutely, cooking at home will always be the cheaper alternative for those who are not willing to fork out extra money for dining out.

The expensive states

Meanwhile, two federal territories and two states had CPI higher than the national rate of 0.9% in November 2019 and the winners were Kuala Lumpur (1.4%), Selangor & Putrajaya (1.3&), and Pulau Pinang (1.1%).

While all 14 states experienced an increase in the index of Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages, six states and two federal territories registered rates higher than the national index for that category in November 2019.

The highest rate was recorded in Selangor and Putrajaya (2.0%), trailed by Kuala Lumpur and Pulau Pinang (1.9%), Perak and Johor (1.8%), and Kedah and Perlis (1.6%).

Core index

For core index, the rate climbed by 1.4% from November 2018 to November 2019 and three groups which contributed significantly to the increase were Miscellaneous Goods & Services (2.5%), Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels (2.1%) and Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages (1.8%).

Please take note that the Department of Statistics, Malaysia excludes the most volatile items of fresh food and administered prices of goods and services from the calculation of core index.

Up, down, or stay the same?

What lies await for us in 2020? Will the first year of the new decade see the utopian dream of zero inflation rate finally come true?

With the introduction of sugar tax last year and digital tax this month, let us all pray the dream won’t turn to a nightmare.

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5 Pantang Larang Hidup Berjiran

Jiran-jiran kita mempunyai pelbagai ragam dan ada dalam kalangan mereka yang perangainya kadangkala mencabar kesabaran kita.

Namun, kita terpaksa menerima hakikat bahawa kita tiada pilihan selain terpaksa hidup dengan mereka kecuali kalau kita berpindah atau tinggal di rumah yang jaraknya agak jauh daripada jiran-jiran.

Cara yang terbaik untuk mewujudkan suasana kejiranan yang tenteram dan harmoni adalah dengan memastikan kita sendiri menjadi jiran yang baik.

Untuk mencapai tujuan itu, hindarkan sifat-sifat buruk ini agar tidak menyinggung perasaan jiran tetangga kita dan mengeruhkan hubungan dengan mereka.

Bising seperti ayam riuh sekampung
Gambar: Engin Akyurt / Pexels

Ada segelintir jiran kita yang mempunyai kesukaran mengawal suara mereka yang agak kuat semasa berbual dengan ahli keluarga di dalam rumah.

Itu belum ditambah dengan jiran yang suka memainkan muzik atau berhibur dengan karaoke dengan menguatkan tahap bunyi sistem suara sehingga membingitkan telinga jiran-jiran terdekat.

Kalau suara merdu tidak mengapa juga. Malangnya ramai yang perasan suara mereka bak buluh perindu sedangkan bunyinya tidak ubah seperti itik berkuek.

Jagalah hati jiran-jiran dengan tidak membuat bunyi yang bising kerana mereka mungkin ingin berehat di rumah dalam suasana yang tenteram setelah kepenatan bekerja selama lima hari lebih-lebih lagi jika mereka mempunyai anak yang masih bayi.

Lagipun, tidak perlulah jiran mengetahui setiap butiran yang kita bualkan bersama ahli keluarga kerana mungkin ada perkara mungkin kurang manis kalau diketahui orang lain.

Letak kereta di depan rumah jiran
Gambar: Stephan Müller/Pexels

Masalah ini sering berlaku semasa musim perayaan atau kenduri-kendara di mana ruang untuk meletak kereta agak terhad.

Anak-anak atau saudara-mara yang datang berkunjung mengambil jalan mudah dengan meletakkan kereta mereka di depan rumah jiran.

Memang menyusahkan apabila kereta jiran tidak dapat keluar atau masuk gara-gara sikap mereka yang mementingkan diri sendiri itu.

Bertimbang rasalah dengan jiran yang mungkin terlewat ke tempat kerja disebabkan oleh perbuatan kita atau kaum keluarga meletakkan kereta sehingga menyekat laluan keluar mereka.

Jika tiada pilihan, mintalah izin dahulu dengan tuan rumah kerana dia mungkin perlu bertugas pada musim perayaan atau semasa cuti umum.

Ranting pokok atau bunga menceroboh laman rumah sebelah

Amalan berkebun memang satu perkara yang baik dan boleh menjadikan laman kita lebih berseri dengan bunga-bunga yang mekar dan indah pada pandangan mata.

Pokok-pokok yang ditanam pula boleh dinikmati hasilnya apabila berbuah dan sudah tentu kita berasa puas memakan buah-buahan yang kita tanam sendiri.

Cuma, kadang-kadang kita tidak perasan ranting pokok atau bunga menjulur sehingga menyebabkan daun-daun berguguran memasuki laman jiran.

Sebaik-baiknya, kita pastikan ranting pokok atau bunga yang ditanam itu hanya berada dalam kawasan laman kita sendiri.

Sekiranya jiran mengambil inisiatif mencantas ranting yang memasuki kawasan rumahnya, ucapkan terima kasih kerana dia telah membantu melakukan tugas yang sepatutnya dilakukan oleh kita.

Membuang sampah di depan rumah orang
Gambar: Daria Shevtsova/Pexels

Perangai buruk ini sering dilakukan oleh mereka yang merokok. Akibat sudah terbiasa, mereka dengan selamba membuang puntung rokok ke dalam longkang di depan rumah jiran.

Selain itu, anak-anak jiran yang masih kecil gemar meninggalkan plastik makanan ringan di atas jalan di depan rumah kita.

Memang menyakitkan hati apabila terpaksa membersihkan sampah-sarap yang ‘dihadiahkan’ oleh jiran-jiran yang tidak mempunyai kesedaran sivik.

Biasakan diri membuang puntung rokok ke dalam bekas habuk rokok atau lebih baik lagi, hentikan sahaja amalan yang tidak sihat itu.

Didik anak-anak agar lebih menghargai alam sekitar dengan tidak membuang sampah merata-rata.

Mengumpat keburukan orang lain
Gambar: Tophee Marquez/Pexels

Jiran spesies ini masih lagi wujud walapun dalam era kepesatan perkembangan teknologi maklumat dan komunikasi pada masa ini.

Mungkin makhluk-makhluk yang mempunyai hobi ini berasa gelisah setiap kali mempunyai maklumat tentang jiran-jiran mereka sehingga menyebabkan mereka keluar mencari ‘mangsa’ untuk dijadikan lawan mengumpat.

Yang tidak baiknya, apa yang disampaikan itu tidak semuanya betul dan lebih banyak ditokok tambah secukup rasa semata-mata untuk menyedapkan jalan cerita.

Buanglah jauh-jauh sikap suka mengumpat yang bukan sahaja tidak berfaedah dan membuang masa malah boleh mengeruhkan hubungan dengan jiran-jiran.

Lihatlah keluarga kita sendiri yang ada juga cacat celanya. Berusahalah memperbaiki kelemahan itu dan bukannya memperlekehkan jiran untuk membuatkan seolah-olah kita lebih baik daripada mereka.

Akhir kata, berbuat baiklah selalu dengan jiran-jiran kita dan amalkan perbuatan murni seperti bertegur sapa dan saling menghormati antara satu sama lain.

Kita tidak tahu jiran yang selalu dipandang sebelah mata itu mungkin menjadi orang pertama yang menghulurkan tangan apabila kita ditimpa kesusahan.

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Slow climb out of the housing property market doldrums in 2020

An article published in Star Property recently discussed some interesting points of view by experts on, among others, the outlook of Malaysia’s residential property market in 2020.

Despite the downward trend in this market segment, all of them agreed that there will be some slow and significant improvement during the next 12 months.

Property overhang
Photo: Pexels

Knight Frank Malaysia Managing Director, Sarkunan Subramaniam believed that pricing is the only cause for property overhang in this country right now.

He mentioned several other contributing factors such as mismatch of products, expected yield, unfavorable location in regards to accessibility, distance, lack of amenities and product type.

Photo: Greater Kuala Lumpur Development Facebook Page

On a different note, Sarkunan viewed that several areas like Desa Park City, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, and Damansara Heights are capable of luring the upper-income group, high-net-worth people, and foreigners.

Besides, the spillover effect of Tun Razak Exchange is expected to benefit the Imbi and Pudu area once the financial district is open for business.

Secondary property market

For 2019, Sarkunan explained that the secondary property market experienced a higher level of productivity in 2018 due to the shift of the base year for real property gain tax from 1 January 2000 to 1 January 2013.

He added, among other factors that stimulated that market are the improved processing procedure for the Malaysia My Second Home application and the revision of price threshold for foreign buyers for unsold high-rise properties in urban areas.

Steady demand
Statistics provided by NAPIC as of the second quarter of 2019.

Meanwhile, Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia Deputy Chairman, Aziah Mohd Yusoff said, reasonable price and good location are among the factors which will ensure the steady demand for residential properties especially terraced units and condominiums.

She also believed the secondary property market, mostly in the residential segment, is experiencing a correction period due to poor market sentiment and strict lending rules imposed by Bank Negara Malaysia and the impact would likely to continue next year.

Affordable houses

Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents President, Lim Boon Ping forecasted, the residential property market will continue to be driven by affordable houses, mainly units sold under RM400,000.

For the past few years, he said, more than 60% of the total transactions were made up of residential properties.

Laissez-fare approach
Photo: Pexels

Finally, the Association for Abandoned Building Owners Malaysia Chairman, Dr. Mohamed Rafick Khan implied that the government should take a laissez-fare approach toward the residential property market.

He believed, the housing market must be free from the hands of the government because market forces will correct itself.

What the government should focus on, then? Mohamed Rafick said the government can spend more time on town planning and public transport systems which in turn will stimulate the demand for property.

He also forecasted the property market will not see an oversupply in affordable homes for the next three to five years despite the government has been consistently pushing developers to build more houses in that category.

Lower profit margins and risk are said to be the reasons behind developers’ indifferent response to that call.

Mohamed Rafick concluded prices for new properties will be expected to stay high although the price will be slightly reduced in the secondary market.

Points to ponder

Although things look a little bit promising in the near future, prospective homebuyers should exercise caution before deciding to purchase new homes.

Maybe the worst is yet to come for the residential property market in Malaysia if the domestic and global economies don’t show any sign of improvement next year.

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5 New Year’s resolutions that may help you buy a new home in 2020

It is less than a week left before we say goodbye to 2019 and greet welcome to 2020. Now maybe a good time to think about what your New Year’s resolutions will be.

If buying a home is at the top of your list, it will be helpful to have resolutions that can keep your financial health in shipshape

Cut down on monthly subscription services
Photo: Pexels

Yeah, it surely seems convenient to have monthly subscription services especially when the payments are automatically deducted from your credit cards.

But, one of the downsides of doing that is you may not realize those payments can hurt your credit rating.

To make things worse, the guy from the bank’s credit risk department may pull your report before you settle your credit card balance in full at the end of the billing cycle.

To avoid that kind of unpleasantness, only subscribe services that you need and better still, settle your bills by paying in cash via debit cards.

Pay your debts on time
Photo: Pexels

Easy to say but hard to do, all the more so for bad paymasters. Please keep in mind, nothing makes lenders happier than loans paid on time by borrowers.

Your ability to pay loans, credit cards, and bills on time will reflect positively on your credit history.

Anyhow, some people may think that it will be easier to secure loans if they haven’t borrowed money from any financial institution or made purchases using credit cards.

That is considerably untrue because your home loan application may be rejected due to your nonexistence in the credit realm.

Always monitor your credit
Photo: Pexels

You never lag in paying your loan installments and bills. So, you think your credit rating is OK. Then, you go and apply for a home loan.

All of a sudden, you find out the bank rejects your loan application because your best friend defaults on his business loan and of course, you are his guarantor.

You can save yourself from this unpleasant situation by checking your credit frequently. At least, do so once a year.

For Malaysians, you may get your credit scores from rating agencies like CTOS, Central Credit Reference Information (CCRIS), and Experian Information Services Sdn Bhd (Experian).

Resist the temptation to take big fat loans
Photo: Pexels

Forget about buying a new car or taking your family overseas on an expensive vacation. In any case, hold your horses until your home loan is approved.

Lenders are also particular about your debt-to-income ratio or to put it in layman’s term, the amount of your debt payment divided by your gross income.

Your loan application has a greater chance to be approved if you have a lower debt-to-income ratio.

The lower your debt-to-income ratio, the less likely you will face trouble in repaying the home loan in the event of financial hardship.

Don’t change jobs
Photo: Pexels

Although it sounds old-fashioned, the saying ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss’ always rings true.

Potential homebuyers should stick to their current jobs as a career move especially to a different industry may raise some alarm to lenders.

Job loyalty can be a positive factor in backing your home loan application as it allows financial institutions to forecast your future income easily.

Besides, the job market in Malaysia doesn’t look good these days due to unfavorable economic conditions which began last year.

On a final note, we at Red Angpow would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year. May 2020 will bring success and happiness to all of us.

Condominium Elite Finance House Insurance Lifestyle Mortgage Property Rental Urban

5 questions you must ask before buying a house

So, you want to buy a house. Unless you have stacks of cash at your disposal, purchasing a home requires a long-term financial commitment that may last until the next generation.

Be it a landed or a high-rise property, it is highly recommended for you to gauge your state of readiness before sealing a deal with the developer or the real estate agency.

To make life simpler, we have compiled five questions potential homebuyers must ask themselves as part of their homework prior to making the great leap forward.

1. Do I have the financial capability to purchase a home?

Well, maybe you have saved up enough money to pay the downpayment and all other costs related to the purchase. Or, you may just withdraw some money from your Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) account.

Thinks look quite good for now. But, after signing the sales and purchase agreement, you find out that you may have to fork out more extra money to install iron grilles on doors and windows. Perhaps, the house needs some repairing to be done.

Besides, don’t forget to calculate other monthly financial commitments like a car loan, an education fund for your kids, study loan repayment and personal loan.

Finally, please make sure you have enough money to cover your expenses and the most important of all, to support your living and family.

2. Buy or rent?

Most of the time, it can be cheaper to rent a house rather than buying it. Of course, owning a house provides you with an indescribable sense of accomplishment (although technically, the bank owns the house until you have the loan in full).

Renting is practical when you don’t intend to stay for a long time, the rental rate is lower than the monthly loan installment, houses are ridiculously overpriced in the area you plan to live or you will inherit your parents’ house.

However, renting too has its downsides. Maybe you are unlucky enough to encounter ‘the landlord from hell’ who shirks from the responsibility of forking his or her own money to pay for the maintenance of the house.

Worse still, the landlord may bring a potential buyer to take a look at the house while you and your family can only stare in horror at the unwelcomed guests.

3. Should I sign up for a home mortgage insurance plan?

The only certainty in life is death. Grim as it may sound, every homebuyer needs to consider this fact, especially for those who are above 40 and planning to pay for their home loan installments for the next 30 or 35 years.s

Yes, you have to pay an additional sum to insure your home loan but at the same time, it bestows peace of mind to yourself and your loved ones.

Financial institutions in Malaysia offer two types of mortgage life insurance namely, Mortgage Reducing Term Assurance (MRTA) or Mortgage Decreasing Term Assurance (MDTA) and Mortgage Level Term Assurance (MLTA).

Please consult your friendly banker for further information on MRTA/MDTA and MLTA to help you choose which one is the most suitable for you.

4. Does the house have a good resale or rental value?

Some people buy houses for the sake of reselling or renting them. Nothing wrong with that as it is not illegal making money that way.

Since cheap houses are hard to find these days, please perform an evaluation to ensure the prices will not plummet in the long run.

Find out the resale and rental value of other houses within the same locality and other factors that may influence the prices such as the availability of amenities, public transportation system, or crime rates.

If the forecast looks gloomy, find a house somewhere else.

5. Do I really need to buy a house at the moment?

Most of the time, newlyweds get pretty excited about buying a dream house to shelter themselves and their yet-to-be-born children.

The trend has always skewed toward homeownership especially among those with a higher level of education.

Still, always think about the future because you may need to relocate due to a change in jobs or business locations.

Don’t simply jump into the bandwagon just because everyone else is doing it. The road lies ahead is full of uncertainties and you may be in for a rocky ride.

Elite Lifestyle Property Urban

Getting tough and fit in Cyberjaya

Photo: Cyberjaya Paintball Park

Despite its ‘nerdy’ reputation, Cyberjaya offers several facilities for those who want to sweat it all out after hectic hours at the workplace.

The range of activities available is abundant, such as futsal, badminton, go-kart, paintball, golf, swimming, tennis, squash, and the list drags on and on.

Keep your state-of-the-art gadgets away for a while and do your bodies some favors by spending time at these recreational facilities in the area.

Cyberjaya Lake Gardens Community Club

Photo: Cyberjaya Lake Gardens Community Club

You may find the club somewhere behind the Multimedia University and in the Cyberjaya Lake Gardens area.

For those who love outdoor activities, they may engage in a paintball battle, hit some golf balls at the driving range, and drive go-karts at the circuit.

Photo: Selangor Darul Ehsan Facebook page

Other things you can do here include playing badminton, basketball, futsal, squash, swimming, tennis and even beach volleyball.

Or, you just can burn those carbs away at the club’s gym.

Photo: Kelab Komuniti Cyberjaya Facebook page

Cyberjaya Sports Arena

If you love football, then you must visit this sports facility frequently.

The mini stadium here has hosted so many community football matches and provides the players with the opportunity to experience the artificial turf while being cheered by their fans from the mini grandstand.

Photo: TSI Sports Arena

Besides football, you may also play a game or two of basketball, futsal, and tennis with your buddies here.

For those who want to experience life in a boot camp, you may go to Chief’s Original Bootcamp.

Time to get fit

Excited about joining classes on Les Mills Bodypump, Bodycombat, TRX, pilates, yoga and Zumba?

Well, you may sign up at three gyms and fitness centers around the area, namely, Celebrity Fitness, Chi Fitness, and Agym Fitness. – RED ANGPOW

Source: Cyberjaya Malaysia website

Analysis Property

Use Data for Your Portfolio

This is gross rental yield vs transaction price for condominium and serviced residence property in Malaysia.

For real estate investors, using rental yield as yardstick to assess investment quality is the safest bet – especially for high-rise dwellings where capital appreciation is very hard to find in the current market.

It’s all about income – As a real estate investor, you must ascertain what is the realistic rental income of a target property can generate sustainability. The income figures are what matter the most.

The key to finding the best opportunity lies in the data. Data can tell you the best location, the sweet spot in-term built up size, the distance to to best amenities, the supply of units in the neighborhoods and, to avoid auction hotspots and places with negative sentiments.

By using KDE (Kernel Density Estimation) the chart below, we can see clearer the concentration of data points which in this case is gross rental yields% against price. In data science world, KDE provides vital display of information on data which include:

  • How the data is distributed around the measures of central tendency like mean and median
  • How the distribution is skewed
  • How the distribution is peaked

What other factors that influence gross rental yield? There are many variables that influences yield with wide variation in degree of significance. What we in the chart below is how main variables influences yield and does not mean it is the most significant variables.

Gross rental yield vs. Price vs. Built up size vs. (PSF) price per square feet.

Histograms show the density of each variables while scatter plots show individual data points. As you can see, Price and PSF have very clear inverse relationship with gross rental yield. The yield is lower for higher price and PSF. Lower rental yield indicates market excess and where supply is greater than demand.

We shall produce more insights from time in to our subscribers. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive deeper and actionable insights.

Analysis Property

Neighborhoods in (Peninsular) Malaysia

Since we don’t have boundaries to define microdata sets, we make our own boundaries and polygons. This is the map of all neighborhoods in Malaysia, dividing mukims into towns and kampungs.

With these polygons, it will make it easier for us to do geo-analysis especially clustering and location analysis. For example, transactions and price trends can be clustered into smaller sections of the mukims so that we can analyze the unique attribute of the area.

Where do we start? we start with this map

Then, in areas that we think have different attributes, we divide the mukims into several sub-mukim especially in urban areas. No it is not official, but works for our own use case.

What other techniques have you used for market delineation in opaque property markets?

p/s: For Borneo, we only have Sarawak’s mukim but we haven’t done anything to it. No, we dont have Sabah’s map.