After years of being lulled by market sweet talk, Malaysians are waking up to a massive real estate glut, writes Anil Netto.
Visitors to Penang Island looking at the big corporate signboards and glossy posters dotted all over the island would be forgiven for thinking they have stumbled onto a developers’ paradise.
The names of prominent well-connected developers are conspicously plastered on roundabouts and bus stops all over the island.
But behind the illusory facade lies a more disturbing story. The flashy publicity material, complete with fake smiles, paints a fantasy lifestyle beyond the dreams of many ordinary folks. The joke going around is that many of the homes being built are not mampu milik (affordable) but just mampu lihat-je (just for public gawking).
As bulldozers grunt and piling is hammered into the earth at new sites, gleaming half-occupied condo skyscrapers stand forlornly in the distance leaving many to wonder who will fill up their empty suites.
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As if our RM1 trillion national debt is not enough. It has finally dawned on Malaysians that developers have landed up with an alarming property glut of over 50,000 completed but unsold units – a rise of 213% over the last five years – worth RM36bn. Full article on Aliran website