Penang property worries

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More than a dozen years ago, Penang property prices were climbing and speculators were diving into the property market.

Then the unthinkable happened, and the property sector slumped during the Asian financial crisis. The country/state suffered from a property overhang for a number of years.

Today, the stakes are higher as property prices have soared beyond any semblance of rationality. Unbridled speculation and easy credit over a longer period have added to the illusion of demand for property. Alas, once again, some people think that Penang is immune to the vagaries of the regional and global economy. Memories are short and we appear to have learned no lessons.

Let’s look at ringgit and sen: For a home-buyer to purchase a property costing close to RM400000, they would need to pay over RM2500 in monthly loan instalments over 25 years. To be comfortable repaying such instalments, you would need a monthly household income of around RM8000 (gross before income tax) especially if you have a young family. What proportion of the population has that level of household income?

And why would Penangites living abroad return to buy houses in Penang? Is our quality of life that high? Do we have green spaces, beautiful rivers and beaches, excellent public transport, affordable top-notch education, state-run universal health care coverage (say, comparable to UK and Canada), a lifestyle without stress and congestion?

Let’s face it, if you have a monthly income of RM4000, you are unlikely to be able to afford a RM2500 loan instalment – for the same reason you would not buy a BMW with such an income level even though the loan instalment may be lower than your income.

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Obviously, wages have not kept pace with housing prices. The question is, how many house-buyers fall in the income range that can comfortably afford homes costing close to RM400000?

What happens if the US-led global recession (or looming depression?) hits closer to home? (Already crude palm oil prices have plunged 25 per cent since early this year.) Some companies are cutting back on costs and allowances. Indeed, long-term job security is a serious issue these days especially if you are taking out a housing loan over 20 or 30 years.

Take a look at this Star report written in 2009 in the aftermath of the 2008 recession: ‘MNCs scale down perks for expats’ What do you think will happen if a bigger global recession hits? What happens when MNCs start using voluntary separation schemes (VSS) and other euphemisms for retrenchments?

Will housing loans be as easily available then? Will banks continue to lend freely at low-interest rates in a riskier climate with so much uncertainty? Or will they prefer to hold liquidity and mark up interest rates then?

Something to ponder on.

Here are comments from one property analyst:

The government can lower interest rates for soft-landing to encourage borrowing but they cannot force banks to lend. This happened during the Asian Financial Crisis when Dr M lowered interest rates but banks hardly hit their targets of loans because they were reluctant to lend in view of a risky climate and too low interest rates. This is happening in US today. It’s what Keynes called a ‘liquidity trap’. Preference is to hold on to cash when interest rates are near zero. In the US, quantitative easing exercises to create liquidity have upped the price of commodities, jacked up inflation, devalued the greenback, pushed up interest rates of bonds – all this happening and the banks are not lending to generate new business and jobs … resulting in (possible) Depression and not just a double-dip recession.

A frequent argument is that as long as interest rates are maintained, loans will continue to be serviced. A low-interest rate regime, however, will not prompt banks to lend. Or when they do lend, the interest rates will not be attractive. Either way, when money is not loaned out or slow in coming to the market, there will be fewer economic activities i.e. job creation and employment … less spending affecting those who need to service housing loans. Thus, even if interest rates are low, there will be those who will have problems to pay because of a slowdown in the economy.

The other favourite argument is that a depression will divert cash to the property market as it is a reliable hedge against inflation. So, forever, the property market will be good. But if the equity market slides, who will have money for property?

When it is revealed there is very little purchase by foreigners in the local property market, some agents will claim that foreigners actually use locals to buy Penang houses. This is ridiculous as who would want to front for foreigners and why would foreigners trust locals? The Inland Revenue is one reason why no locals would front for foreigners.

It may not be easy to market properties overseas either given the negative publicity press Malaysia has received over a host of ‘religious’ issues.

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Time to really open our eyes to some of the realities around us.

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edna
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edna

I am an Aussie and look at Penang with interest. Fundamentals look mixed to me, just a couple of points I ponder from my last visit. I am not too experienced in property, just want to join conversation. -Penang 2nd bridge will have a very large effect (positve) -traffic is terrible and worse every day. Location is even more important. Location is everything. -comparisons with Singapore/HK seem somewhat valid to me. Would you have wanted to invest in early days in these countries? My friend is very rich in Singapore via this method (family). I am happy for them. This… Read more »

roslankasim
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Don’t worry la .. come to Langkawi for property

tunglang
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tunglang

Just talked to a self-made millionaire this afternoon and asked him about Penang’s sudden appreciation in property value. His answer is simple: Ging hang lah cho soi. (The banks are the cause of this bad, bad situation). His reason is simple. Developer ‘S’ launches property in Relau with easy down payment, that is no money from own pockets. Speculators or dizzy buyers only need to swipe their itchy credit cards thinking the world of Penang properties is already theirs for the asking. Thinking that down the road of 3-6 months, they can quickly recoup their little down payment from resale… Read more »

daniel
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daniel

pls dont complaint !
here still got many 2nd property below rm100k and 200k. !!
nobody force u to buy new property and choosed property
at prime location !
in sg property price is worst ! $300k only afford to get 2nd hand 3 rooms government flat and have to take 1hr train to city for working

DANIEL
Guest
DANIEL

property price in malaysia still not that bad and not as high as sg and hong kong .
many people complaint property malaysia are expensive this and thatla..
who ask u to get new house and choose golden location ?. in malaysia still got many low cost and medium cost apartment cost rm150k+- and rm200k for landed property.
just the size /condition / location different only. so dont complaint !
in sg $300k only can get 3 rooms second hand government flat only !

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

It is very unrealistic to compare Malaysia Boleh’s living and income standard of near Timbuktu to HongKong, Singapore or even Shanghai/Beijing/Shenzhen. We are sliding down the purchasing power scale of comparative global incomes, yet have the bile to put up our precious properties value as very cheapo @ lelong value compared to others and therefore don’t complain whatsoever? It is surreal, smack of self deriding and kick in the mouth in every sense of the word. Go tell a Malaysian vagabond he’s lucky to sleep on empty stomach in a run-down heritage house compared to a Japanese vagabond on lifelong… Read more »

Sze Tho
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Sze Tho

…..Since when does property prices correlate directly to purchasing power scale? Not all properties are high end expensive condos or villas. Even in Penang, there are cheaper and more affordable areas, like Balik Pulau. Prices are a matter of supply and demand. Penang has limited land , hence the comparison with places like Singapore and Hong Kong. Too bad your comments seem to reflect the same old kopitiam terms and nonsensical assertions. Everything is bad, lousy….blah blah blah….

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

…..Since when does property prices correlate directly to purchasing power scale?
C’mon. Real demand with purchasing power will push up prices. Here, it is merely speculation that create fantasy. Still in fantasy island? Tattoo’s on the way!
Where is so cheapo homes in Balik Pulau nowadays? Go drive there and check out the prices! My God! And don’t forget to bring along your credit card!

Hafiz
Guest
Hafiz

Seek & thou shall find…

hint: Batu Kawan

Sze Tho
Guest
Sze Tho

Dear TL, llok at places like Singapore and HKG. Spending power is high, yes. But look at properties too. A HDB in Ang Mo Kio is above 500,000 singapore dollars now. A HDB, imagine. Purchasing power does NOT translate directly to properties. Purchasing power for daily needs and consumer goods is one thing. Properties are a long term investment….not the same. You go to most major cities in the world, you find that prices are high in areas where land is scarce and location is desirable. So why should Penang be any different?

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

How many properties are left unsold? Go check yourself. Speculative forces are surreal and unhealthy to property market, let alone scarce land. Unless you are too happy and generous to be potong kau kau! Good luck to Serengeti wildebeest.

Perumal
Guest
Perumal

Going by the high incidents of grumblings on high property price, can we deduce that most of the Penangites are still struggling to fulfill their lower rungs of the hierachy of needs (according to Maslow Law)?

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Our Penang Gomen should look to people-centric Australia to see how they rein in speculative elements in the housing market. Aussie come first than foreign speculative wildebeests with cash to throw and create turmoils of surreal proportion. Any sensible government will not risk getting their people into hardship in the name of free market without sensible controls or flashy but meaningless development to show. My Aussie friend has a nice bungalow est. 3000 sq ft bought in the early 2000 with nice garden for BBQ. And he sees no speculative forces to worry about his investment/net asset or bubble coming… Read more »

rilakkuma
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rilakkuma

Many can afford RM400K and also many cannot. a) Those who can afford : a1) don’t mind if the bubble bursts because RM400K is small amount especially when $ comes easily (windfall for example). I don’t want to speculate how $ comes so easily. a2) may lose lifetime or future savings if there’s hard landing a3) surely defend the logic of their purchases since money have being spent a4) smartly wait for the crash then make prudent purchase to become even more affuent. b) Those who can’t afford : b1) curse and swear at the system (capitalism as evil) at… Read more »

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Yeah, let the free market economy reign and we will see. Let property prices get out of hand and we will see. Let property gurus assure you all is AOK and we will see. Let banks dish out the 3+2+1+0 formula for easy but life long 2-3 generation financing and we will see 2-3 generations what’s going to happen. Let’s be mindless speculators and we will see. And we are already seeing some of the alleged lies of property sales and growth projection. No thanks to reckless MSM which sponsor some of these allegedly lying property sales. It seems that… Read more »

kee
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kee

Wonder you all notice this, i saw the same project over and over for sale during the Star Property at Gureny Plaza/G Hotel but everytime they put on the sign “sold” for most units. And the sales person will tell you only limited units left.

Not only Peang properties are getting hot but Selangor too.

I wonder the frenzy is caused by the foreign investors like those from Hong Kong and China???

SamG
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SamG

It would be good to see the bubble burst – a solid one too. Thats what I hope will happen. Its good to see those who had speculated get seriously burnt – for the harm they caused to the rest of the poor people who can’t afford to buy a decent house in Penang.
Keep your money, and wait for the crash. Then pick up the pieces for a song. Why not! There is money to be made even during bad times

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

You are on the way to being a millionaire!
Buy cheap, sell high.
And no 2 Rainy Green Horns to “Luan Luan Long”!.

sunnyooi
Guest
sunnyooi

Anil,
Since the price is already high now, what should be done? Do you want gomen to implement policies to sustain or lower property prices? If annything is done to cause the bubble to burst, I wonder how would the rakyat rate the performance of those in power.

Sze Tho
Guest
Sze Tho

As for Anil, I think the article above is abit simplistic. Why would affluent Penangites return and buy properties, you ask? Because it’s their home! Relatives, maybe ageing parents.This is where you are from and this is where many would like to retire or even start a family after years abroad living as an expat. If they can earn USD, Sin dollars , or Euros….what is 400,000 rm? Penang’s attractions is it’s heritage, its vibrant culture, the food! Beaches are not perfect or pristine but it is avail. You want perfection……well thats gonna cost alot more than 400,000. As for… Read more »

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Banks still tend to be conservative in their valuations.
Really?
When they want to take hold of your property or when you ask for refinancing at lower interest, they valuation it low to make it not worthwhile. But when they want to lend you profitably, they give high valuation off reality tangent.
That is why the truly rich Chinese like most Teochew as is my father-in-law, they make it a personal habit not to take suffocating loans from banks. Not even buying a new car….
If only I was born a Toechew. There will be no O-Bladies in my vocabulary.

Sze Tho
Guest
Sze Tho

Dear Tung Lang, have you been to a bank in the last century, or are you just shooting off the hip as usual? I understand you may have had financial difficulties in the past….but lets not be so unfair and pass comments without basis. For your info, banks are a business. It has risk managements processes in place. This includes valuations for properties …as no bank wants to be left with a overvalued property after a default has occured. Since you call yourself a 50+, I will give you your due respect as an elder. But in fairness to other… Read more »

tunglang
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tunglang

I am talking from real bad experience, not gunho spewing. Please have respect for other’s comment. You may have worked and depended your entire life on a bank for your paychecks for the way you said, or your bank is not like O-Bladies. But there are real incidents of bad customer relationship which foreign banks should be aware of. Not all banks are O-Bladies. Local banks are more sympathetic, understanding and able to deal with proper cushioning measures unlike the foreign banks acting like IMF to slice one to pieces regardless of loyalty. Is that what you practice? By the… Read more »

Sze Tho
Guest
Sze Tho

Dear Tunglang, you are indeed a confused soul. What interchange fees nonsense are you talking about? Go into any supermarket, restaurant or cafe. Is there additional charge for using your credit card? All prices are fixed ….as listed on menu irrespective of cash/card payment. I would respect you if you were honest enough instead of spewing half truths and nonsense. And can you enlighten us on you claim that local banks have “proper cushioning measures” ? Anytime you sign a loan agreement, the terms are spelt out for you. Perhaps you were reckless or careless just as you were with… Read more »

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

That means you are not aware, self denial or simply paying indiscernibly. There are retails that give discounts of 5% if you pay in cash. Just have to ask. As for the standard pricing whether paying in cash or credit at major supermarkets, these prices have already factored in the 5%. Hey making profits nowadays if a challenge, let alone giving 5% like a charity. Unless you are not in business but happily employed like a wannabe richie. Go check Google for interchange fee for your sanity of mind. I am wasting my saliva trying to ‘confuse’ you with the… Read more »

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

“proper cushioning measures” can be in the form of refinancing to tide over debt payments (if one has current assets with bank) or extended term loans at lower interest, not punitive measures ala IMF.
AKPK is one example of how debt management can help those in financial distress.
Nothing more than that.
If everyone is as clever or perfect as you in your present money management, there is no need for bank to worry about defaults. Have a sense of understanding for those in financial difficulties due to unemployment reason beyond their control. Mockery of others is a show of self narcissism.

Sze Tho
Guest
Sze Tho

Your post about “proper cushioning measures” is enteratining as usual. If you default on your loan/ have financial difficulty, ALL banks will deal with you the same way. Don’t peddle more nonsense about local banks being more compassionate than foreign banks. Banks have their criteria. if you qualify or you have collateral, banks MAY offer you an alternative such as refinancing or lengthening the loan tenure. ALL banks will impose punitive clauses ( clauses in your loan agreement that YOU signed and AGREED) if you don’t keep up your obligations. That is simple logic. AKPK is a gov run agency… Read more »

Sze Tho
Guest
Sze Tho

For your information: 1) Loan default is bad for business. Banks prefer not to take your property, it ties down their capital and incurs additional costs (legal, auction, etc) . 2)Refinancing is good business for banks. Of course they will be prudent. It is about accountability. Even a manager has to justify any loan approved based on valid grounds such as credit history, income level, property value. 3) Not everyone wants to live like your old Teochew FIL. Banks are essential and useful institutions,( just like credit cards) for those who deal with them WISELY. Just because you do NOT… Read more »

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Toechew are prudent people whose money management is top class in today’s surreal purchasing power created by the 2-edged credit cards. They owe nothing to banks and they don’t beg for money unlike some who think highly of banks as saviors of one’s financial woes or urgent needs. And they are not blind to hidden costs blended inside bank’s 6 pt. size minute wordings spelled in one-sided legal terms hidden in twenty pages loan agreements. O-Bladies don’t like Teochew for being money prudent – no money to make from them! BTW, if you own a credit card but seldom use… Read more »

Sze Tho
Guest
Sze Tho

Dear Tung Lang, please crawl out from under your tempurung and check your facts before being a smart alec here. Your nonsense post about card charges is as usual….nonsense. 1)Telekom Malaysia, Digi, and Maxis are some of the many vendors out there who give you a monthly rebate/discount for paying them via autopay thru cards. What nonsense are you talking about hidden charges? If you pay cash you don’t get these doscount/rebates. 2)Credit card levy/charges are factored into the OVERALL business cost mr TL. You think Giant, Tesco, Pizza Hut, Parkson will offer you a “special” cash price lower than… Read more »

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

I am very happy the way I live without being beggars. And please don’t be like O-Bladies Credit Card salesman at bank entrance trying very hard (my sincere sympathy, but no thanks) to sell me a credit card of no absolutely use to me at this moment!
My Debit card (means I own my own money outright to use any time I like, anyhow I like) is sufficient to say the least.
Shoo! Shoo! Disturbing plastic flies!

Sze Tho
Guest
Sze Tho

Yes, good to know you’ve learnt your lesson. Since you don’t know how to manage a credit card, better that you don’t have one. I think if these card sales people look thru your records, they probably realize you don’t qualify anyway.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Already I don’t really need or care to want one as a free man of simplicity living, why should I yearn to qualify? It absolutely makes no money sense lah!!! Unless one is drinking Absolut Vodka like a wildebeest! More so especially in healthy, serene and no fees, no GST Belum!!! BTW, I am planning to use ‘ditched’ credit cards as foul-smelling burn materials for my camp fire to ward off wild elephants on the stampede just like the Serengeti wildebeests. A lifelong ‘safety’ lesson learnt while on 4×4 adventures. And now applied to my life: Burn it. And just… Read more »

Sze Tho
Guest
Sze Tho

Dear Tunglang, whilst your lil post does illustrate the potential pitfalls of unbridled spending , I tend to think you have totally missed the point. Your problems were cause by poor fiscal discipline . Perhaps you overspent on the card and made it worse by not paying the full amount. To say that credit cards are somehow to blame for your troubles are laughable. You should take personal responsibility instead of laying it on cards. I have been using a card since 1992. I use it the same way I would use cash ( budget and keep track of what… Read more »

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

When times are good for you and the banks (earning from your many convenient transactions), it is perfect heaven made on earth. When the unforeseeable happens as in loss of jobs, the O-Blady Bank will not hesitate to bring in the interest ‘razor’ to cut more flesh out of your $$$depleting body. Suddenly the O-Blady Bank is your public enemy No.1. Banks have no sympathy to help you thro’ in times of financial difficulties even if you have collaterals with them. They play the Kia Su, Kia Si, Kia Liao of Super Fear Factors to the hilt, not you. Regardless… Read more »

Sze Tho
Guest
Sze Tho

Hehehe, quite amusing. In this day and age we still have people like you ranting about the evils of a modern facility like a credit card. Amazing. Why should anyone expect a commercial bank to help you out if you dug yourself into a (financial) hole? Please, I think you need to separate fact from the fiction that you are spinning ….

Erwin
Guest
Erwin

Credit card is just like a tool, should not be misused.

Looks like our friend has abused it in the past, and subsequently let the card controled him, thus the ranting at his 50+ age.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Erwin, how much interchange fees have you paid to both banks for your credit card retail transactions, the merchant’s bank and your credit card issuer bank?
Don’t come and tell me the participating merchants are that welfare minded not to add on these ‘costs’ of doing card based transaction / business to the prices you gleefully paid @convenience. Just multiply by 5% to all your transaction value since day one of swiping plastic money!
Now tell me, is it just a free tool? Or is it a banker’s tool to misuse customers’ distorted trust of free transaction within 20 days?

Syiok Syiok
Guest
Syiok Syiok

Dining out in mushrooming restaurants as the result of more high end properties so some say VISA cards can be handy as well as to fight off the hooligans ?

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Credit-living lifestyle ala Zhang Ziyi’s can be exciting and ego-building but when realities hit your pockets, kicking and punching while flying from table to table is but fantasy without the truth of smart survival and grounded sensibility.
Bruce Lee seldom fought stylishly and wasted precious energy (resources) like a flying fox or dancing like a butterfly, but just merely delivered his one-inch punch at the right timing to survive standing firmly and sensibly grounded on 2 feet.

KP
Guest
KP

tunglang
we have local martial art hero by the name of Robin Ho.
I hope you also can give credit to him rather than continue to idolise Bruce Lee.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Bruce Lee is not only a martial artist, he is also a philosopher. Learn from him to gain more insight of Tao of simple living, not just 1-inch punch.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

At least now I get back my prudent self and $en$e$ (of the 60’s) to manage all my purchases without credits. And with just 3 monthly bills of electricity, water and phone/Streamyx, what great difference does it make to my life to have auto debit them from credit cards? And no worrying of others stealing/cloning credit card for online purchase or spending spree in Pakistan. If I ever need to travel, I can use my seldom used debit card which money I own, not owed to O-Blady profiting from my transactions. Anyway, I get discounts from retail shops by paying… Read more »

Syiok Syiok
Guest
Syiok Syiok

tunglang
don’t worry too much lah ! Remember when you were 19 or 20 years old you walked havoc style like John Travolta along the Macalister / Burmah Road after watching Saturday Night Fever in 1978 at the now demolished Capitol cinema?
Since you always like to recall the past, allow me to refresh your memory and may those in the 50’s also carry the “Stayin Alive” attitude in the “Manhattan-like” Penang these days ….

if your children like Justin Bieber or Justin Timberlake, it’s about you introduce them to the 70’s disco era retro dance floor music !

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Just give us 50+Penangites some space to be a part of Penang’s changing landscape. We don’t like the wildebeest rampage of everything and turning Penang ‘botak’ in the name of money’s king and commercial dizziness healthy (in sickly comparison even better than shake-head pills of Gagas discos cum Pinang tree-pole dancing). Penang has a unique personality (one of a kind in the world) which draws global tourists and heritage lovers far and wide. That badge of UNESCO Heritage Site is more than just heritage buildings and cultural display. It is more than just tourism business opportunities. That has something to… Read more »

Christy
Guest
Christy

Good for tunglang to talk about his frustration in this column and ‘let go’ along the way. Psychologically he will feel better. The wrtings has hint of someone who has paid a financial lesson in a heavy way. Do not despise the bank as we are one who has agreed to take up the bait of easy credit. We cannot control the adverse conditions but we can learn to control our mind with good discipline and not be lured by the wonders of credit cards. Just laugh at the silly people on the crdit card TV ads and you will… Read more »

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Get a Kiam Siap economist from Penang and we will see a financial turnaround for Penangites, a first for a Malaysian state. It has to Dettolize those with credit cards for a start. The trouble with money starts when one applies for a credit card, the virtual illusion of being plastic rich and loaded beyond one’s salary. It should never had been invented in the first place. To sign away the statement @ purchase is actually giving a % of your soul to the banks for life. How many will diligently pay up the full balance amount at month end… Read more »

kee
Guest
kee

tunglang, we cannot deny the usefulness and convenient of credit card la. Just have one will do. And, of course, we have to pay on time. Make use of it, why not?

wandererAUS
Guest
wandererAUS

Hahaha! doomsday coming…the bubble is going to burst. Yes, why not. Otherwise, how are the middle and lower income people can afford to buy a home in Penang. I am afraid, it may be a long wait…not PR is the State govt. Still better than the UMNO/BN corrupted ….good homes (allegedly) grabbed by them (prices likely beyond the ordinary folks) and rubbish left for the suckers!

Sze Tho
Guest
Sze Tho

A bubble? Well, just like every other commercial venture, property prices is about supply and demand. Malaysians generally tend to be frugal, and saving is an ingrained culture. The ultimate goal for most is to own a home. 400,000 properties are not so outrageous when you look at the market that is out there. Locals who are in the upper middle class range , penangites who have made their careers and money abroad resettling in their home town, and expats from Indonesia or singapore looking for an affordable hideaway. This is a sizable market. Developers who can deliver quality and… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Its just a massive bubble about to burst…the only question is when? And the culprits….the banks of course… Malaysia must either reign in the banks or repeal all winding up/bankruptcy laws….. Malaysian banks got the whole country into trouble in 1986, 1990, 1998 and 2008…and each time our nutcase BN government used our tax payers money to bail these fellows out, while still making all borrowers both individual and companies from whom tax payer’s money is in the first place derived, liable… This warped up logic is out of this world…..Captain James Kirk would have traversed the Universe and on… Read more »

Maxwell
Guest
Maxwell

Anil, Five REASONS why I will not buy a property in Penang-even if I could afford it. 1) OVERPRICE (As to why it is so, it is best to leave it undiscussed–too sensitve) 2) Depletion of a Middle-Class population (Once upon a time, the stats were like nine families migrating per day. Anyway, the only people I hear coming to Penang are foreign workers. Everyone’s sons and daughters seems to be leaving for overseas to study and to work. I am wondering who would be left behind to shop in those shopping malls…..tourists? Are we a shopping destination?) 3) Lack… Read more »

kingkong
Guest
kingkong

Just wonder about those smart developers. They can built but after building, they have to attract customers to shop there. otherwise it will turn into a den. So why interferes when it is a free market. The sultan of kedah is quiet about it. Why stir the honest nest? If the kopi tiam and atu mechanic has to move, then, there will more condos and apartment to replace those buildings and Anil will report this again. Now very happy with low rise. Manufacturing solar panels are good as it is a industry that has demand and avoid carbon pollution. Like… Read more »

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Actually can import solar panels from China for domestic use. But the monopolistic TNB and independent power producers will sweat thro’ the pants if ever this is a reality for domestic homes. Just look at the Scandinavian countries where solar paneled home users can even sell back excess solar panel generated electricity to the gomen. Hey, their hours of sunlight in a year is less than ours due to winter solstice and shorter daytime of sunlight. Expensive installation? Their gomen subsidise them and get back contra (excess) electricity in the process! No 50% hike up middlemen, no crony independent electricity… Read more »

Perumal
Guest
Perumal

I wonder why Pensonic does not venture into solar panel business?

kee
Guest
kee

Maxwell, what is so sensitive about, who will come and get you?

Christy
Guest
Christy

It is a way to distress ourself by coming up with lots of reasons when one cannot afford to purchase.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Have you actually talk to prudent millionaires? They are not the wildebeest mentality like the green horns that shows off to everybody in town. They are waiting for the right moment of bubble, brought on by greed. And that will make their (millionaires) day. Understand?
Affordability is one reason. The wanton dizzy development is another. Unless of course you have no reason to care for Penang but just consume day in, day out like there’s no tomorrow for Penang at all.
Serengeti is a wild wild plain for such wildebeest people of dizzy, senseless marauding until Penang is ‘botak’.

Sze Tho
Guest
Sze Tho

Typical case of sour grapes. He can’t afford so he moans that everyone else is “speculating” and driving prices up. How many millionaires has he spoken to? Even if he did….would they share their financial plans and investments ? Claims to be 50+ but speak like a child…

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Just wait for The Bubble, and see the ‘prudent’ millionaire with cash in action. Plastic talk is but plastic with no substance nor workable strategies of art of war business. BTW, my generous (willing to share trade secrets) millionaire friends both in Penang and Australia knew the property game in Penang for 3 decades better than you rainy green horned wannabes…. And I have learnt their game better than you one of which is – don’t trust the rainy horned property gurus of fantasy island the day they make fantasied public statement. Oh Yes. I can still hear Tattoo calling… Read more »

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

You are right, brother. One of the main reasons to buy a property is to rent at a good price. Since Penang rental is cheapo, no speculator worth his salt and experience will buy to rent in Penang. The only reason for the surreal speculation of properties at higher price must be to resell. And woe be to those who cannot stand the test of months of no resale. As for the reason to buy for mamas and papas as filial sons/daughters living overseas, how many are there to make a huge difference to the sudden demand for Penang properties.… Read more »

rilakkuma
Guest
rilakkuma

Malaysians (especially those who have no privileges of traveling abroad) have been lured into complacency for the past 15-20 years thinking we are marching towards developed nation status (where income is comparatively higher to cope with more demanding economic climate). When PM Najib launched Transformasi Program, the “awaken” rakyat should realize that past 10-15 years we have been “off tangent” the rail/road towards that apanama wawasan. So as Tajuddin has mentioned, our real disposable incomes (for majority like Anil’s 1% vs 99% theory) are actually barely sufficient to cope with the daily necessities expenses; leaving most not able to save… Read more »

Erwin
Guest
Erwin

I have read all the comments on this issue. Only Tajuddin and Rilakuma dared to talk about the root cause of problem of affordability, rather than the market-driven high property price in Penang. Honestly, those Penangites who ventured out the island in the past 20-30 years to work in high-wages places elsewhere will not have the affordability problem. These people have the wisdom to forgo the famous ‘Penang Street Food’ for 20-30 years to his work elsewhere as they were not lulled into complacency by the then Gerakan government. During this period the Apanama federal decisions is to develop Langkawi,… Read more »

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

How many emigrated Penangites are actually coming back to invest in home sweet home Penang? Anil, you got the actual figures? My Aussie friend, an ex-Penangite but still holding loosely to Malaysian passport is very hesitant to come back and invest in properties here. His disgust with market forces of the surreal home prices during the late 90’s actually put him off buying one while temporarily residing for a few years in home sweet home Penang before going back to Down Under for good. And he got a good deal of a bungalow in Melbourne now worth more than AUS1million.… Read more »

Christy
Guest
Christy

FYI these people may not return home physically but they are buying properties for their parents who chose not to migrate. You may not understand this if you do not understand what is filial piety. Perhaps you do not have enough circle of friends to provide you such insight.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Why should I only mix with the rich and famous? Life is not about buying properties. Nor knowing who’s who of Jalan Ayer Rajah. And my ex-Penangite now Aussie millionaire friend is also not coming back. So what lack of insight.
BTW, I chose and promised to come back from international agency KL job just to take care of mom.

Sze Tho
Guest
Sze Tho

…so what if your friend doesn’t want to come back? To each his own. Others may think differently. Just because your friend doesn’t fancy coming back…..thats your basis for your argument? Simplistic….

Tajuddin
Guest
Tajuddin

The real worry is actually the income level of the majority of Malaysians that is stagnant in the last decade. The purchasing power is decreasing each day with the inflation of Barang Naik phenomenon, no thanks to BN policy of cutting subsidy without accompanying effort to raise productivity and income level of average Malaysians. Today you can cry foul about rising property priince. What is the next item that you can no longer afford? I know the young ones are salivating at the thought of Ipad or Iphone they cannot afford. Looks like affordability is one issue that all Malaysians… Read more »