Housing glut: ‘Make more babies’ and other outlandish solutions

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It looks as if the high-end housing glut has churned out some natural brilliance among certain quarters. (There, I said the g-word: glut, glut, glut…)

What do you do when you are faced with a glut in high-end housing? Why, build even more luxury sea-view and waterfront properties of course – or at least that’s what our planners would like us to believe is the wisest move (see cartoon above)!

How else do you explain the draft Penang Structure Plan 2030 planning for an additional 7,700 acres of land reclamation until 2030 when the population of Penang is barely increasing (from 1.7 million now to 1.9 million) during that period. Build, baby, build! … and they will come?

The proposed reclamation in pale yellow

Take note that only 20% of the homes on the three artificial islands spanning 4,500 acres off the southern coast of Penang Island will be affordable. (That’s what I was told during a Penang Transport Council meeting, a couple of years ago.)

Never mind that the property overhang in Penang (3,261 homes in 2018) is bigger than that of London’s (2,374 homes as at 30 September 2018) – and London’s population is almost five times larger! Fuyoh, Penang leads!

So what’s the solution for all these empty condos – make more babies of course!

That’s the gem of a solution from a property research consultant, no doubt a thought leader in his field: “I have mentioned this a few years ago – Malaysians, maybe we need to make more babies. Our population is not enough to sustain the supply of residential units in the market.”

READ MORE:  Property overhang in Penang higher than London's?

I kid you not – it is in the Edge, of all places. Go on, check it out – you know you want to.

Now if that is not an explicit admission that developers have overbuilt high-end housing without taking into consideration the real needs of the people and the population growth rate, I don’t know what is.

Perhaps the developers, blindsided by the prospect of making massive profits, were caught off-guard by the tapering off of population growth due to the falling total fertility rate (TFR). (The TFR to keep the population stable is 2.1 children per woman. Penang’s TFR is just 1.5 children now. Hardly surprising; I mean, who can afford to raise more than two children now?)

Perhaps developers were banking on selling most of their high-end properties to foreigners. After all, they are planning for 300,000 people to reside on those three artificial islands in the south within a couple of decades. Good luck with that. It took two centuries for Penang Island to reach a population of over 700,000 – and now with a falling fertility rate, they are hoping for 300,000 on those three islands?

Well, maybe they really do want to sell to foreigners – after all, 20% of property transactions in Penang involved foreigners, most of which probably involve high-end homes.

Maybe the developers are targeting buyers from China. But then China has restricted the outflow of funds by its nationals to buy property overseas. And something else is happening over there as well. Check out this fascinating documentary on the real estate sector there.

READ MORE:  Affordable housing: Relaxation of rules - whose interest does it serve?

Over in Hong Kong, folks are already bracing for a 20% slump in property prices.

The problem in Penang is that property development on reclaimed land in recent years has been intertwined with extravagant transport infrastructure of the wrong kind – which reaps huge profits for big players in both sectors. But for how long, given the growing glut? Who will actually live in all that property on reclaimed land?

Now that there is a high-end property glut, which they refused to anticipate, it looks as if they have come up with two ‘brainwaves’ (which don’t make sense):

  • build even more waterfront homes on reclaimed land (and sell to whom?)
  • and of course, make more babies (but will they ever be able to afford all those expensive homes when they grow up?)

Instead of asking people to make more babies, planners in Hong Kong, which has thousands of empty flats, are mulling a new proposal: a vacancy tax on empty homes to curb unsold units in completed projects. Now, there’s a thought.

What we are all being sold is the illusion of an “international city” (whatever that means) ringed by expensive waterfront property. In the obsession to achieve greater wealth, the highest FDI, whatever, we have sacrificed our culture, our heritage, our environment – and yes, our very soul.

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Milk Tea
Milk Tea
24 Feb 2019 11.27am

Wei & Shriek,
Please drive around Penang and look at those high-end condos with no people living in it. There 10+ area that I can name! Bring back Gerakan(no-longer BN) and scrap away all those sand from my beautiful Penang! Reverse all the ill management from the Penang State Government!

Wei
Wei
25 Feb 2019 1.00am
Reply to  Milk Tea

hehe…why you worry about that? it could be their weekend home, the rich owner could be overseas most of the time, they could be holding it for investment purpose….
dont make me laugh with your Gelakan clown aka dummo puppet, the only thing i remember about Gelakan is psy concert sponsored by jho low sponsored by dumb and easily fooled malaysian…

tunglang
tunglang
25 Feb 2019 9.56pm
Reply to  Wei

You are still hallucinating with your assumption! Go ask Housing Minister how many properties in Penang are owned by rich & foreigners who don’t stay 365 days a year in Penang. The fact of overhang is bitter news to you deemed as fake news!

Shriek
25 Feb 2019 10.11am
Reply to  Milk Tea

Ask tung land. Born and grew up in heritage peng land. Talk so much to protect wong hei hoong shop houses but spend$$$ to help developer buying condos

tunglang
tunglang
27 Feb 2019 7.04am
Reply to  Shriek

Hello, I bought my condo long before CAT gomen was born lah!
Before all these dizzy haphazard development problems started by CAT lah!
Paham kah??? Pls spin but with facts, not nonsense.

Shriek
1 Mar 2019 9.32pm
Reply to  tunglang

Under gilkan period’ worse. Many hanky panky, close one eye and over and under desk.

tunglang
tunglang
3 Mar 2019 2.15pm
Reply to  Shriek

Cornered! .. and let out another shriek! Spin harder the next time!
Even a boyscout can do better!

tunglang
tunglang
4 Mar 2019 9.57pm
Reply to  Shriek

So clever to spin within a spin! How to cari makan???

Shriek
25 Feb 2019 5.45pm
Reply to  Milk Tea

Milk tea drink around and see many beggars in robbers and thieves. Many are out yam sing, blow water, eating ton ton mee, cendol and sing karaoke and out in the libraries that people are not at home. Developers and property investors are pumping money. Tung land’s nephew has to work hard to harvest the money pump in.

tunglang
tunglang
27 Feb 2019 7.06am
Reply to  Shriek

So you want to spin my nephew? Dare to meet him? Like Orang Bunian still waiting for you!

Shriek
1 Mar 2019 9.33pm
Reply to  tunglang

Question is he dares to meet us?

tunglang
tunglang
3 Mar 2019 2.17pm
Reply to  Shriek

Where & when? Don’t just talk like an idiot.
Now the Orang Bunian is happy to come to you!

Shriek
10 Mar 2019 8.13pm
Reply to  tunglang

You talk real idiot. You have been spinning and putting words into your nephew and bunian’s mouth.

tunglang
tunglang
27 Feb 2019 7.02am
Reply to  Milk Tea

These trolls are not interested to drive around Penang b’cos they may not be Penangites like that Shriek. I can volunteer to drive them around if they are manly enough to come to Penang.
Easy to spin at the desktop but a pain to come to ground zero. So to speak for their nonsense!

Shriek
1 Mar 2019 9.38pm
Reply to  tunglang

See caught red handed. Talk so much about sustainability but polluting the air and cause global warming and drown peng land island with his 4wd. Where and when you use rapid bus.drive around peng land with your 4wd

tunglang
tunglang
23 Feb 2019 8.48am

Anil. FYI, my nephew who is working in the property development industry told me over CNY the sector is now facing bad cash-flow problem. And many projects may be abandoned. Why? No money coming in due to property overhang lah! And facing the competition from China’s developers, who have ready cash in hand, not overdraft from banks. They can pay everything in cash, even the bi-weekly salaries of foreign workers. How to survive the next ten years??? This is the problem with local developers who only fixated their hallucinating minds on massive profiteering via industry monopolistic pricing & using outdated,… Read more »

Milk Tea
Milk Tea
23 Feb 2019 11.47am
Reply to  tunglang

I see many Penangites commending the state government for developing(building high-end condos) the Penang. Goes to show you how uneducated and ignorant they are.

Wei
Wei
23 Feb 2019 2.33pm
Reply to  Milk Tea

hehe..definitely not so intelligent to think that the State government builds high end condos…….the only houses they build is affordable houses through PDC…

Shriek
23 Feb 2019 5.03pm
Reply to  Milk Tea

Name which high end condos build by state gomen? Otherwise become top spinner.

Song
Song
24 Feb 2019 10.16am
Reply to  Milk Tea

Market mismatch slows once-booming private property market in Penang, Malaysia
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/malaysia-penang-property-market-slowdown-mismatch-11252472

A mismatch between properties offered in Penang and what people want to buy, coupled with unfavourable economic conditions nationwide is locking the once booming market into a slowdown, which insiders say has lasted about half a decade.

To address the malaise, banks and developers are coming up with innovative solutions to make it easier for buyers to secure loans.
Hope may be on the horizon, with foreign investors and overseas Malaysians positioned to enter the soft market.

V Ramesh
V Ramesh
24 Feb 2019 11.46am
Reply to  Song

Foreign investors to enter the soft market?
Probably so if Ringgit is still low to them.

tunglang
tunglang
25 Feb 2019 8.27am
Reply to  V Ramesh

Investors / speculators will only invest in Penang property market if there is a sizeable market potential (consumers) & where the average earnings of households can afford them to buy properties in the near future.
Other than that, the only attraction will be a second home for retirement, which is not big enough a demand to offset the current supply overhang of unsold properties.
Investors don’t foolishly invest in Penang properties just to wait for more Penangite babies (which may never happen) to reap a harvest in 20 years time. Not a laughing he-he-he matter.

Shriek
27 Feb 2019 7.14pm
Reply to  Song

Here the same thing. Many mismatch comments are by tung land with kau beh kau bu

Wei
Wei
23 Feb 2019 1.03pm
Reply to  tunglang

so your nephew work for the evil blood sucking developer that destroy our environment, culture and heritage? so does that make him a blood sucker as well? must be plenty of fat pay , bonus and cheap house for your nephew over the booming years …am surprise you didn’t tell him off and screw him kao kao like what you so fond of doing…hehe

Shriek
23 Feb 2019 4.40pm
Reply to  Wei

We know what he is going to say. Spinner and try harder. Easy to kau beh Kau bu at others but as uncle, quiet at own relatives.

tunglang
tunglang
23 Feb 2019 9.51pm
Reply to  Wei

Woi! My nephew works hard under the sun for a living, not he-he everyday doing nothing like YOU do. So, what’s so jealous of him earning a good pay?
At least I respect him not to screw him unlike your kind with nothing constructive to share but he-he all day long!
Be a real man. Go out to work under the sun. You want a job I can recommend you to work under my nephew but you have to work real hard…

Wei
Wei
24 Feb 2019 12.56am
Reply to  tunglang

hehe…who cares whether your nephew work under the sun or not….that is not the point …you should pray for more building frenzies so he can have even more fat paycheck …hehe

Milk Tea
Milk Tea
24 Feb 2019 10.55am
Reply to  Wei

I think your otak abit …. …too many property…competition among contractors also high…so where got fat paycheck…fat paycheck for your boss and their cronies!

Shriek
25 Feb 2019 10.06am
Reply to  Milk Tea

Use your otak. Cannot see the difference between developers and contractors

tunglang
tunglang
24 Feb 2019 1.39pm
Reply to  Wei

Nothing but he-he to shiok sendiri! Call that productive?

Shriek
24 Feb 2019 7.52pm
Reply to  tunglang

Tung land now shiok living in a condo built by a developer. Better than Wong fei hoong shop house in heritage centre. Wong fei hoong shop houses are crumpling yet kau beh kau bu about lost heritage. They are instead of support heritage wong fei hoong shop house support developers buying coondos

tunglang
tunglang
27 Feb 2019 6.57am
Reply to  Shriek

You talk without brain! Who can afford a heritage house in George Town b’cos CAT allows SingLanders to invest en mass heritage properties without proper planning?
Why not you sponsor but I know you are on Komtar Dedak, may have to find shelter in a caring home!

Shriek
2 Mar 2019 11.33am
Reply to  tunglang

Who talk without brain. If the place is lay back, how can income be high? Pg kias will alway have low income. If you see many peng land lang work in sing land and get good income
Why don’t you kau beh kau bu at shop owners. Why sold to sing land? Sell to tung land?

Shriek
27 Feb 2019 7.15pm
Reply to  tunglang

Kau beh kau bu productive?

tunglang
tunglang
24 Feb 2019 1.41pm
Reply to  Wei

Better work as a troll like Shriek & earn more Komtar Dedak instead of he-he wasting your life!!!

Shriek
25 Feb 2019 10.03am
Reply to  tunglang

Go and tell your nephew to change job. Troll get better pay than your nephew

tunglang
tunglang
27 Feb 2019 9.54pm
Reply to  Shriek

Why must I tell my nephew to change his manly job when he’s enjoying a decent pay & naturally attracting ladies on TGIF without the need to shriek like an idiot???
TGIF = Thanks God It’s Friday (for Tiger Beer! & Tiger Ladies!)

Unlearn your shrieking & get a new life in a manly job!

Shriek
1 Mar 2019 9.25pm
Reply to  tunglang

Milk tea, see investors are pumping in $£¢€¥. Pg langs are having good life. Tung land should ask his junior to teach him some tricks. First stop kau beh kau by.

Shriek
24 Feb 2019 6.43am
Reply to  tunglang

Spinning again. Those work in reclamation, and Hill slopes not work under the sun moon and rain even harder and higher risk than your nephew? Now tung land thinks and acts like dumno. Nephew special position others not.

tunglang
tunglang
25 Feb 2019 8.30am
Reply to  Shriek

Why want to compare just for spinning? It’s his choice of work, not yours to complain, idiot! Shriek some more!

Shriek
26 Feb 2019 10.17am
Reply to  tunglang

Your choice of work is to kau beh kau bu at others not own family.

tunglang
tunglang
27 Feb 2019 6.58am
Reply to  Shriek

Pls try harder before your life expires!!!

Shriek
28 Feb 2019 6.53pm
Reply to  tunglang

Oh, I see why you kau beh kau bu harder b4 you get total recall.

Furry
Furry
1 Mar 2019 2.35pm
Reply to  tunglang

Can your nephew afford the new condo?

glissantia
glissantia
23 Feb 2019 3.22pm
Reply to  tunglang

The real estate agents even paid to attend these courses, maybe endorsed by gwai-lo, besides various membership fees, test fees, etc. For decades, the gomen closed one eye or both as developers failed to build the low-cost quota as per licence.

The issue is not just the affordability of the house or of raising more children. Can the district, state and country sustain such consumption, following the religion of growth, GDP and capitalism. If so, can the planet continue to provide the conditions that fragile humans need.

“There is no PLANet B”.

Xiang Yee
Xiang Yee
23 Feb 2019 2.19pm

Economics 101 demand vs supply will reach equilibrium ultimately – either developers slash price big time or buyers have more spending power with higher wages.

Shriek
1 Mar 2019 9.42pm
Reply to  Xiang Yee

Tung land talk like politician as if very qualified. Why they don’t blame apple for over hang of apple phones. Workers in henan are linining to resign due to Apple phones oner hang

Song
Song
24 Feb 2019 11.12am

Since there is no ‘happening’ in Penang street food, here is the Singapore’s Michelin Guide Street Food Festival 2019 :

Will it tempt Anil for another visit to Singapore?

tunglang
tunglang
25 Feb 2019 9.58pm
Reply to  Anil Netto

Anil, most probably you will not like it over there! Wanna take a bite at a Michelin tyre?

Black Mage
Black Mage
5 Mar 2019 11.30am

There are tenants in the Penang owned public housing (PPR) who have run up arrears of RM20,000 to RM30,000, which meant they have never paid rent for over 15 to 25 years, prompting the state government to rethink its approach in dealing with them.

Penang housing exco Jagdeep Singh Deo said it has little choice but to evict them.

https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/137940

Song
Song
27 Feb 2019 4.07pm

Property developer SP Setia Bhd is targeting a 10% year-on-year growth in sales to RM5.65bil for 2019, despite the challenging property market currently.

President and CEO Datuk Khor Chap Jen said there is still demand for properties in spite of the sluggish property segment currently.

https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2019/02/27/sp-setia-targets-rm5-65bil-sales-in-2019/#OYecP4mC5glAeSHX.99

Setia see no G?

Ma jiji
Ma jiji
24 Feb 2019 8.39am

Can say whatever but the beauty of it is….land prices keep going up and up unabated all in history !

Song
Song
23 Feb 2019 2.40pm

The outlandish Gurney Wharf

Song
Song
23 Feb 2019 1.20pm

Housing glut: Who’s at fault?
As reported on NST on Nov 19, 2017:
https://www.nst.com.my/node/304828/amp

The central bank and property analysts said there are a couple of factors. These include the steady rise in land bank prices, stable economic growth, a rush of new projects to build condominiums at ever-increasing prices and a lower rise in income level.

Wei
Wei
23 Feb 2019 12.56pm

hehe……trying to spin and lie like that stinky N fellow..
for your info in case you don’t know or pretend to not knowing, not only there is overhang in high end properties, there is overhang in low cost and affordable properties as well…and why? because the income of large percentage of malaysian population has fallen behind and not able to keep up with rising cost and they are so lazy to plan or take care of their finances and credit record to the extent that no bank want to loan them money..

tunglang
tunglang
23 Feb 2019 3.20pm
Reply to  Anil Netto

Actually, the absolut vodka failures of property marketing have taken the greedy developers by ‘surprise’. Thinking it’s their rights of monopolistic pricing to squeeze us by the throats but has not work at all. Don’t blame Bank Negara but themselves. They proudly or arrogantly said it’s a free market (laissez-faire) economy to build & sell mostly high-end as they like it. Even selling affordable housing at a price they deemed affordable according to their own blady fantasies! BUT when things don’t go their way, they also have the thick faces to ask for gomen help when it’s their own callous… Read more »

glissantia
glissantia
24 Feb 2019 2.42pm
Reply to  tunglang

Yes, so many polite words such as mismatch in supply, inequality, economic cycle, etc. The public have not woken up to the so-called, risk-taking entrepreneurs. These vultures prosper by colluding with officials (fascism) to (a) gouge profit (b) transfer any loss to the public (e.g. through concessions, rescue or nationalisation) (c) suppress news of injustices, exploitation, cheating, pollution and destruction. This is true in almost all countries.

Wei
Wei
24 Feb 2019 3.28pm
Reply to  glissantia

strange you have no complain when these entrepreneurs provide jobs, pay taxes and grow the economy..hehe

Shriek
24 Feb 2019 7.59pm
Reply to  tunglang

Tung land, developers pay all kind of taxes to state and federal gomen. Yet pasar malam, your one ton mee seller who do pay pay taxes can complain to gomen if business are bad. Like you only good in complaining. Cannot refute others still want to complain people spinning and try harder.

Shriek
23 Feb 2019 4.46pm
Reply to  Anil Netto

Trying to excuse wrong locations far from jobs. You mean rapid is ferrying ghost and willing to collect less fares? Pg forum and ngos no communicate with rapid but can made noises at gomen?

Shriek
24 Feb 2019 11.40am
Reply to  Anil Netto

If there is a need or demand for public transport, rapid will provide one. It shows transport committee member does not know how public transport functions. Rapid is taxpayer and to reduce its running cost. Better if rapid can make profit and with profit can expand into other areas.

Wei
Wei
23 Feb 2019 2.27pm
Reply to  Anil Netto

hehe…another spin.. open your eyes and you will see affordable homes is all around the island and mainland…in Jelutong, Bayan lepas, bayan baru, butterworth and are these remote places??

Penang forum has got no credibility, talk a lot but without fact…hehe

Song
Song
23 Feb 2019 6.13pm
Reply to  Wei
William
William
24 Feb 2019 11.54am
Reply to  Song

Is this not affordable?

Wei
Wei
24 Feb 2019 3.34pm
Reply to  William

these Perumahan right in the middle of city and near to the sea probably sells at 72.5k …or 20k cheaper than a Proton X70..but i guess still too expensive by Tu Lang and Anil standard…only one unit as cheap as one plate of cheapo wanton mee can satisfy them…

tunglang
tunglang
25 Feb 2019 10.04pm
Reply to  Wei

Talks like Shriek, sounds like Shrieking, must be a Shriek Spin-off!!!
Congratulations for letting the cat out of Komtar bag – a desperate troll using dual identity to make more noises (like he-he) than intellectual discourse!

Don Anamalai
Don Anamalai
27 Feb 2019 6.25pm
Reply to  Wei

Cecil Street is a prime location.
The value of the apartment will rise in no time.

tunglang
tunglang
23 Feb 2019 9.58pm
Reply to  Wei

So much of your credibility??? with comical he-he in front & back of every sentence!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

tunglang
tunglang
23 Feb 2019 9.56pm
Reply to  Anil Netto

Anil, pls repeat this sentence a 3rd time otherwise the he-he brain cannot understand at all!

Wei
Wei
24 Feb 2019 11.36am
Reply to  tunglang

picking on my “hehe” now that you are not to counter me with fact..??hehe….what a loser..

Wei
Wei
24 Feb 2019 11.37am
Reply to  tunglang

picking on my “hehe” now that you are not able to counter me with fact?…hehe…what a loser

tunglang
tunglang
25 Feb 2019 8.40am
Reply to  Wei

You are just spinning!
Countering with facts & facts from the industry horses mouth won’t be acceptable to you. Even if it’s from ground zero (Q: Are you at ground zero to see & share the facts or just your own egoistic fantasies & DAP misleads?). B’cos you will be seen as a loser eventually! Readers are not stupid! That gets to your frail ego.

Keep on he-he-he!

Milk Tea
Milk Tea
23 Feb 2019 2.14pm
Reply to  Wei

Wei, I will shut my mouth up and agree with whatever you say if you could spare me one unit of Tropicana 201 beside Ghee Hiang. (To combat the overhang problem in Penang)

Wei
Wei
24 Feb 2019 1.15am
Reply to  Milk Tea

ask the wrong person..should ask from rich and without a job Penang forum member…hehe

Shriek
24 Feb 2019 11.43am
Reply to  Milk Tea

You want to be investigated by macc? Even if you dummo does not get free lunch.

Roland
Roland
27 Feb 2019 5.15pm
Reply to  Milk Tea

Tropicana 201 overhang and price affordable now???
Ivory Zen at Bayan Mutiara RM1.1 billion land how can be affordable?
Anil pls talk food easier to digest than overhang matter.

tunglang
tunglang
27 Feb 2019 9.58pm
Reply to  Anil Netto

🙂 🙂 🙂 (not he-he-he lah!)