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.”

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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.

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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
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Milk Tea

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
Guest
Wei

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
Guest
tunglang

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
Guest

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
Guest
tunglang

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
Guest

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

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

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

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

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

Shriek
Guest

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
Guest
tunglang

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

Shriek
Guest

Question is he dares to meet us?

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

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

Shriek
Guest

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

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

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
Guest

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
Guest
tunglang

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
Guest
Milk Tea

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
Guest
Wei

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
Guest

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

Song
Guest
Song

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
Guest
V Ramesh

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

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

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
Guest

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

Wei
Guest
Wei

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
Guest

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
Guest
tunglang

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
Guest
Wei

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
Guest
Milk Tea

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
Guest

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

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

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

Shriek
Guest

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
Guest
tunglang

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
Guest

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
Guest

Kau beh kau bu productive?

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

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

Shriek
Guest

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

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

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
Guest

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
Guest

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
Guest
tunglang

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

Shriek
Guest

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

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Pls try harder before your life expires!!!

Shriek
Guest

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

Furry
Guest
Furry

Can your nephew afford the new condo?

glissantia
Guest
glissantia

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
Guest
Xiang Yee

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
Guest

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
Guest
Song

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?

Black Mage
Guest
Black Mage

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
Guest
Song

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
Guest
Ma jiji

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

Song
Guest
Song

The outlandish Gurney Wharf

Song
Guest
Song

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
Guest
Wei

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..

Milk Tea
Guest
Milk Tea

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
Guest
Wei

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

Shriek
Guest

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

Roland
Guest
Roland

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
Guest
tunglang

🙂 🙂 🙂 (not he-he-he lah!)