Property Property en Property in the suburbs - Size matters - Part 1
With that, Tennsui Khow from iProperty data services decided to examine stats and figures to receive insight. Apparently, the statistics department recorded the highest net outflow of migrants in 2015, amounting to 32.3k, from Kuala Lumpur, while the largest net inflow of migrants in 2015 was in Selangor, amounting to 22.7k people.

Trying to put a finger on some of the matters of concern and prerequisites that attracted people out into living in the suburbs and rurals, theSun highlights interesting and valuable information from Khow’s research, retrieved via collaboration between and iPropertyIQ.

For figure 1, 2 and 3 the darker the colour, the larger the size while in figure 4, the darker colour indicates the higher price, by per square foot.

The case for bungalows

Figure 1 does show significant evidence that the median size of property is bigger out of Kuala Lumpur City Centre and Petaling Jaya. Shah Alam and Klang holds the highest median size in the whole country with 3,825sf and 3,664sf respectively. Next to it on the southeast border we have Kajang and Cheras, with a median size of 3,466sf and 3,313sf respectively. Sungai Buloh with 3,264sf, and Ulu Kelang and Gombak with 3,122sf and 3,065sf respectively.

The impact on condominiums

Examining if the same holds true for condominiums, the data showed that the biggest properties were found near city centres (Figure 2) and as one moved farther out of the city, there was no difference. It was gathered that this was due to the fact that there is more land outside the city, thus no need for high rise living spaces. The number of transactions for condominiums also decreased away from the city centre. Places like Bukit Tunku, Ampang and Mont Kiara reported having the largest condominium sizes within Kuala Lumpur City Centre while Damansara Utama and Mutiara Damansara comprised the most spacious condominiums in the Petaling Jaya area.

The effect on terrace houses

In the case of terrace houses (Figure 3), Bukit Jalil, Sungai Besi, Glenmarie, Desa Park City and Cyberjaya recorded the highest median sizes. These are located in areas surrounding cities offering higher paying jobs. As one moves farther out, away from the city, there was no difference in the median size of terrace houses, compared to in the city.

Khow then wanted to find out if the prices of property differed between those in the city and in the rurals. By doing a quick plot on the psf (Figure 4), it was noticed that prices did drop for terraces that were out of the city. The conclusion was that while terrace houses were cheaper as one moved farther out of the city, incomes did not substantiate for the roomier properties (income in the city centre far outweighed that in rural areas).

Hence, even though terrace houses are cheaper in rural areas, the people there cannot afford larger properties (derived from the map showing bigger sized terrace houses located beside Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur City Centre and Putrajaya where most of the high paying jobs are).

The gist of Khow’s research – having provided the analysis by building type and examining the property size – bungalows do get bigger as we move farther out into the rural areas. As for terrace houses and condominiums, as we move out into the suburbs, the size does get bigger but moving farther out into the rural areas, the size actually decreases.

Although the numbers and mapping technology cannot be taken as “fait accompli”, the data provides reason to believe that more people are seeking to move out of the city and into suburbs and rural areas. Follow part two of Khow’s research next week sharing more interesting findings and insights.]]>
Property Fri, 15 Sep 2017 04:18:38 +0000 theSundaily 482512 at
Basic boosters
Returning daily to a home that does not evoke feelings of warmth, comfort, contentment and joy obviously need serious thought. If home is sending you these signals, fret not. You can restore that once charming and alluring appeal to interiors with just a few tweaks here and there. And the beauty of it is that these simple solutions can be accomplished over the weekend.


We'll start with the basics, which is decluttering. While some people can think better creatively in a messy space, for others it poses a distraction. Various studies have shown that clutter steals your focus, increases stress levels and contributes to procrastination, among other negative consequences.

Declutter the home bit by bit, room by room. Have boxes or plastic bags on hand for the stuff that needs to be thrown out or packed for recycling. When starting out in each room, reach in to hidden spaces including drawers and shelves settled with dust that you can't recall when you opened last. Empty these and have all its contents in clear view. Lay down guidelines on items to keep and toss out. Some important areas to work on to regain the lure of home include:

Kitchen: leftover or expired food; kitchen and cooking utensils or dinnerware that has been a little too well-used; and expired medications which should be brought to hospitals or clinics for disposal and not dumped into the bin.

Home office: old and unused stationery; useless old bills, mail and paperwork; and unusable cables and knick-knacks that can be recycled.

Bedroom: old or unused clothing, shoes and jewellery; old books and magazines that will never be read again, which can be donated, recycled or thrown out.

Living room: souvenirs from bygone eras that do not rekindle a pleasant memory; broken remote controls; old CDs, DVDs, cassettes, VCR tapes; and unused or outdated decorative pieces that do not match interior's theme, including items you can't figure out for the life of you what they are.

Bathroom: old and unused toiletries; excessive or disorganised supply of toilet paper rolls and towels; old toothbrushes and pearly white products; and expired beauty products.


Tackling the dust and grime of the home is another way to make it sparkle like brand new. writer Lynn Andriani has a room-by-room guide that settles the home in one day – eight hours, to be exact.
Start in the morning with the bathroom by vacuuming and then wiping the walls and ceilings.

Follow by spraying and soaking shower walls, tubs, floors and sinks with cleaning agents. While the solutions are working their magic, haul up any throw rugs, shower curtains, window drapery and floor mats and toss them into the washing machine. Complete by rinsing off the cleaning solutions.

Move on to the bedroom, with vacuuming and then wiping down the walls and ceilings, followed by dusting off. Strip the bed of linens and the windows of
its frills and fancies to be washed. Open up the windows while cleaning them, as it also works to air out the mattress and pillows. If there are any large area rugs or wall-to-wall carpeting in the room, look into hiring a professional to get these properly steamed and cleaned.

Next up is the kitchen. Start off by cleaning out the refrigerator and freezer. Next, wash its shelves and compartment trays; and do not forget to wipe the door seal to remove any crumbs or debris. Scrub down the stove, oven and other cooking appliances to remove the build-up of grease and stains. The same goes for counter surfaces and cabinets – not forgetting knobs and handles.

A mixture of warm water and dishwashing detergent should work when scrubbing off grease. Complete the purge and cleansing by sweeping, vacuuming and mopping the floor.

Last stop is the living area. Begin by cleaning the fans and ceilings. While using a duster seems natural, keep dust from flying about by using an old pillowcase instead; simply slip the pillowcase over the fan blade, then wipe the dust off and into the pillowcase.

Move on to vacuuming and wiping the walls, cleaning cooled-down lightbulbs with a damp microfibre cloth, washing lampshades and lighting covers. Give all furniture a wipe. Lastly, vacuum, sweep and mop under all furniture and furnishing.


Painting over something is the cheapest and oldest trick in the book. There is nothing a fresh coat of paint cannot cover up, and pretty much everyone can paint! However, some planning is required before you take that brush to the walls.

Start by deciding if you want to stay safe and strike out with an accent wall or go bold with an entire room. Then decide which colours would work. Different colours can change the entire mood of a space, so it is important to pick the right shades and tones, depending on the room. While shopping for paint, take home colour cards and tape them to your wall to visualise how it will look or use a colour app. Most paint companies have developed apps that help consumers visualise and decide on colours for various parts of their homes.

Now, paints also come in different sheens for use in different areas of the home. Matte paint, for example, is perfect for low-traffic areas and hides imperfections. High traffic and wet areas, on the other hand, should be painted with gloss or semi-gloss paint, as they are easy to clean and are reflective, which help in distributing natural lighting around the room.

Important note when painting interiors – do not skip on primer.

It helps cover imperfections on the surface and provides a longer-lasting finish.


Sometimes just a simple nudge of the couch or reshuffling about of the furniture can change the entire image of a room. Especially if a recent decluttering session was done, a re-organisation of the room is in order. If possible, move out all or most of the furniture in the room and put them back in, not necessarily all. It is easier to visualise and plan a new arrangement when the room has been cleared of visual obstructions.

Start by bringing in the anchor pieces, such as the bed or the couch, or any other large furniture. Once the bigger items are in place, it is easier to organise the other smaller ones around these huge pieces.

If you want the room to feel spacious, keep furniture items roughly three to four inches away from the walls.This creates the illusion of the wall being farther away. For rooms that are often used, consider the flow of traffic when planning the arrangement. Paths should be kept clear of obstacles and movement should centre around anchor pieces, rather than through them.

Sort your possessions into similar groups and store these individual collections of items together in one area using baskets or boxes. This method of organisation ensures that everything is in its proper place, further reducing the build-up of clutter.

Simple works to refresh the home can be DIY-ed. Avoid heavier alterations that require the expertise of professionals, such as plumbing, electrical and structural works like installing kitchens, water features and indoor ponds. While including plants and greenery could add a lovely touch to interiors, they can also make or break the entire look if not precisely selected and meticulously placed.]]>
Property Fri, 08 Sep 2017 04:45:11 +0000 ALYSSA J. OON 479925 at
Pre-owned – pros and cons
Depending on how one views things in life – as in the glass half full or half empty – buying a piece of property, put back into the market for sale after it has been lived in, surely doesn’t sound very appealing.

Some view it as “second-hand” or “used items”, quite the unthinkable when it comes to purchasing and making a home of. Then again, property investors or those with ringgit and sen running through their veins, especially when it comes to forking out money or making any purchase, think otherwise.

Although new properties are a whole lot more attractive, in both brochures and reality, there are many benefits in buying sub-sale residential property. However, below are a few points to consider before signing the dotted line:
1) What you see is what you get
When buying a residential property put back in the re-sale market, viewing it thoroughly is a must. Happy the buyer who manages to find his or her “dream home”. But first, go through the property with a fine-tooth-comb to ensure you know exactly what you are buying.
Hindsight: Consider any irregularities and flaws as these will need to be added into your “expenses” to get the final figure of how much you will actually be spending when buying a re-sale property. From flooring that may need to be changed to leaks and faulty fixtures and fittings that the seller has included in the sale price – all these add to your expenditure and gives room for negotiation where the price tag is concerned.

2) Conserve on renovation
Depending on the condition of the property and how identical or similar it is to what you actually have in mind for the place you intend to make home of – you could save quite a sum if you manage to find a house that ticks all the right boxes. That said, it would be wise to take your time in looking for a property which meets all your desired requirements.
Hindsight: Never make hasty decisions and do not allow yourself to be put in a spot where you have to make an immediate decision, especially in purchasing a house you intend to live in. Never compromise. If the price is too good to be true, examine the property in detail. Ensure there are no encumbrances on the title and the seller has not filed for bankruptcy. Check for white ant and termite infestation.

3) Matured township with amenities in abundance
There is no right number that fits the bill to describe a matured township. But here are some features that resonate with the likes of one – banks, hospitals, schools and education institutions, pharmacies, clinics, 24-hour conveniences stores and eateries, petrol stations, easy access to public transportation and major highways, parks, open and green spaces, shopping malls, post office, places of worship, leisure and entertainment outlets.
Hindsight: While all the above may come as conveniences for many, such places are usually densely populated. Hence, finding the right balance may require one to “give and take” on amenities, facilities and comforts.

4) The choice is yours – outlook, setting, even choice of neighbours (and pets)
When viewing the property, one is advised to talk to the neighbours. Stand back and get the “bigger picture”, taking in the entire setting, look from all angles, from afar. You can actually learn a lot from the folks living next door as they could let you in on crucial information on the property at stake. Besides, you could also take this meeting with the neighbours as an opportunity to learn who you may be living next to in the coming years, if not, the rest of your life.
Hindsight: Take note about the things that irritate or annoy you – crying babies, noisy children, loud or smelly pets, mosquito infested grounds, overly zealous house party people, etc. – or vice versa. You may be all the above and find that your neighbours might give you a hard time if lifestyles are at polar ends.

5) Free of foul smells from toxic newness
Any thing new usually comes with the scent of newness and novelty. But new houses that are left closed reek of sometimes “industrial fumes” from paint, sealants, adhesives, etc. No worries for the sub-sale buyer as interiors will or hopefully will, smell of home. You are also free from noise pollution unless you or your new neighbours are renovating.
Hindsight: However, in the case of newly refurbished and renovated houses, interiors dressed with a new coat of paint, or perhaps refloored/re-tiled, or those given a thorough cleaning with industrial solvents and detergents – you might want to open up doors and windows and “air” interiors before moving in.

6) Security and safety measures
Check on the history of the township or neighbourhood and learn of its past. If there is a housing residences association/committee, check with members on security and safety measures or if there are any issues. From guarded and gated to regular patrols, ensure you are happy with the services, which you will probably need to pay towards.
Hindsight: Besides hefty security and safety charges you will most likely have to bear along with those in the area, you could be called for residents patrol duty.

7) Digital cable tv, internet and phone services
Many houses and high rise residential lots are fitted with these conveniences. When buying subsale, you will probably need to sign up for a new account before use.
Hindsight: Do check on availability of the service and clarity as some areas do not receive the best reception. In addition, if you are taking over the previous owner’s account, ensure all preceding bills are settled.

8) Identity, characteristic and reputation of housing area
Who does not want to live in an area that is renowned for all the right reasons? From the cleanest neighbourhood to that with zilch burglaries, the most amount of amenities and facilities or the best maintained, etc. Houses in areas like these give its residents a sense of security and pride.
Hindsight: If you are not one who is houseproud, your fervent neighbours may give you a hard time.

9) Free from dysfunctional fixtures, furnishings and structural design
Come up with a checklist when viewing any sub-sale property so as not to miss out anything/area of the home. What you see is what you get. Anything which is not in proper working order can usually be rectified or repaired by the seller or else, negotiated to be minused from the agreed property price.
Hindsight: If you don’t “catch it” before you sign the dotted line, you may end up having to pay for whatever is not in working condition.

10) Negotiable price tag usually lower than new property, sometimes below market price
Depending on various elements to consider like – the built-up, land area, size and type of property, its neck of woods, facilities and amenities, etc.
Hindsight: If the price is too good to be true, take your time and do more research on the property, the title/deed and the owner.

11) No more surprises
When buying property in matured townships, most times there is hardly much land left to construct huge developments. Hence, one is free from surprises like having a huge white elephant obstructing your amazing view or blocking out the natural air flow, etc.
Hindsight: Some may beg to differ as parks and lakes in matured townships have sometimes, in some cases, had to make way for development/construction. However, residents and members of residents associations in matured areas with these open and green spaces will normally give developers a hard time.

12) Matured greenery
In short, a sight for sore eyes indeed providing more oxygenated air during the day. The colour green is also known to rest tired eyes.

13) More homely feel
Though debatable, used goods usually radiate more warmth, hence, more homely.
Hindsight: Used goods that radiate a homely feel may be on its way to decaying, giving way, etc.

14) Chance of getting more than what you bargained for
Looking at this point in a positive light as in, pieces of furniture which you may have said you liked when first meeting the seller and viewing the house as in furnishings like drapes and electrical fixtures or lamps, etc. – the seller may throw in some of these with the sale of the property.
Hindsight: You may get more than you bargained for but in a negative light – as in junk, odds and ends, lock-stock-and barrel of defective goods and scrap material.]]>
Property Fri, 25 Aug 2017 01:54:06 +0000 theSundaily 474793 at
Residential sub-sale market report - Pre-owned and practical
Still, many are cautious, deliberating the poor performance of the ringgit and soft property market situation, especially over the last year – unfavourable to many a Malaysian apparently. Some however, are of the view that “the ball is in the court of the foreigner whose currency is greater than the ringgit, ie Singaporeans. Locals with capital and cash reserves with the power to purchase property in Iskandar now and “sit out the placid spell” have the advantage. This is especially so with the easy payment schemes, rebates and discounts offered by developers, and the overhang supply of which price tags can be negotiated, if skilfully, bought for a song.

While affordable “products” are expected to be launched, do not discount sub-sale properties, especially in areas with semi-developed projects or those in the pipeline. Below are charts and graphs, courtesy of, with data retrieved from JPPH.]]>
Property Fri, 18 Aug 2017 06:51:52 +0000 theSundaily 472350 at
Planet of the Apps
SEEING a room transform from a bare space into one with character and personality is truly satisfying; but the entire process of getting to that point can be exhausting. So much planning, imagining, shopping, moving around, not to mention energy, angst and stress is endured to get that precise look and feel.

Sometimes the start, where one has to sit down to plan and visualise the outcome of the room, is the most difficult. Taking in the entire picture can be overwhelming. Fortunately, we live in this era called "The Internet of Things" where modern innovations make life easier. Planning the layout of a room is almost effortless ... "a piece of cake" – with digital programmes. Moreover, it can be done right where you are, with just an app (or two), on your smartphone.


Carrying around a piece of paper with scribbles and sketches of your room layout and its measurements is old school. Magicplan makes measurement-jotting simple with a few clicks of the shutter and swipes of the finger.

What makes Magicplan stand out is its clever use of augmented reality to measure the dimensions of a room and create floor plans from it. Users just need to stand in the middle of a room while holding their phone (though it is advisable to use tablets instead), open up the app and begin the process.

Think of it as taking a panoramic photo. With the free version, users can carry their room dimensions with them on-the-go, making shopping for the home a breeze. Paying a small fee will allow you to export floor plans in different file formats and even customise the layout of your home for better visualisation


So you did not have to wrestle with a measuring tape while taking down the dimensions of your rooms, but what about when you are out shopping for furniture and you need to measure an item ... but the measuring tape is back home? iHandy Carpenter saves the day this time by placing (in your hand) five essential tools - a plumb bob, a surface level, a bubble level bar, a steel protractor and a steel ruler.

A steel ruler, specifically, would be of great help with measuring the dimensions of furniture to know if it will fit in the room or not. The app provides the user with two ways of measuring using the "steel ruler": use "screen length snap" – where the user swipes the screen left or right to move the ruler along; or "fre emoving" – where the screen detects the phone's left or right movement and moves the ruler accordingly.

The app also works well in tricky situations like hanging up wall pieces or drilling in floating shelves perfectly using the surface level feature. Although some calibration needs to be done before using the app, the instructions provided makes calibration effortless.


Houzz has a database of over 11 million high-resolution photos of home interiors and exteriors. It is a cross between Wikipedia and Pinterest, but for home design.

Houzz is helpful in the planning and visualising stage of home decoration. The planning process for each room is made easier with the ability to search for ideas by room type i.e. kitchen, dining room, powder room, baby room, living room, deck, etc. These photos are actual designs used by professional interior designers and the common Houzz-user.

Photos can also be saved to make reference easily accessible when needed.

Unfortunately, users residing in Malaysia will not be able to make use of Houzz's shopping features as most of the brands are not available locally. Then again, with the internet, hasn't the world become a much smaller place and a mere click or two away?


Choosing the perfect colour for the next paint job can be tough. Trips to the hardware store to get paint chips and references back home to visualise it in "the" room takes time. But these colour visualisation apps make the task like child's play.

Both apps have the same core feature, which is simply to open up the app on the phone or tablet, snap a photo of the room or home exterior, then scroll through the catalogue to apply your desired colours.

Dulux offers an app with a modern layout, with advanced features where you can visualise colour in either photo or video instantly. Users can also "pick" colours from everyday items like flowers or paintings and the app will suggest similar or the closest colours from their catalogue.

Photos, inspirations and selected products can also be collated into one "place" for easier reference and planning.

Meanwhile, the Nippon Paint app provides a helpful "price checker" tool for better budget planning. It also has a "handy store locator" function that can point you to a nearby store to get your paint.


For people who love, live and breathe natural lighting, Sun Seeker is a good app to acquire. Sun Seeker uses the device's GPS, magnetometer, accelerometers and gyroscope to find the correct solar position and path for your current location and device orientation.

The app is especially handy when house-hunting because nobody wants to have sunlight glaring in their bedroom window each morning, yet sufficient natural light is needed, especially to dry out the laundry. Homeowners with green fingers will also want to use this app to find the best spots in and around the home for the plants.

There are many more amazing apps that can help in designing and decorating a home. Unfortunately, some good ones are not available in Malaysia while others need a little tweaking to improve efficacy and function. However, at the rate technology is advancing, better apps are definitely out in the horizon to make the whole nine yards of home decoration and refurbishment almost like "a walk in the park".
Property Fri, 04 Aug 2017 07:01:47 +0000 theSundaily 467626 at
Residential sub-sale market report - Worth considering - Part 3
In terms of sales volume, Selangor emerged the best-performing state against the country's market share (refer C). Although there was a drop of 17.6%, looking at year-on-year (Y-O-Y) figures, Selangor achieved 31.7% (28,467 transactions) according to data retrieved between November 2015 and October 2016.

Interestingly, Penang was the only state which performed better than Malaysia's average (-20.4%), while Kelantan was the only state that recorded a positive trend where its Y-O-Y transaction movement increased by 6.7%.

From data shared by, the most transacted areas in Selangor were:

1) Klang
2) Shah Alam
3) Puchong
4) Ampang
5) Cheras
6) Kajang
7) Seri Kembangan
8) Petaling Jaya
9) Subang Jaya
10) Kapar

These top 10 areas comprise 50% of (roughly 14,234) the number of transactions of sub-sale residential sales in Selangor (refer B).

Looking at the top transacted areas, it was noted that transaction volume fell across all areas except for Setia Alam which rose by 15.4% in sales, from 596 to 688 transactions. This is said to be caused by the price factor.

In all, 11 other areas in Selangor performed better than the state's average of -20.4%, with four doing above average – Subang Jaya, Cheras, Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam.

Price wise, capital appreciation for each state is measured by the annual change in median prices per sf. From data recorded, all states flourished except for Sabah.

Selangor fared below average while Johor led the pack, more than doubling that of Selangor's performance, four times more than KL's performance. Johor's median price per sf increased to RM266 psf from RM221 psf.

In terms of Y-O-Y capital growth performance in Selangor, Puncak Alam emerged tops with annual capital growth reaching 23.4% (refer A). Performing above average were Kapar, Seri Kembangan and Klang. Of the top 10 areas, Subang Jaya and Petaling Jaya suffered capital depreciation with values declining by 0.14% and 1.7% respectively. Residential prices in Setia Alam dropped in value by 8.5%, from RM397 psf to RM368 psf.

While terrace homes measuring 1,500sf to 2,000sf made the cut as the most popular product type aspiring home buyers searched for, the most popular products that were actually sold turned out to be flats measuring 500sf to 700sf, costing below RM100,000 (refer D). Information garnered from data revealed that that there is a huge difference between what home buyers are interested in and what they are purchasing. Affordability could be the main reason.

In all, there are plusses and minusses, whether buying new or sub-sale. Weigh the pros and cons and do your research before making a decision. While new properties may cost more (depending on the size, location, etc.), sub-sale residentials can come with a can of worms or bring you years of happy and comfortable living.

Follow our column next week on interior decor, followed by residential sub-sale market reports on Johor and Penang.
Property Fri, 28 Jul 2017 08:05:46 +0000 theSundaily 465366 at
Residential sub-sale market report - A market to consider
There is much going on in terms of property development, over in both Sabah and Sarawak. This is mainly due to the government's Economic Transformation Programme aimed at raising the economy of the country, hence, Malaysia's status as a "developed nation".

Local view

Earlier in the year, Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers' Association's (Sheda) Kuching branch chairman Dr Christopher Ngui shared his view on the residential property scene in the "Land of the Hornbills".

He said it was a good time to purchase, even with the rising costs of imported building materials, the way the ringgit is "faring" and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax. He supports his claim further, saying that property prices in Sarawak has "not particularly" increased.

"Our house prices are still not going up (in February 2017) as most of our developers are willing to maintain the current prices or are selling property from previous projects," he said.

Still, Ngui doesn't deny that property prices in Sarawak will increase, considering historical trends of housing prices after a year or two of recession.

Going up

Is there really a good or bad time in buying property? With the continuity in improving living standards and rising costs, prices generally go up.

Furthermore, the price one is willing to pay is indefinite and varies, depending how an individual "values " a particular piece of real estate and how much he or she desires it and is willing to pay for it.

While some may haggle to get the best deal or below-market price, there are others who are willing to pay "an arm and a leg" for their dream home.

While Ngui claimed prices were not rising earlier in the year, but would, PropertyGuru website reports that property prices in Sarawak have soared over the last two years – on the average, sky-rocketed from RM400 plus psf to over RM800 psf.


Most popular price range for residential properties in Sarawak
40% below RM250,000
40% between RM250,000 and RM500,000

Follow our series of pictorial reports depicting the sub-sale residential market across various states in Malaysia – this week highlighting Sarawak, the "sixth top transacted state for residential properties in Malaysia", as reported by]]>
Property Fri, 21 Jul 2017 02:50:04 +0000 theSundaily 463377 at
Residential sub-sale market report: A market to consider
According to iProperty Group data services general manager Premendran Pathmanathan, there is a demand for property in East Malaysia that is progressively growing. The burgeoning market in both Sabah and Sarawak is partly caused by the rapid economic development, which has been robust, in line with the country's Economic Transformation Programme.

Moreover, the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH), through property transactions recorded from stamp duty paid for Sales and Purchase agreements, reports that property values over in East Malaysia have been appreciating across all market segments, by some 10% to 20%.

In addition, an overview of the East Malaysian residential market by CBRE/WTW reported that landed residential units are in demand in Sabah, especially medium-cost houses priced below RM400,000.

With the positive development growth and residential market demand, those who have yet to consider buying "secondhand" real estate in Sabah, perhaps should. With the "overall lacklustre" market sentiment the industry is currently facing, you could land yourself a good deal.

Sub-sale to the fore

For a start, we re-cap some benefits in buying sub-sale:

»lower price tag (if cleverly negotiated, can be below market value),
»immediate/almost immediate accommodation;
»located in matured townships with facilities and amenities for convenience;
»no development risk;
»could come furnished/semi-furnished, thus cost-saving (conditional); etc.

While most residential purchasers would prefer paying for a brand new piece of real estate, it is hard to discount the benefits mentioned above.

Furthermore, if cleverly negotiated, a re-sale at the right price could bring in handsome profits.

Apart from benefits and profits, our second article on sub-sale touched on tips and advice before purchase. It also included a checklist, documents and fees involved, along with points to consider before signing the dotted line.

With the nitty-gritty details "spelled out", theSun shares pictorial reports on the residential sub-sale markets in various states across Malaysia.

Keep your eyes peeled as we bring you data studied between end 2015 and November 2016, as reported by in collaboration with JPPH. See our series of pictorial reports, beginning with Sabah this week.]]>
Property Fri, 14 Jul 2017 04:17:22 +0000 theSundaily 461145 at
A sense of five-star luxury
From a bed that contours to the silhouette of one's body and beckons one into a deep and restful night's sleep, plump feathered pillows, Charlotte Thomas "bespoke" bed linen, constant cool temperatures that are just right, large windows with breathtaking views, bathtubs that you want to soak in all day long, not forgetting daily housekeeping services that come with a personal butler to keep the luxury in place 24/7.

Is there anyone who can say they have left a long and luxurious holiday without a heavy heart? Instead of having those little moments of luxury for short spells on occasions and have it create quite the dent on one's bank account, why not recreate such luxury within one's home and indulge in daily deluxe living?

With just a few tweaks to interiors, cushy comforts can be part of your every day!

Here's how:


The most luxurious hotel beds are usually dressed in all white; from the sheets to the pillows and comforter.

"Visually, the idea of the white bed is important," said Starwood Hotels & Resorts global brand design vice-president Erin Hoover as reported in the Huffington Post.

"Something about an all-white bed connotes luxury and a good night's sleep. The all-white bed creates this halo effect, where people think a room has been renovated, even if it is just the bed that has been changed."

So ditch the bright prints and patterns and opt for good ol' white sheets. Choose sheets with the highest thread count your budget can afford. Have at least two plump pillows on the bed – then again, the more the merrier.

Throw out pillows that are flattened to avoid poor quality sleep and neck aches. Down comforters also give you that "burrito" warmth in a cool bedroom. However, if the budget is limited, consider alternatives such as rayon, polyester or cotton, among others.

A good headboard is important for those moments of relaxation where you want to just lean up against and read a book comfortably. Tufted headboards for example, offer great cushioning when sitting upright in bed. Certain headboard designs also work to tone down noise levels for a better night's sleep.

Add two nightstands on either side of the bed for small items, be it your phone, an alarm clock or a table lamp. If space permits, add a touch of nature with a small vase filled with flowers or a succulent plant.

Having different layers of lighting is important in setting the right mood. You wouldn't want to feel wide awake from fluorescent lights right before you head to bed, would you?

This is where a bedside lamp comes in perfectly. Interior designer Corey McIntosh advises, "If the room is large enough, it is nice to have three points of ambient light in a triangle. This could be translated into having bedside lamps and another lamp on that table that is diagonally across the bed. It provides balance and warmth to the room. If you prefer to keep the nightstand clutter-free, opt for wall sconces instead," he says.

Just like your bed, the floor should be soft and inviting as well. Invest in a big area rug that can go under your bed. It can be the biggest decorative item in the room that also forces your bed to be the main focus in that space. Besides, isn't it a nice feeling to wake up from a good night's rest and slip your feet into the warmth of a shaggy rug.

If you're lucky enough to have an abundance of space in the bedroom, consider placing a chaise lounge near the windows to function as a cosy corner for relaxation.

Alternatively, you could have two armchairs facing each other and an ottoman nearby to prop your legs up while you chat away with a friend or a significant other.

Keep the fabrics of the sitting area in neutral tones that easily complement the rest of the room. Have a small side table next to the lounge or between the two armchairs to place any cups of beverage or to hold decorations, like a decorative statement piece or a framed photo.

Lastly, good draperies help curb the noise and light and give you a good night's sleep. Heavy, good quality drapes may leave a hole in your pocket, but ask around and do some scouting for an affordable seamstress who can work within your budget. If it's possible, purchase the fabrics yourself and get him/her to customise it to your liking.


Every hotel room is fitted out with an en-suite bathroom, complete with lighting that flatter the design and accoutrements. If a bathtub can't be fitted into your bathroom, opt for a glass-enclosed walk-in shower with a shower head that allows you to adjust the intensity of the water jet sprays.

The sink area should be wide enough to accommodate all one's toiletries – make-up, skincare and oral hygiene needs included. Get a "floating vanity" with shelves underneath for storage of extra bath towels or toilet rolls, similar to hotel bathrooms designed to a modern concept. Use baskets to store these items and to keep that clutter-free look, while trays can be used as a chic organisation accessory on the counter-top where all your toiletries can be neatly arranged.

Complete the vanity area with a large mirror and good lighting to assist you with whatever one does in front of the bathroom mirror, bedtime preparations and face-cleansing rituals included.

For a hint of added extravagance, treat yourself to bath time little luxuries like scented candles, bath salts, even spiced or fragrant bubble bath. Trust me, you'll leave the bath looking like a million dollars and luxuriating in sweet-smelling delight.

Don't forget the small plush rug by the sink to warm your feet in the early morning or cold night. Set aside a small chest or basket to hold the soiled apparel. Don't forget to work into the area, a space to hang up towels to dry.

After all the changes and alterations to bed and bath rooms, treat yourself to a spa night every once in a while. This comes as a great elixir for a good night's rest besides a whole list of other perks.]]>
Property Fri, 07 Jul 2017 08:29:32 +0000 Alyssa J. Oon 459231 at
Sub-sale property market - Part 2
Points to consider

According to personal finance guide KC Lau, there are a few important matters one needs to consider when intending to purchase a sub-sale or "secondhand" residential property. Other than the location, which is numero uno, one needs to deliberate on these other important issues:

Property type i.e. landed property or high-rise/serviced
»The size
»Number of bedrooms
»The age and "lifespan" of the property
»The tenure
»Purpose of purchase i.e. investment to rent or re-sell, or stay
»Amenities and conveniences
»Safety features
»Market value
»Selling price

Once all the above are contemplated and decided on, the next thing to do is check the sub-sale listings, one of which we recommend being, under the REA Group, recently tying up with India's Elara Technologies.

The online property site gives access to 4.5 million property listings across 72 countries via various portals.

In the meantime, while hunting for that perfect place to call home or to invest in, it is best to check with the banks if you plan on taking up a loan. Do research to find the best home loans.

Websites like makes life easier by providing a "loan calculator". You could also check with individual banks on loan packages and offers, and get the bank to do a valuation and assessment on the property you intend to buy. It is advised that you get three "independent" banks to do the valuation.

Plan and budget

Next step is to plan your budget, irrespective of buying cash or taking a bank loan. This is due to the various fees and charges incurred when buying sub-sale property.

According to Lau, the proportion or percentage of down payment is crucial. This will give the buyer a sense of how much cash he needs to put upfront. Other payments that need to be considered include:

»Legal fees
»Property stamp duty charges
»Loan agreement stamp duty
»Disbursement fees which cover registration of charge, land search and bankruptcy search
»Loan processing fee

An earnest deposit is usually required when one has already decided to buy a particular sub-sale property. The amount is usually 1% to 2% of the agreed property price. Once this sum is paid, a deal is made and buyer and seller are bound.

As the purchaser, you will need to appoint a lawyer to act on your behalf.
In the meantime, your bank loan/mortgage plan will need to be settled.

This covers loan type, amount, description of property, duration of loan, fees, monthly service charge, interest and repayment, instalments, security and insurance documents, excess interest rates, Mortgage Reducing Term Assurance (MRTA) or Group Mortgage Term Assurance (GMTA) if any, and other conditions.

House contents and condition

A major area many overlook when buying sub-sale property is the recce, also known as the "fact finding visit" according to Lau. One needs to draw up an inventory list, stating items the seller will leave within the property and those he/she will remove. Best state the condition the said "items" are in.

The signing of the "Sales and Purchase Agreement", otherwise known as the SPA, is next, along with settlement of any outstanding payments, and the solicitor's bill. As the buyer, it is good to ensure that the condition of the premises and its contents are correctly described in the SPA.

A valuation report will be conducted by the bank of which you will need to bear the report charges. A home loan account will be set up along with the bank loan agreement.

If buying a high-rise sub-sale unit i.e. condominium unit, there should be a master insurance policy maintained by the company in charge of managing the building, of which the charges are usually incurred in your monthly condominium maintenance fee.

Partial and full disbursements will need to be settled by this time. This is when the seller will need to settle all outstanding loans/amounts with his/her bank on the property and you, the buyer, will need to make all necessary payments between your bank and the seller's bank.

This is also a crucial period when the seller will need to deliver "vacant possession" of the sold premises within a specified timeframe according to the SPA.

For a detailed step-by-step guide, samples of forms and checklists, visit the website. For a comprehensive listing of sub-sale properties, visit

Follow our property section next week for additional information on the sub-sale market.

List of documents required for standard bank loan application:

»Copy of IC
»3 months payslips (fixed salary)
»3 months bank statement showing crediting of
»Previous years' income tax return with payment
»Latest EPF statement
»Liquidity backup, i.e.: Fixed Deposit, Saving/
»Current Account
»Other source of income such as rental income substantiated by stamped tenancy agreement and bank statement
»Booking form
»Application form

List disbursements and legal fees involved:SAMPLE LEGAL FEES
Legal Fees :
1. Sale and Purchase Agreement
2. Entry & withdrawal of private caveat
3. Submission of Borang CKHT 2A
6% government tax

1. Stamp duty on the Sale and Purchase Agreement
2. Stamp duty on the transfer
3. Title search
4. Registration fee on the transfer
5. Registration fee on the entry and withdrawal of private caveat
6. Bankruptcy/winding up search
7. Affirmation fee on surat akuan
7. Transport charges
8. Telephone charges

— Lists, information and charts retrieved from KC Lau and
Property Sat, 24 Jun 2017 05:06:42 +0000 theSundaily 455746 at