Nothing in Iskandar yet for me but does not mean it’s NOTHING to me.

I have no properties in Johor yet. Am I thinking of buying in Iskandar? My next property is most probably in Kepong, a secondary one, for rental. However, for those who kept saying that Iskandar is too overpriced, all the Johoreans cannot afford and that everything seems to be in millions and millions, let me honestly tell you that it is not true. Based on today’s search result, a casual search for 2 storey terrace houses which would cost you a bomb here in Kuala Lumpur or Petaling Jaya is still less than RM400,000 in Johor. I used PropertyGuru but you would easily have similar results even if you used iProperty. It is very true that the newer launches, for primary ones are pushing the limits. It is also true that RM700psf seems pretty common for primary property launches. It is also true that the demand has slowed down due to some uncertainties in the market and most recently, the VEP. However, to simply say that Johor is becoming way too expensive is totally untrue.

terrace housesMy personal opinion about VEP is simple, it will not affect the long term demand as long as everything planned comes to fruition. The new theme parks, all the educational institutions, the links between Iskandar and Singapore and all the new and modern industrial parks. If we always think that Singapore has a better planning, be informed that Singapore intends to have 6 million population from current 5.4 million. That’s an additional 600,000 new people. If you think that’s due to babies, think again. Majority would be new people from everywhere, including Malaysia. These 600,000 new population cannot all be staying within Singapore. If they do and we do a projection of 5 to 1 small HDB flat, another 120,000 small HDB flats are needed within the next 6 years. If I remember correctly, 20,000 new units are built on a yearly basis in Singapore. In other words, catering to this growth would meant every single unit planned must be built. This has yet to include the demand from the current population in Singapore.

Of course, there is a possibility that Singapore’s plans may fail. There is also a possibility that all the investments promised in Iskandar may not come in. The High Speed Rail reaches a negotiation deadlock. There is so any other possibilities that everyone can think of and as they say, whatever can go wrong may go wrong? Sorry, if you think I am telling you to buy Iskandar, I AM NOT. I do not even have a plan yet. However, if you may have a totally different perception and understanding, it’s really time for you to read more, even if you don’t want to read the publications in Malaysia, then read those from outside Malaysia. Investments are all about knowledge first, action later. Some people told me that East Malaysia is worth a look. I tell them, as long as you have read sufficiently and you think the risks are already calculated well, anywhere is worth investing. Otherwise, you may be those who bought, lost money and kept quiet and kept on telling people property is a bad investment.

written on 19 Aug 2014

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5 thoughts on “Nothing in Iskandar yet for me but does not mean it’s NOTHING to me.”

  1. Buying in Iskandar now is akin to playing green field. Allow me to use oil&gas terminology to explain Iskandar. In oil & gas, all oil companies from majors such as Exxon to minor such as Hess are always searching for exploration play. That means no oil is confirmed & there are hoping to open up a whole new play in that area. This is call green field. Companies that invest into fields that are already producing (e.g. 30k barrel of oil per day) usually does that to get cashflow. This is a method of sustaining the company if you dont have a huge warchest of cash behind you. Despite the high production rate the field is producing, company has to pay a high premium to get a stake in that field. This is brown field play. Based on this business concept, as a property investor, are you playing the green/brown field? In my opinion, Iskandar is a green field & very close to turning brown (in the next 5 years). As soon as the industry/rentals/workers/business/mrt/etc starts kicking (they are already in Iskandar btw), you will not be able to catch it quick enough. Of course, a very good investor might be able to buy it just before it fly & that is the most efficient way. Just dont miss that boat as many are already earning from Iskandar. That said, be careful where you buy in Johor as well as it is very big & not everywhere will boom.

    • Good Metaphor Lex. It also meant to say that if Iskandar today is already a brownfield, who are we to play in there?

      The whole Iskandar development is a 20 years project, and it’s entering its 10th year. So half complete, half way to go. You can see something already, unlike 5 years ago where you are not even sure if the Govt is not going to change their mind suddenly. You know-lah, like Bkt Beruntung hor.

      For anyone who want to go into Iskandar, very simple only. Buy something not very expensive and confirm can rent out 1. Of cos, to do this, have to have good transportation network la. No need very nice or very impressive as those will be expensive.

      As long as you can hold it (by renting out), you are safe.

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