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Singaporeans have lost interest with Johor property?

I saw this article in TheStar: Waning Singaporean interest in Johor property market  The article quoted a few Singaporeans who bought properties in Johor a few years ago. One said he was getting a lot more space and value for his money. However, he has regretted the decision because of the daily crawl into Singapore every working day. (Now, hopefully everyone realises that my support for Rail Transit System (RTS) instead of HSR KL – SG for the benefit of JB property market is a correct one. Here’s that earlier article: Outlook in Iskandar? RTS helps a lot  Do we now see the opportunity if the connection becomes a reality?)
Another person mentioned in the article said this, “Investing in an overseas market is riddled with challenges – asset management, forex, taxation, familiarity of environment.” (Good reasons indeed. That’s why it’s much more advantageous to buy in JB versus some other countries. Even when there’s a crawl, that property is just 1-2 hours away and not many hours of flight away.)   Another source who declined to be named said that the interest in Johor peaked in 2013. The reason was because of interest-bearing schemes, or deferred payment schemes which were later banned in 2014. (Seriously, I am happy that the interest waned if this was the reason. Sorry yeah, speculators, you can continue speculating elsewhere lah. As for the Malaysian property market, I prefer for it to go up very slowly.) It was also mentioned in the article that a Singapore Cabinet minister cautioned Singaporeans against investing too aggressively in Johor in 2015. (Very good advise that Singapore Cabinet Minister.)
Then, the same reason was mentioned. “The worsening traffic congestion at the two land crossings in Woodlands and Tuas has also put off many Singaporeans from buying and living in Johor.” This was what Cushman & Wakefield Singapore’s senior director and head of research Christine Li: “A better Singapore housing market has put the investment spotlight back to the home market. Johor Baru properties are also competing with those in Bangkok and Cambodia.” (Haha… competing with Bangkok and Cambodia… I hope Singaporeans could have the opportunity to compare as many property markets as possible before they invest. No harm and perhaps better too.)  Please do read the article. There’s even a bullish comment at the end. This was what he said, “A strong and stable Malaysia is good for Singapore, as we ride on and benefit from each other’s strength. Its the same argument for a strong and stable China. Big countries are like the tides. When the tide goes up Singapore moves up and when the tide comes down, we come down. This is the reality of today’s social and economic dynamics. Countries big or small are interconnected.” Here’s that article: Waning Singaporean interest in Johor properties
By the way, here’s that request from the Johor state government to the federal government. ‘Please start the JB – Singapore RTS by mid 2019.  Maybe we really do not have to say too much. Maybe it’s just whether the RTS starts earlier or later. By the way, I seriously think the interest from Singaporeans on JB properties are not that high when compared to these two other groups. The ‘higher interest’ would definitely be coming from Malaysians working and staying in the SMALLEST room in a HDB flat currently and paying S$700 (RM2,100) for it every month. The reason for them staying there is definitely not because they love the small room but the convenience of going to work on time. It will also come from Malaysians in JB because when the RTS starts, the rental market for non-Johorean Malaysians working in Singapore would also start increasing too. Hopefully, the Johoreans are the ones buying first instead of the KLites who are already seasoned property investors. Happy believing.
written on 12 Aug 2018
Next suggested article: RTS gets in-principle approval. 10,000 travellers in one direction / hour.

Property Investment always start with knowledge. Equip ourselves with more here.

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.

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