Property investment a solid bet

It provides a hedge against inflation caused by economic slowdown

The deepening financial crisis is making property investment a more attractive option, Fiabci vice-president for marketing and networking Michael Geh said.

He said there was going to be a shift of investment money in the coming years from the traditional financial products like bank deposits to property, which was deemed more solid.

“Income-bearing properties is the hedge against inflation that comes with an economic downturn,” he added.

Geh was speaking at a one-day forum by MIEA Penang chapter held in conjunction with the official visit of a 50-member delegation from North Sumatra Real Estate Indonesia (REI) headed by its chairman Rusmin Lawin to Penang on Saturday.

Penang chapter chairman Danny Ooi said MIEA was embarking on an initiative to assist its members to be actively involved in international marketing to tide over the impending difficult times brought about by the global economic slowdown.

“We want to encourage our members to be involved in promoting international marketing. It is our ability to adapt to the challenges ahead that is crucial to help us remain competitive,” he said.

Ooi said the REI inaugural visit would enhance on the working ties and cooperation established under the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) and upgrade the quality of professional services provided by estate agents in their respective countries.

Both MIEA and REI signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore areas of cooperation and collaboration and foster inter-regional ties.

Ooi signed on behalf of MIEA Penang chapter while Rusmin for REI.

The signing was witnessed by MIEA president Soma Sundaram, Penang Fiabci chairman Datuk Khor Teng Tong, REI secretary Jafar S. Ritonga and REHDA Penang chairman Datuk Jerry Chan.

Rusmin, in his remarks, stressed on the importance of networking and exploring other markets during difficult times.

He said the Indonesians were particularly keen to learn from the success of Malaysia My Second Home or MM2H programme and Penang as the top choice destination.

“We are interested in how Penang is promoted to the international market.

“We also hope for some business matching and sharing of experience from this meeting,” Rusmin said, when presenting on the topic "New trend and opportunities in North Sumatera".

Later, delegation members were briefed during their visits to several project sites such as the Paragon by Hunza, Tanjung Sri Pinang (E&O) and Hillside Homes (Asia Green).

On a separate matter, Ooi advised house buyers to be wary of illegal estate agents.

He said there had been many instances of buyers being cheated of their deposits and receiving substandard services.

He said it was an offence to act as an illegal estate agent without accreditation and punishable with a three-year jail sentence, or RM25,000 fine or both, and a further fine of RM500 each day levied for subsequent offences.

By The Star

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