Penang Property Market H1 2009

The property market performance moderated in H1 2009. A total of 10,803 transactions with a total value of RM2.99 billion were recorded in the review period. The volume of transactions recorded a slight increase of 3.8% over H1 2008 but value of transactions declined by 16.6%. On the other hand, compared to H2 2008, downtrend was evident as both volume and value of transactions contracted by 9.3% and 19.2% respectively. The residential sub-sector dominated the market activity, capturing 2.1% of the market share, followed by the commercial sub-sector with 11.0% share.

Movements across the sub-sectors were on the downtrend with few exceptions. Against H1 2008, the residential, development land and agricultural sub-sectors sustained its health by registering increases of 5.6%, 6.2% and 2.0% respectively. Other sub-sectors recorded otherwise. However, compared to H2 2008, the residential succumbed to a decline of 12.6% along with commercial and industrial subsectors, down by 16.3% and 36.0% respectively. The development land and agricultural subsectors persevered with expansions of 41.6% and 15.6% respectively.

Several major sales were recorded in the year including three purpose-built office buildings, two multi-storey carparks and two hotels. The office buildings involved a five-storey former CIMB Building in Lebuh Pantai, MBSB Building in Jalan Penang as well as Asia Insurance Building in Lebuh China with a combined worth of RM10.18 million. The former two buildings were transferred in 2009 whilst the latter dated in November 2008. The two multistorey carparks transactions, dated last year, were recorded in Kompleks Bukit Jambul and Megamall Pinang in Seberang Perai. In the hotel sub-sector, the sale of Kowloon Hotel in Jalan Transfer and a share transfer of Mingood Hotel in Jalan Argyll were recorded. Both were transferred in the review period.

Prices of residential property were generally stable with uptrend recorded in established schemes. On the island, prices of single storey terrace in Fettes Park, Bandar Bayan Baru and Taman Saw Kit charted good gains of 4.4% to 21.4%, fetching as high as RM430,000. Double storey terrace in Island Glades remained firm at RM450,000 to RM635,000 whilst those in Island Park fetched a higher range of RM516,000 to RM638,000, up by 11.6%. In Seberang Perai, upward movements were noted for single storey terrace in selected schemes, up by 3.8% to 13.9%. Double storey terraces in Taman Bagan Lallang, Taman Dedap Indah, Taman Chai Leng and Taman Perpaduan commanded favourable prices between RM268,000 and RM310,000. Increases were registered in Taman Bagan Ajam and Taman Jawi Jaya, up by 13.0% and 6.1% respectively. Prices of high-rise units were largely promising with few exceptions. Bayan Baru PDC Flats saw a 5.7% increase whilst Jade View and Taman Jubilee were up by a higher 9.3% and 14.7% respectively. Amongst the apartments that recorded gains included E-Park, Sunny Ville and Taman Angsana, up by 3.8% to 11.0%. Contrarily, prices of apartments in Ferringhi Emas Resort and University Heights were down by 4.1% and 2.2% respectively.

The residential rental market generally observed stable trend with increases noted mainly for terraced houses. On the other hand, high-rise units recorded otherwise. Single storey terrace in the renowned Island Glades/Island Park firmed at RM650 to RM900 per month. Similar houses in Fettes Park, Green Garden, Taman Concord, Bayan Baru and Taman Sri Nibong charted gains of 6.3% to 12.5%. Double storey terrace in Island Glades/Island Park commanded a high RM850 to RM1,300 per month, up by 8.3%. In Seberang Perai, prices of terraced houses were also on the increase, up by 2.5% to 9.4%. Conversely, flats and apartments saw declines of 2.1% to as high as 23.5% across the districts. Substantial declines of 23.5% and 18.5% were recorded in Taman Pelangi and Mutiara Aseania respectively.

In the shop sub-sector, prices were stable with few exceptions. The shifting of the public market into the locality spruced up demand for double storey shops in Taman Cermai, and drove up prices by 9.1%. Similarly, three storey shops in the hype Bandar Sunway enjoyed an increase of 14.7% attributed to the opening of Sunway Carnival Mall in the vicinity. The rental market was equally stable. Rentals of ground floor shops in Autocity in Seberang Perai Tengah topped the list, commanding as high as RM14,677 per month.

The number of new launches grew from 711 units in H2 2008 to 1,097 units. However, market response was way lower than expected, with an overall sales performance of 14.3%, the second lowest in the country. More than 73.6% comprised high-rise residential units, made up of condominiums/apartments (448 units) and flats (360 units).

The residential overhang in the state was increasing though the numbers remained manageable. There were 493 units of residential overhang worth RM125.46 million as at end-June 2009, up by 2.3% and 15.0% in volume and value respectively. The bulk of these overhang comprised two to three storey terraces. Conversely, the unsold under construction dropped marginally from 1,406 units (H2 2008) to 1,402 units in H1 2009, down by 0.3%. The unsold not constructed stagnated at 79 units.

The overhang and unsold situation in the shop and industrial sub-sectors were insignificant. The state has 60 units of shops overhang as at end-June 2009 worth RM18.67 million. There were another 62 units in the unsold under construction category. The overhang numbers in the industrial sub-sector were even smaller with 25 units worth RM6.34 million, down 28.6% and 34.5% in volume and value respectively over H2 2008. The state had another 64 unsold under construction units. Both sub-sectors did not witness any unsold in the not constructed category.

The state’s retail market was injected with another 70,130 s.m. new spaces in H1 2009, from three newly completed shopping complexes. These included Penang Times Square in Georgetown, Dipiazza Mall in Bayan Baru and Sunshine Farlim Shopping Mall in Air Itam. The overall occupancy rate managed to level at 68.9%, slightly lower than 69.6% recorded in H2 2008 as market required more time to absorb the new spaces. Take-up recorded a good growth of 50,043 s.m. though lower than 73,759 s.m. in H2 2008.

In the office sub-sector, two new entrants were recorded, which were No. 278, Lebuh Victoria and Kompleks Mahkamah in Lebuh Light. Both offered a combined space of 21,285 s.m. In contrast to the retail sub-sector’s performance, the overall occupancy of purpose-built office buildings firmed at 76.2%, up from 75.5% recorded in H2 2008 as take-up continued to grow at 17,562 s.m.

In tandem with the decline in tourist arrivals from 242,425 to 199,932, down by 17.5%, the leisure sub-sector was also on the same trend. The three to five star hotels recorded a decline in the overall occupancy rate from 61.2% (H1 2008), 59.3% (H2 2008) to 52.2% (H1 2009) in spite of the fact that Georgetown was listed by UNESCO as one of the World’s Heritage Sites.

Construction activities were quite active across the sub-sectors. Residential, shop and industrial sub-sectors recorded more completions and starts. However, only residential and shop subsectors recorded more new planned supply whilst industrial sub-sector recorded otherwise. In the retail scene, three new completions were recorded in H1 2009. Given the occupancy status of the shopping complexes in the state, it was a relief that starts and new planned supply were nil. On the other hand, the office sub-sector recorded two new completions and one new planned supply. No office building commenced construction in H1 2009. View Full Report

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