Budget 2012 Boost to Property and Construction Sectors

The RM232.8bil budget tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Oct 7 was formulated with the theme National Transformation Policy: Welfare for the rakyat; well-being of the nation”.

It aims to implement development plans such as projects and programmes under the Second Rolling Plan (RP2), National Key Economic Areas (NKEA), National Key Result Areas (NKRA) and Strategic Reform Initiatives (SRIs) focusing on the well-being of the general population and aiming at stimulating the domestic economy.

The Government is targeting GDP growth of between 5.5% and 6.0% for 2012. However, our external environment has become increasingly challenging with the economic slowdown in the United States, Europe and Japan, inflationary pressures due to rising commodity prices, and the European debt crisis.

The International Monetary Fund revised its projected world economic growth to 4% and world trade to 5.8%. The Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (Mier) has revised the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 4.6% this year compared with an earlier forecast of 5.2% due to slowing exports and weaker domestic demand stemming from a volatile global outlook.

Next year’s GDP has also been revised to 5% from 5.5%. In view of these challenges, it is critical that the Government implement measures to stimulate the domestic economy, both public and private investments.

The momentum for the construction industry is expected to accelerate with various projects to be implemented under Budget 2012. While contribution of the construction industry to GDP has always been small, it is projected to grow by 7% in 2012, the highest growth compared with all other sectors.

Its multiplier effect has always been large, involving 146 sub-sectors. Therefore, we expect the special stimulus package worth RM6bil for the construction industry to have positive effects on the economy. The construction projects announced by the Government will benefit not only big players but also the entire value chain including small players.

The RM40bil MRT project is expected to stimulate property development along the MRT line with some developers trying to take this advantage by building affordable homes in the suburbs near the MRT line. It was announced recently that Mah Sing has entered into a share sale agreement to acquire the entire stake in Semai Meranti Sdn Bhd, which is the beneficial owner of a piece of freehold development land (with development order) in Rawang, measuring 225.7 acres, at a total purchase consideration of RM92mil.

The land will be developed into a self-contained township named M Residence@Rawang, offering entry level homes priced from RM390,000. SP Setia has also recently announced its second land deal in the Semenyih-Kajang corridor buyinga 269.3ha site for RM381.26mil in Ulu Langat to be developed into a township with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM4bil.

The land is adjacent to its current development, the Beranang Land with an estimated RM3.5bil GDV. The site is about 13km south of Kajang town and homebuyers are expected to benefit from the proposed MRT station in Kajang. SP Setia plans to build affordable homes to cater to first time home buyers.

The Federal Government’s proposal to liberalise 17 services sub-sectors in phases next year has also received positive reactions from investors. This liberalisation will benefit private hospital services, medical and dental specialist services, engineering, accounting and taxation, and legal services. Looking at the real estate side, we expect more new township developers will include private hospitals and other medical services as part of their development components in their effort to create self-contained townships.

The implementation of main projects under RP2 such as Gemas-Johor Bahru double track rail project, Lebuhraya Pantai Timur Jabor-Kuala Terengganu, Lebuhraya Pantai Barat Banting-Taiping, Lebuhraya Segamat-Tangkak and Lebuhraya Central Spine as well as the construction of Kota Marudu-Ranau road will create greater accessibility to less developed areas in Malaysia, which will then spur development in these areas. – Star Property

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