Good time to buy homes in Seberang Perai, says expert

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Henry Butcher’s Seberang Perai senior manager Fook Tone Huat unveils the company’s Residential and Industrial Property Market Outlook 2020 today.

GEORGE TOWN: Those planning to buy homes in Penang should take a look in Seberang Perai as property prices there are said to have dropped by 5% to 10% this year.

According to Fook Tone Huat of property consultancy Henry Butcher (HB), the decline in prices was caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and “flattish” demand.

“Some have predicted that overall prices of homes in Seberang Perai would go down by 30% to 40%. I doubt that would ever happen,” he said.

“But a drop of 5% to 10% can be expected for new and secondary market homes during the Covid-19 period. In my opinion, it is a good time to buy a property in Seberang Perai, given the other incentives.”

Fook, who is HB’s Seberang Perai branch senior manager, said this when unveiling the company’s Residential and Industrial Property Market Outlook 2020 online today.

He said the government’s stimulus packages, homeownership campaigns and exemption of capital gains tax also presented a good opportunity to buy homes at affordable prices.

Popular choices of properties purchased on the mainland were one and two-storey houses, followed by apartments and semi-detached houses.

The central Seberang Perai district, where the Penang Bridge is located, had the highest demand for homes at 43%, followed by North Seberang Perai (29%) and South Seberang Perai (27%), he said.

Fook said areas with active transactions were the townships of Seberang Jaya, Bukit Mertajam, Bukit Tengah, Alma, Bertam, Bandar Tasek Mutiara and Simpang Ampat.

Unsold homes increased marginally to 964 units in the first quarter of the year compared with 961 in the previous corresponding period. Most of them were apartments, followed by terraced and semi-detached homes.

Fook said the prices of landed properties were likely to stay “resilient”, especially those priced above RM300,000.

He said the government should consider allowing Hong Kong nationals to apply for the Malaysia My Second Home scheme as many were keen on migrating to the state. The scheme, which is currently on hold, should be reopened to boost the property market.

Fook also said the total number of residential property transactions in Seberang Perai had dropped about 4% in the first quarter of the year compared with the same period last year.

However, the value of transactions was up by 6.5% in the quarter compared with the same period in 2019 as the prices of properties had gone up slightly in certain areas.

Seberang Perai needs more industrial land

Separately, HB’s Seberang Perai sales and marketing manager Teh Fong Yun said the sales of industrial land in Seberang Perai had risen in the first quarter compared with the same period last year.

With increasing foreign investment in the industrial area, the value of transactions had jumped 103% while the volume had gone up by 1%, he said.

Teh said it was time the Penang government made available more industrial land on the mainland to keep up with surging interest from foreign investors.

He said at least 800ha of industrial land were needed to cater to the demand.

He also said Pulau Jerejak and the islets of Pulau Aman and Pulau Gedung near the second bridge should be developed into a world-class residential resort, similar to Singapore’s Sentosa Island.

“A light rail transit should be built to link Penang and Seberang Perai in five years’ time so as to ease traffic congestion,” he added.