property market does not have a clear direction due to the threat of
war in Iraq according to Goh Tian Sui, the deputy Managing Director
of CH Williams Talhar and Wong (WTW). People are generally looking
for bargains and they are more cautious on spending, adopting a
“wait and see” attitude. This is because war is not necessary bad
news for the property market as it could create opportunities to
purchase properties at a bargain.
five sectors – office, retail, residential, industrial and
hospitality & leisure – only the residential market is facing an
upswing. Low and medium cost houses are in demand, coupled with
attractive offers by banks such as low interest rates and attractive
payment terms have helped to improve the market condition.
Overall, the office market
in Ipoh is performing badly with a surplus of supply compared to
demand. The most famous choice for office location is the Greentown
Business Centre due to its strategic location of being surrounded
by various government departments that include the Federal Building,
KWSP Building, City Council, hotels and security firms. Many
corporations and business owners have shifted their office from
Ipoh’s old town to the Greentown Business Centre causing the rental
value of the latter to suffer substantially.
Compared to the year 2002, the retail market in Ipoh is stable with
established shopping complexes such as Kinta City and Ipoh Parade
enjoying almost full occupany, 100% and 80% respectively. There was
no major project completed since the Pengkalan Emas Mall located
along Jalan Pasir Puteh in 2001. The popularity of a retail centre
depends largely on the presence of anchor tenants or a good tenant
mix and most of such buildings has an average occupancy rate of 70%.
The most badly affected sector in the Perak is the industrial market
with both demand and supply at a low end. Prices for industrial
properties are expected to remain stable in the more established
areas such as Silibin and Menglembu while other lesser known
locations will suffer from a downward trend.
As for the hospitality and
leisure sector, performance is mediocre with famous tourist
destinations such as Pangkor Island and Lumut enjoying only modest
occupancy rate. Tourists prefer to stay in economy hotels with room
rates ranging from RM50 to RM70 per night. There are currently no
plans for any expansion of existing hotels or new hotels being built
Unless the Perak state government gets involved and takes the
necessary action to attract investors, the property market condition
will remain static without any improvement.