THE Tebrau and Skudai corridors are two “hot” growth areas in Johor Baru where about 30 on-going and soon-to-be-launched housing projects are located.
Why have they become the top choice among developers and house buyers?
Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) Johor branch chairman Steven Shum and KGV-Lambert Smith Hampton (Johor) Sdn Bhd director Samuel Tan Wee Cheng offer their views:
Looking at the number of advertisements in the newspapers on new property projects here, one knows that Tebrau is hot with developments. Tebrau has not only attracted Johor-based developers but also several property players from Kuala Lumpur.
There are about 20 on-going housing projects undertaken by public-listed companies and another half by private developers mostly from Johor.
With over 3,237.48ha land area divided into smallholding units by different landowners, Tebrau will see busy years ahead in property development activities.
There are three categories of landowners here: landowners who sold their land for cash; developers who bought land and need to develop them fast to avoid holding cost and private landowners who are likely to develop their land on a joint-venture basis with developers with strong financial backing.Tebrau is favoured by developers and property buyers because of its good location and is the last remaining piece of land near Johor Baru slated for development.
On-going road infrastructure projects such as the Senai-Desaru Highway, Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL) and the upgrading of Pandan-Tebrau cross-junction into an elevated junction will add value to the area. The Tebrau Highway’s infamous daily traffic crawl will be a thing of the past when EDL and Pandan-Tebrau cross-junction projects are completed in two years.
By then, motorists travelling from the city centre and Singapore are likely to travel smoothly as the EDL will pass the Tebrau Highway and connect at the Pandan-Tebrau junction.
Easy accessibility will be a main factor attracting potential house buyers especially those working in the city or Singapore.
Competition is expected to become more intense here and developers will have to come out with the right products and right pricing in order to attract buyers.
Most of the players are from Kuala Lumpur who have successfully introduced their products in the Klang Valley and want to repeat their success stories here.
Architectural styles and designs such as straight line, internal courtyard, and cluster houses and generous use of glass panels are making an impact in Johor Baru.
Previously, property buyers in Johor Baru did not have much choice when it comes to home designs but it changes with the presence of Kuala Lumpur-based developers.
These developers know that the second generation of house buyers in Johor Baru is willing to pay more for better-designed houses but did not have much choice.
In the long run, it is good for the Johor Baru property sector as it will increase the quality of houses and enhance their value in the market.
It is divided into two corridors from the state police headquarters to the Pandan interchange and stretches from Johor Jaya interchange to Ulu Tiram.
The first corridor is considered as the first generation for housing projects which dated back in the 70s and 80s and many of the estates still remain until today.
The second phase of development took place in the 90s concentrating in the up north of Tebrau highway as there is no much land left in the first corridor.
With over 8099.712 ha land area, Tebrau is expected to be busy with development activities within the next 10 to 20 years from now.
There are many big housing and commercial projects coming up in the second corridor of Tebrau and that is why the area is hot with competition. Presently, there are about 20 housing projects taking place in the area with an equal number of players from the state and outside especially Kuala Lumpur.
Prior to this, Kuala Lumpur developers are not keen to come to Tebrau, as they were not familiar with the crowds here but later realise the potential.
Johorean house buyers prefer dealing with Johor-based developers, thus making it quite difficult for the non-Johor companies to enter the market.
This is especially obvious among the first generation of house buyers but the trend slowly changing in the 90s when non-Johor developers started to coming in.
Loyalty is no longer the order of the day and the second generation of Johorean house buyers is more interested in getting quality homes at affordable pricing.
With the influx of Malaysians from other states coming to Johor Baru and Singapore to work, developers from outside Johor take advantage of the situation.
Projects by developers from the Klang Valley area such as SP Setia Bhd, Mah Sing Bhd, Plenitude holdings Bhd and UM Land receive an overwhelming response.
Each development caters to its own niche market, there will be a little bit of competition when it comes to buying houses especially among first time buyers.
Tebrau can be considered as the first area that saw the introduction of many innovative and creative houses by developers. This is something new in Johor Baru. The trend was started by several Kuala Lumpur-based developers who knew that house buyers in Johor Baru wanted more than just houses. Buyers especially up-graders are willing to pay more for houses that are different from the usual types.
Residents in the pioneer housing schemes in the Tebrau area planning to upgrade will probably choose Tebrau projects.
They are not willing to move outside Tebrau as the area is conveniently located with ready infrastructures and facilities.
The upgrading of Pandan-Tebrau-Pasir Gudang junction into an elevated junction and the EDL highway will make travelling smoother. The on-going RM1.7bil Senai-Desaru Highway will also boost the development activities in Ulu Tiram which was shunned by many because of its location.
On the average, new single-storey houses in Tebrau are priced between RM130,000 to RM200,000, double-storey (RM160,000 to RM200, 000), double-storey semi-detached
(RM300,000 to RM470,000) and bungalows from RM500,000 to RM700,000.
The area is poised for better growth in the near future in view of its location as part of the Southwest Johor development corridor.
Southwest Johor has been earmarked as the new growth centre for the state and will be developed into one of the leading integrated service hubs in the region.
The Federal Government has recognised the importance of the Southwest Johor development not only for the state but also Malaysia. The Government will provide financial assistance to the state for the construction of new infrastructures and the upgrading and rehabilitating of existing facilities.
The Federal and Johor state governments together with local and international private companies will be involve in multi-billion ringgit development activities.
Southwest Johor covers a vast area stretching from the Johor Baru city centre to Senai Airport, Port of Tanjung Pelepas, Gelang Patah, Skudai and Tampoi.
Development activities will keep the area busy for the next five to seven years and upon completion, Southwest Johor will offer a wide range of services. These include entertainment, recreation, financial, health, hospitality, education, sports, logistic and transportation combining rail, sea, air and land. The state government’s new administrative centre will also move from Bukit Timbalan in the city centre to Bandar Nusajaya. Named Johor Perdana, the centre will house Federal and state agencies and departments operating in Bukit Timbalan and Jalan Ayer Molek.
Skudai is a mature area for housing schemes with 500,000 residents and most of the estates here have been around for more than 30 years.
The area is also favoured by Singaporean house buyers because of its proximity to the causeway and the second crossing.
With Southwest Johor development projects taking place soon, Skudai will definitely benefit from the spill over of the development activities. Demand for new and second-hand residential properties, commercial and industrial buildings is expected to increase to cater to the booming period.
Demand for houses in the area is going to grow as the area will benefit from the spill over of developments in Bandar Nusajaya.
The 9,307.76ha integrated township project in the southwest of Johor Baru has been earmarked as a catalyst of growth. The southwest corridor will be turned into a leading service hub centre in the region offering a wide range of services.
The area will also be turned into a logistic hub combining the seaport, airport, double railway tracks and highways services. The southwest development project is targeting at attracting international companies and service operators to set up operations here.
In fact, several international companies have set up or committed to set up their manufacturing operations in the Port of Tanjung Pelepas in Gelang Patah.
Bandar Nusajaya’s proximity to Singapore via the second crossing can attract companies there to relocate their operations here.
Skudai remains a favourite place among Singaporean house buyers and with the area receiving a boost from the southwest Johor project, it will increase its popularity.
Property values in Skudai have risen between 20% and 30% in the past 10 years and developers have no problems selling their houses here. Demand for houses in these areas is expected to increase not only to house government employees but also from the private sector involved in the development.
The Johor state administrative centre will be moved from its present location in Bukit Timbalan near the city centre to Bandar Nusajaya.The new centre will boost activities in the surrounding areas.