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Penang's second bridge boosts land prices


The second Penang bridge will be open to traffic next month

The second Penang bridge will be open to traffic next month

GEORGE TOWN: Penang’s property prices have risen by quite a bit since the mid-2000s although the appreciation in prices has been limited to several popular locations on Penang island, particularly George Town.

However, since the second bridge project was announced in 2007, vacant land prices on both ends of the bridge, which connects Batu Maung on the island and Batu Kawan in southern Seberang Prai, have jumped.

Raine & Horne Malaysia director Michael Geh told StarBiz the price of vacant land in Batu Maung on the island which had increased to RM250-RM300 per sq ft from RM50-RM60 per sq ft. The 24km-long bridge, which is the longest in South-East Asia, has been scheduled for opening next month. Geh pointed out that the pricing depended on whether the land had been zoned for agriculture, commercial or residential usage.

“In Seberang Prai, prices of vacant land hover at RM50-RM60 per sq ft, compared to RM8-RM9 per sq ft prior to the announcement of the second link project.

“The price of vacant land has appreciated 500% on the island and about 700% in Seberang Prai,” he said.

For landed properties, new two- to three-storey terrace houses now cost from RM1.2mil south of the island, compared with about RM450,000 prior to the announcement.

“The new condominiums in similar locations are now priced at RM700,000-RM800,000, compared to RM250,000-RM300,000 prior to the announcement,” Geh said.

Geh said there would be more housing projects planned for Seberang Prai in view of the Ikea project to be developed in Batu Kawan and a mixture of commercial and residential properties.

He noted that with the island getting saturated, developers and investors would take more interest in building or acquiring properties in Seberang Prai especially since new housing regulations for the island to take effect on Feb 1 would restrict the sales of properties priced below RM400,000 for a period of five years and if disposed within the period, can only be sold to a state government approved list of first-time buyers.

In Seberang Prai, the same restriction applies to residential properties priced at RM250,000 and below.

According to Malaysia Institute of Estate Agents (Penang) chairman Mark Saw, the locations in Seberang Prai which could be considered hotspots due to their proximity to the first and second bridges were Bukit Tambun, Juru, and Simpang Ampat.

“Cheaper land cost and property prices will spur the pace of development in Seberang Prai.

“Gated landed projects with lifestyle facilities will be the trend in Seberang Prai.

“On the island, we have already seen the full impact of the second bridge on property prices, as Penang and Kuala Lumpur-based developers and property buyers have already invested substantially near the second link,” he said.

Saw said that in the first half of the year, Penang’s property market would cool off before picking up again in the second half.

Meanwhile, Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Penang) chairman Datuk Jerry Chan said should land prices in Seberang Prai grow at the current pace, developers may be pressured to build more high-rise properties.

   

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