Image from scientex.com.my – Durian Tunggal Sales Gallery
The property developer, Scientex Bhd. has plans on board to build 50,000 affordable residential units throughout the country by 2028. They intend to build homes that are not only affordable but also high in quality.
The Managing Director, Lim Peng Jin said the goal is in line with Scientex’s commitment in building properties in Melaka that focuses on affordable homes.
In recent years, its subsidiary Scientex Heights Sdn Bhd launched 116 units of double-storey terraced house in Durian Tunggal, Alor Gajah under the program Rumah Mampu Milik Melaka (RMM) to serve high demands in the market for such type of affordable homes.
Lim said that as the pre-launch take-up rate remains strong, Scientex is now looking into launching the next phase in Durian Tunggal which will involve 104 double-storey houses. This phase will be introduced to the market once it secured approvals from the authority.
To date, Scientex has completed close to 16,400 affordable homes under RM500,000 throughout the country – where 70% of them are units below RM200,000.
Scientex in Johor
Scientex’s developments are not only successful in Melaka but also in Kulai, Johor. Taman Scientex Kulai, comprising of freehold semi-detached and terraced houses, falls under the RM500,000-and-below price range.
The terraced house has a median price of RM190,000 (RM198 per square foot) with built-up areas ranging from 870 sq.ft. to 1,500 sq.ft. Whereas for the semi-detached units, the median price sits at RM415,500 (RM150 psf.) with one standard size of 1,862 sq. ft.
The market for the terraced house was primarily active in 2013 and 2014 with 212 and 172 transactions respectively. The property value shows positive increase with steady growth over the years as well.
With its good track record and quality developments, Scientex Bhd. seems to be able to effectively deliver its objective in providing affordable homes across Malaysia. Being receptive to the market demand is very crucial nowadays as Malaysia is facing serious property overhang issue – the highest to be ever recorded in the country.
What does affordability mean to Johoreans?
The National House Buyers Association (HBA) secretary general, Chang Kim Loong, said in an interview with FMT that “an affordable house should not cost more than 3 times a borrower’s annual house income.”
Chang told FMT that this benchmark had been endorsed by the World Bank and the United Nations, as well as Bank Negara Malaysia and Khazanah Research Institute.
In a report released by the Department of Statistics Malaysia, the median household income of Malaysians has increased to RM5,228 – 6.6% per year from 2014 to 2016.
Whereas for Johoreans, median household income increased by 4% per year – from RM5,197 in 2014 to RM5,652 in 2016. Affordable homes in Taman Scientex Kulai cost around RM200,000 to RM420,000 based on data of past transactions.
According to the benchmark mentioned by Chang, if we multiply RM5,652 by 12 months and then multiply this by 3, affordable homes should cost around RM203,472. A price higher than this would be “realistically unaffordable”.
So, do affordable homes in Johor like those in Taman Scientex Kulai really do its name justice? The price is up to the brim but we would say yes, especially if you belong in the M40 group (median monthly household income of RM5000 – RM6000). Bumiputra rebates and other offers might also help along the way.
**The RM5,652-median income was in 2016. With an average of 4% increase per year, it could have risen to RM6,104 in 2018. If the affordable homes market has been able to stabilise its price, the outlook should be more promising this year.
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