Return of Market Confidence in Iskandar Malaysia


With a registration of interest from 1,500 applicants, Serimbun’s launch by UEM Sunrise is a breath of fresh air amid an otherwise muted property market

The property market in Iskandar Malaysia is receiving yet another boost following the recent announcement that the Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link connecting Singapore and Johor Bahru is expected to commence service by 2024.

This time round, the master planner for Iskandar Puteri, UEM Sunrise, has launched Serimbun located just adjacent to the matured Bukit Indah township area and easily accessible via the Second Link Expressway and the Coastal Highway.

The Serimbun development, which sits on a 23.735-acres freehold footprint, commands a Gross Development Value (“GDV”) of approximately RM139.3 million.

A breath of fresh air from a local player

Serimbun’s launch is a breath of fresh air that will hopefully restore investors’ confidence in Iskandar Malaysia.

Over the past few years, the market dynamics have changed considerably as Chinese developers started to acquire land parcels and build units by the thousands.

According to a recent study by Singapore-based ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, Johor has the second largest stock of residential units in Malaysia with a total of 1,017,298 units, trailing just behind Selangor for 2016.

In addition, Johor’s stock in serviced apartments at 116,106 units will closely resemble that of Kuala Lumpur at 116,356 units.

This, coupled with a launch pricing that is geared towards the medium to high-end market, has created fear among both local and Singaporeans investors that they might induce price volatility in a market which is already experiencing an oversupply.

Indeed, certain parts of Iskandar Malaysia are already experiencing this.

In Danga Bay, for instance, where there are a few developments by Chinese developers, a newly completed 1,800 sq ft condominium at Tropez Residence was auctioned off at RM395 per sq ft in 2016.

In comparison, the units there were selling for around RM1,000 per sq ft at the peak of the market.

This suggests that the property market there is not sustainable.

Right product and right pricing

On the other hand, UEM Sunrise has a track record in master planning Iskandar Puteri from scratch and is known to build according to market demand. Serimbun, for instance, appears to be the right product with the right pricing.

This low-density development comprises just nine units per acre with a total of 215 residential units that are slated for completion in 2020.
According to UEM Sunrise, homebuyers can choose from two design options with built-ups ranging from 1,993 sq ft to 2,117 sq ft. The double-storey houses are priced between RM630,000 to RM1,443,000, and comes with four bedrooms and three bathrooms.
This works out to a price range of RM315 to RM681 per sq ft.
In comparison, a landed 1,800 sq ft intermediate double story unit in the vicinity has an asking price of RM404 per sq ft.
Given its product type and pricing, Serimbun is reasonably priced for both local upgraders and Singaporeans.

“We target a fair mix of purchasers and we are confident that potential homebuyers will find a place they can call home at Serimbun. With a strong registration rate that we have seen so far, we are in full anticipation of positive take-up,” said Dato’ Roslan Ibrahim, Chief Operating Officer of UEM Sunrise.

UEM Sunrise said since the launch, it has received strong and growing interest from homebuyers for Serimbun with at least 1,500 registrations received to date.

While the take-up rate has yet to be revealed, the strong registrations received suggests that the property market here is sustainable driven by genuine demand from both Johorians and Singaporeans.

This coupled with its close proximity to the mature township of Bukit Indah makes it even more attractive for homebuyers.