We interviewed Ken Lim, founder of PenangPropertyTalk.com; one of the top 10 property websites in Penang. Find out his insights on properties and watch his webinar at the end of the interview to learn property investment.
Personal investment preference.
What are your personal investment strategies? Do you have a certain investing principles that you follow?
My personal strategies are very simple:
· Only invest in the area that you are familiar with
· Learn from gurus, but do not follow blindly.
· Trust your own instinct. If you have doubt, better don’t buy. There is always a better option out there.
“The Goods and Services Tax (GST) will only have an impact of between 0.5% and 2% on housing prices” quoted from GST Department Director. What is your personal view on the impact of GST through your experience in property market?
The number quoted by the GST department director is based on theory and best case scenario. But in actual project planning, it is not as simple as adding 2% to the final sale price. There are also many other factors and uncertainties associated with GST. Hence most developers will plan with more than 2% to mitigate their risk.
Anyway, I don’t think we will see a surge in residential housing prices after April 2015. Due to the fact that most of the housing development will last for 2-3 years, most of the developers must have already priced their project with GST in mind since last year.
On the other hand, it’s a different story for commercial development (including SOHO and serviced suites) because you will see GST as one of the line items.
Why do you choose to focus on properties in Penang?
Because I’m a Penangite and this is where I’m familiar with.
How do you think Penang Property Talk has helped people so far?
This is a forum where everyone can comment and share opinions on the projects they care about. The people also get to know first hand information about the latest development in Penang.
PenangPropertyTalk.com is also a very good platform for developers to hear feedback from the public on their projects.
How do you measure the success of Penang Property Talk?
At current moment, the increasing traffic over the years is the motivating factor. My intention is to cover more than 90% of the property development in Penang.
How do you see property market trend in Penang since there are 2 sides of Penang the island and the mainland?
Due to the escalating housing price in the island, the trends is definitely moving towards property in the mainland. Gated and guarded housing scheme is going to be the focus, but I foresee the landed property price in the mainland will soon out of reach for the middle income group.
This is because once the big players come in, they are likely to build on lifestyle and concept, which is likely pushing the landed property price in the mainland to the next level.
You highlighted the upcoming affordable housing projects in Penang. Do you think it will be a successful programme to cater low – middle income?
When we talk about affordable housing, some people still associate them with low cost and low medium cost unit. Many are also making assumption that it must be difficult to get a unit, but it is the fact that the application rate is actually very low.
I believed this will be a successful program if the state housing department can manage it well. Most importantly is to bring more awareness to the people and change their perception.
What makes Penang Property Talk different to others?
Here the three main reason that makes Penang Property Talk a better site:
1. PenangPropertyTalk.com is neither associated with a developer nor agency. So you can be assured there is no bias in our publication.
2. The most updated and engaged property portal.
3. Neat layout for easy reading
How do you source for information so that you can provide a valuable, accurate information to your readers/clients?
Most of the information published in PenangPropertyTalk.com came from our own research through news media, developers, real estate agencies and public websites.
To ensure the accuracy of the information, we usually double check with at least one of the following parties:
JPN (Jabatan Perumahan Negara)
JKT (Jabatan Kerajaan Tempatan)
Penang State Housing Department
However, it is always better to check with the developer directly for latest changes and updates.
What are the factors that you would like to highlight in buying/investing in a property in Penang?
Know the area and plan your investment/purchase objectively.
If you are buying for own stay, it’s really depends on individual preference. There is no right or wrong. But for sure school and work locations are few of the most important factors to be considered.
Overall, based on the market data, I don’t think Penang property price will drop soon. But don’t expect it to surge in short term either. It is now a good time to look for a bargain in secondary market.
If you are looking for a landed, the semi-detached at Barat Daya district (ex. Sungai Ara, Bayan Lepas and etc.) is relatively low. You can still find something below 2 million from the secondary market. Given the supply of semi-detach is low, the demand of such units is likely to increase as people are looking for upgrade in the next 2-3 years.
If you prefer a condo, look for a secondary unit with furnishing, in the area like Bayan Baru, Udini (e-Gate), The Light, Queensbay, Gurney, and Tanjung Tokong. You would have a higher chance to rent it out while waiting for the property to appreciate over the next 3-5 years.
What are the structure or ratio of residents in Penang in comparing expatriate to locals?
Sorry that I do not have any data about the ratio of expatriate to locals. In general, most expatriates prefer to stay in an area with easy access to malls so that they don’t have to drive. But of course, there are also a lot of expatriates prefer luxury living around Gurney and Tanjong Tokong.
Is Penang suitable for retirement?
Penang being a small state with nice beaches, delicious food, well equipped healthcare services and easy access to various public amenities, it is definitely a good retirement place.
Although overall housing price may be high, but it is still possible to find cheaper options from the secondary market. Not to mention many options are also available in the mainland. Bear in mind that the size of Penang state is only about the half of Klang Valley. Anywhere in Penang is not really that far at all.
Watch the webinar below for:
1.Penang property overview
2. Top developments and hostpots in Penang
3. The future trends of residential market in Penang