Everybody who is familiar with Iskandar Malaysia has heard of Horizon Hills. The award winning development houses a large Singaporean community and is one of the most upmarket and popular housing destinations in Iskandar Malaysia.
While Horizon Hills may be popular today, it was not always so. Back in 2005-2006 when Horizon Hills just got started, many people in both Johor Bahru and Singapore thought it to be “too far”, “too expensive” and “nobody wants lives there”. Fast forward 10 years to today and you can see how Horizon Hills has built its formidable reputation and success. Property prices have tripled within that 10 year time frame and many people now call it their home (including me!).
Horizon Hills has matured recent years and the remaining landbank is limited. In time, demand for gated guarded themed landed homes will spill over to new locations. So where is the next “Horizon Hills”?
There are several options in the market but in my opinion, the location that will be the next “Horizon Hills” is none other than Sunway Iskandar. And the first landed residential phase in Sunway Iskandar is called Emerald Residences. But why do I say so?
No 1 – Low Density Development – The plot ratio for Sunway Iskandar is only 1:1. This means minimal high rise buildings and lots of green spaces. As land becomes scarce, this will reflect in a higher premium for such properties.
No 2 – Market Catalysts – Sunway Iskandar currently is building a Canadian International School, an office/ retail tower, a commercial shop office hub, and future plans include theme parks, healthcare and other educational facilities. This will drive population growth to Sunway Iskandar in years to come just as how Nusajaya’s initial growth helped Horizon Hills.
No 3 – Strong Branded Developer – Just like Horizon Hill’s Gamuda, Sunway is consistently ranked amongst the top developers in Malaysia and recently awarded the No 1 property developer in Malaysia for the 2nd year in the row by top business media group The Edge.
No 4 – Location Towards Singapore – The Coastal Highway Southern Link will be ready in 2017, reducing the road distance to Singapore to 10 minutes, providing easy access to Singaporean residents.
No 5 – Demand for Landed Homes – High quality gated guarded landed homes are in lower supply vs high rise apartments. As the quality of Sunway’s homes become evident as they get completed in 2018, this will be recognized by the market, and take up will improve.
We are now nearing the 3rd year of a multi-year market slowdown with property prices stagnant or trending down. Price drops however have been small with very few true fire sales in the market.
My view is that the property market will remain weak in 2016 and 2017 due to the strong incoming supply in both Singapore and Malaysia, while demand remains stagnant due to a weak global economy. Supply figures will only start to taper off in 2018 onwards which is where a likely recovery will start.
As such, savvy investors should look at 2016 and 2017 as “buying opportunities”. Real estate is a cyclical industry with the biggest gains made at investing during downturns.
A good exercise is to forecast what the environment/ market/ location will look like in 5 years down the road as that would be the time to sell/ exit to realize your gains
Here are some of my predictions of what Iskandar Malaysia would look like in 2020 (intelligent predictions but still just predictions):
No 1 – High Speed Rail under heavy construction with completion in 2022. Tracks (including construction across the Singapore Straits) and station sites can be seen across Malaysia and Singapore. RTS Woodlands to JBCC also under construction.
No 2 – Presence of Factories and Manufacturers in Iskandar Malaysia will be more obvious. Johor’s record highs in manufacturing investments in 2013 to 2015 can now be seen in a higher working population and industrial parks.
No 3 – Sunway Iskandar’s Canadian International School, office hub and commercial hub will be operational with a local population living there. An international theme park by the sea will be opening soon in a year’s time.
No 4 – Singapore and Malaysia’s economies will have recovered and doing much better than 2015. Oil prices will be above USD$50 a barrel with a more diversified revenue stream in Malaysia
No 5 – Iskandar Malaysia will have a population of about 2.3 million and Singapore closer to 6 million. Demand of homes to return due to the increase of population.
Sunway Iskandar’s landed homes (Emerald Residence) has emerged as one of our top buys for 2016 and 2017 riding on Horizon Hill’s earlier success and trend in 2005 – 2015. Prices start at RM9xx,000 or SGD$3xx,xxx for a double storey link home.
If you are keen to find out more on Sunway Iskandar, do drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or SMS/Whatsapp to +65 8126 1626. Non obligatory private discussions can be arranged. Otherwise do join us on our Iskandar Putri Property Tour on 5th March 2016 to visit the actual site.
Ryan & Melissa