Median house price in Iskandar Malaysia falls 8.9% YoY in 3Q

The pandemic ravages the already weak market that saw 5 in 8 areas record a price drop


DATA from the Iskandar Property Census revealed the median price for high-rise residential units in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor Baru (JB) declined 8.9% year-on-year (YoY) to RM573,931 or RM577 per sq ft (psf) in the third quarter of 2020 (3Q20) from RM629,903 last year.

“The pandemic ravaged the already weak market that saw five in eight areas record a price drop,” Datamine Malaysia head of research Jerren Lai stated in a release yesterday.

“The anticipated rapid transit system (RTS) confirmation between Singapore and Johor, Malaysia in the 3Q kept asking prices alleviated for JB Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex (CIQ) area,” he added.

Puteri Harbour area recorded the highest median price at RM979,125 or RM888 psf followed by JB CIQ at RM836,125 or RM921 psf.

JB inner city, meanwhile, saw the median price at RM694,749 or RM595 psf, JB outer city at RM394,266 (RM423 psf), Danga Bay at RM648,500 (RM534 psf), Iskandar Puteri at RM434,714 (RM491 psf), Medini RM645,598 (RM773 psf) and Tebrau Coast RM494,520 (RM491 psf).

The report by Datamine Malaysia has been tracking Iskandar’s high-rise residential properties since 2012 by using census data instead of sampling.

Lai forecast JB CIQ median price will likely be 30% below Singapore Woodlands private property prices upon completion of the RTS, which is at RM1,700 psf.

According to Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority 2020, Woodlands median price stands at S$799 psf or RM2,400 psf.

Lai said the projection depends on the efficiency of the new RTS immigration clearance system.

“If immigration clearance and the 4km journey from JB CIQ to Woodland North takes around 25 minutes, then Singapore demand will overwhelm Iskandar properties if it takes around one hour from JB to reach Orchard area,” he said.

Lai was disappointed that decision-makers have chosen the light rail transit option instead of the higher capacity mass rapid transit.

“Infrastructure of this nature drives demand that not only solves the housing glut but opens the floodgate for the Singapore dollar spenders to flow into Iskandar which has an enormous multiplier effect on the economy,” he added.

Lai previously told The Malaysian Reserve uncertainties in policies, including the postponement of RTS, have prevented Iskandar Malaysia from realising its true potential.

“Developers saw demand was going to come into JB with the development of the RTS, but no one expected the project would be delayed for so long.

“We cannot afford any more delays. Even if there is a sign that construction works have commenced, people will still start buying houses in Iskandar Malaysia,” he said.

He said the delay in the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail and ferry connection from Puteri Harbour to Singapore Harbour Front also contributes to the high overhang figure in the city.