Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin (centre) with Johor Public Works, Rural and Regional Development executive committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad (2nd from left), Iskandar Investment Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Khairul Anwar Ahmad (3rd from left), Sunway Iskandar chairman Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah (4th from left), Iskandar Puteri City Council (MBIP) mayor Adib Azhari Daud and UEM Sunrise Bhd managing director and chief executive officer Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib (left) gesture during the the launch of the new Coastal Highway Southern Link (CHSL) highway in Medini, Iskandar Puteri. Pic by HAIRUL ANUAR RAHIM.

JOHOR BARU: Housing developers in Johor are maintaining a positive attitude despite the gloom affecting the state’s property market.

Bank Negara Malaysia’s quarterly bulletin last week stated that the number of unsold residential properties in Malaysia is at a decade-high, with a majority of units being in the RM250,000 and above price category, beyond the income of most Malaysians.

Johor, said the report, has the largest share of unsold residential units, numbering about 27 per cent of total unsold properties in Malaysia.

UEM Sunrise Bhd managing director and chief executive officer Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib admitted that housing developers are facing challenges due to the imbalance in housing demand and supply.

Anwar foresees developers being extra cautious over their expenditures on future housing projects nationwide, including in Johor.

"However, with the state government’s initiative to spur growth in housing purchasing among Johoreans, housing developers are keeping their hopes high that take-up demand for the unsold units will climb up by next year,” he said.

Echoing similar sentiments, Sunway Iskandar chairman Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah said property developers are currently facing headwinds in the housing industry.

“All of us are facing challenges and headwinds but I think the government is being very proactive and are now looking at unsold units and how they can help developers.

"At one point, every developers was eager to complete their developments, thinking that the market will be good but in fact, there are still imbalances in the housing market demand, which created this headwind,” he said.

Cheah however noted that with the right policy and incentives, the imbalances can be further improved.

Anwar and Cheah were speaking after the launch of the new Coastal Highway Southern Link (CHSL) highway, which was officiated by Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

The 5.2-km kilometre toll-free highway will connect the Iskandar Coastal Highway to the Second Link Expressway. It will be open to motorists from tomorrow.

The new highway will cut travelling time from the Sultan Abu Bakar Customs Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) to Medini City from 10 to five minutes.

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