Bintulu property market starting to heat up

Feb 06, 2013


KUCHING: Those involved in the property sector in Sarawak have indicated a very positive outlook for the whole state. With aggressive development taking place in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), towns in the Central Region such as Bintulu, Mukah and Kapit are also expected to benefit.

According to CH William Talhar Wong & Yeo Sdn Bhd’s (WTWY) managing director Robert KS Ting and reports from other major property developers in Sarawak, Bintulu had experienced several boom phases over the last 35 years.

Ting said the first boom was during the 1980’s when the Malaysia Liquefied Natural Gas (MLNG) plant and the Asian Bintulu Fertilizer plant (ABF) were constructed.

The second boom came during the 1990s when Shell MDS plants together with some other petrol chemical plants were constructed. And thirdly, the boom came during the 2000s when Malaysia LNG 3 was constructed.

“We can say now that we are in the fourth boom phase in here Bintulu. This boom is different from the above three booms as it is initiated and triggered by SCORE projects in Samalaju industrial estates.

“Many projects have aided the boom such as two polycrystalline silicon plants by Tokoyama, Borneo paper and pulp plant, aluminium smelter plant by Press Metal, alloy manganese plant by Pertama Ferroalloys SB, Sabah-Sarawak gas pipeline projects by Petronas and other downstream industries.

This will be the biggest boom yet ever to be experienced by Bintulu since the 35 years,” Ting told The Borneo Post here yesterday.

He added that the boom would be sustainable over the next few years and when all these mega plants were completed, they would create thousands of job opportunities and influx of people into Bintulu.

“Yes, over the last few years, Bintulu is experiencing good capital appreciation both for commercial and residential properties. Rentals have also increased over the last few years.

“For example a normal standard three storey shop house would be able to attract rentals from RM6,000 to RM10,000 per unit depending on the location. A fully furnished double-storey semi-detached house would be asking rentals of RM3,800 to RM4,500 per unit,” he said.

However, fundamentals indicated that there was still much room for concerted growth moving forward.

Demand for residential properties remains strong with continuous interest in prime and secondary areas, as the town continues to expand its borders.

Bintulu’s housing sector is expected to continue experiencing active housing construction activity, with double-storey terraced houses and double-storey semi-detached houses remaining strong sellers.

He added that the average price for these properties had increased from RM388,000 to RM400,000 for double-storey intermediate terraced houses, from RM403,000 to RM573,000 for double-storey corner terraced houses and from RM488,000 to RM730,000 for double-storey semi-detached houses.

In the long term, an increasing demand for houses is expected due to major on-going projects associated with SCORE, which is set to boost Bintulu’s development in the near future.

On top of that, Bintulu is also set to experience a boost to its retail sector with the building of a few new shopping malls expected to be completed in 2012 and 2013, such as Times Square Mall at Jalan Tun Hussein Onn and Commercial Square at Jalan Ahmad Zaidi.

Most of the shop houses there were located outside the existing commercial core to the Parkcity development and suburban areas due to the limited land available for commercial development at the existing town centre area. Most of the recent launches in Bintulu were three-storey terraced shop houses which were transacted between RM888, 000 to RM1.03 million, Ting added.

On the market front, he pointed out that property prices in Bintulu would continue to hold or even increase as evidenced by the upward revision of selling prices of the existing launches by property developers.

In short, property prices would continue to hold or even increase due to rising material costs as evidenced by the upward revision of selling prices of the existing launches by property developers.

The housing schemes announced by the government for 2011 for instance would also go a long way in assisting the young house buying population in Bintulu.

Meanwhile, a property owner and investor remarked that prices of goods including essentials items such as food, beverages and even properties have risen drastically in Bintulu.

“The prices for houses and shop houses have increased by about 20 per cent since end of 2011. There is even a situation where a semi-detached house in Bintulu is rented out for RM 7,000 per month. I think Bintulu is becoming a very vibrant place,” he said.

Source: Borneo Post Online