Unesco Listing Likely To Push Up Property Prices In Penang & Malacca
 
 
GEORGETOWN: The prices of pre-war houses in the inner city are expected to soar with foreign and local developers looking to capitalise on the recent UNESCO world heritage listing.
 
"Pre-war houses are quite cheap now. Depending on the location and the state of the building it could cost between RM800,000 and RM1mil each.
 
"With potential business opportunities that come with being a Unesco heritage site, local and foreign developers will be snapping up the pre-war buildings, so I think we can expect a 50% to 100% jump in prices," Penang Real Estate Housing and Developers Association (Rehda) chairman Datuk Jerry Chan said.
 
He added that the association was not against the idea of foreign developers coming in but stressed that the government must regulate business activities in the area.
 
"In some instances, it actually costs more to restore an old building than to build a new one from scratch so perhaps the government can offer some incentives to those up to the task," he said.
 
Penang Municipal Council president Datuk Zainal Rahim Seman said the council would make sure developers and property owners complied with the council's heritage guidelines when restoring or renovating their premises.
 
"We have our own guidenlines that were submitted to the world body to study before we were listed.
 
"The council's guidelines were developed after consulting various NGO's and related bodies and these include building height and various architectural elements like style and window, door and roof designs.
 
"We don't encourage signages that cover the facade of the building and we make sure that unsightly air conditioning compressors and water tanks are tucked away.
 
"We don't encourage signages that cover the facade of the building and we make sure that unsightly air conditioning compressors and water tanks are tucked away.
 
In MALACCA, Despite the strict building code regulations governing renovations to heritage buildings, over 1,000 property owners are expected to see their property prices increasing.
 
According to Foo Gee Jen, a director of a property evaluation company, property prices for homes along Jonker and Heeren streets have risen steadily over the past 15 years.
 
"In 2005, property was valued at RM120per sq.ft. but shot up to RM200 per sq.ft. recently," he said, adding that a unit could now fetch up to RM800,000to a RM1mil.
 
He said that the inscription as a World Heritage Site would push prices of the the buildings up almost immediately by at least 20% to 30%
 
 
Source : The Star, Nation 10 July 2008 Close Window