This Week In Property: Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics

During a talk on the outlook of the Malaysia economy and the property market, Dr Daniele Gambero (a real estate marketing consultant) presented some rather bullish statistics; the one which really caught my eye was this measure called the “Affordability Index” which purportedly measure the, well, affordability of properties as benchmarked against salaries. Malaysia’s score was 1.33 – for context, Singapore is 0.70 and Indonesia’s 0.49. So, as far as this data point is concerned, Malaysia’s properties are still relatively “affordable” when compared with our neighbours down south.

Really? 😉


I am sure that the method used in coming up with these stats are robust and scientific, but qualitatively and instinctively we know that prices are spiraling out of control. New launches priced at sub RM500,000 in the city (or in the greater Klang Valley) now are as rare as a nun in a bikini. Salaries are just not keeping up with property prices, and this is not a problem which plagues recent graduates. The HBA has been pushing the panic button frantically since, well, last year.

GoodPlace says: let’s not kid ourselves with feelgood statistics. And no, we are not the only ones who think that the Housing Affordability Index is worthless.

New Projects & Launches. This past week much of the spotlight was on Eco World – the new-ish developer (founded October last year) by former senior executives and directors of SP Setia. Liew Tian Xiong, the son of Liew Kee Sin is also on the board although he doesn’t hold any equity in the company. In just a couple of months it has been able to build up a land bank of some 3,000 acres in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor. Mighty impressive.

ecoworldEco World will launch its maiden project called the EcoBotanic in Nusajaya, a 270 acre mixed township consisting of semi-detached and cluster houses. Watch this space for its launch – possibly in the next week or two. Another development, the EcoSky on Jalan Ipoh is also set to launch by the end of the year.

Eco World and Liew Tian Xiong has also bought into Focal Aims, a public (but previously little-known) company with some land down south in Plentong, Johor and Iskandar. This deal has further confirmed the linkage between SP Setia head honcho Liew Kee Sin and perhaps his exit plans post March 2015.

Will Liew Kee Sin play a part in Eco World when he leaves SP Setia in 2015? GoodPlace’s prediction would be “yes”. As someone smart once told me, a good hustler will never refuse a good hustle. There’ still a decade (or two!) worth of deal making in him, still. Battersea won’t be his swansong. You can quote me on this. 😉

Events. Property Guru is throwing up a two-day property show in Johor, focusing on new developments in Iskandar and Johor Bharu. The generically named “Malaysia Property Show 2013” (it’s like naming your dog, Dog) will take place in Traders Hotel at Puteri Harbour. Call 03-22797555 for more information.

cristalVillamas is “soft” launching Cristal Residence, a mixed development of condominiums and landed properties in Cyberjaya over the weekend; there will be “attractive packages” to incite impulse buying. 😉 Jokes side, well, we are quite bullish about Cyberjaya, and this freehold development may be a good entry point for some. The event will take place at its sales gallery on Jalan Fauna 1, Cyber 9 in Cyberjaya. Google map is here.

D’Pristine @ Medini is getting launched at MCT’s offices in USJ from today until Sunday – drop by to join in the fun (45, Jalan USJ 21/11, Subang Jaya). Call 03-80236868 for more information.

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About Khai Yin

When I am not writing for and helping my readers find properties though the DealMatcher service, I spend time doting on my three kids: Wenyi, Qinyi and Eian. My personal stuff, some published essays and contact details can be found at


  1. Hi khaiyin,

    I will be in KL on 25/9, can we meet?
    Thanks, shah

  2. Agree wholeheartedly with your comments on the Housing Index, but let us face the underlying fact: Malaysia has a long-term substance abuse problem with feelgood statistics in all sorts of economic sectors, and the big Cheshire cat smile by rows of public officials when they talk about rising pseudo-prosperity is a standard practice now. It has little to do with property, and a lot to do with a bad habit.

    By the way, love the site.

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