Weaker ringgit to attract Singaporeans to Johor for property, says real estate developer

An artist's impression of Danga Heights in Johor, Malaysia. The weaker ringgit is expected to attract more Singaporeans to Johor to invest in property. --PHOTO: ISKANDAR WATERFRONT HOLDINGS
An artist's impression of Danga Heights in Johor, Malaysia. The weaker ringgit is expected to attract more Singaporeans to Johor to invest in property. --PHOTO: ISKANDAR WATERFRONT HOLDINGS

JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK): The ringgit's slide is expected to attract more Singaporeans to snap up properties in the state, especially within Iskandar Malaysia.

Johor Real Estate and Housing Developers Association said the Malaysian Property Exposition's (Mapex) Johor edition, which takes place from Dec 19 to 21 at Sutera Mall, would be a good indicator.

Its Johor branch chairman Hoe Mee Ling expressed confidence that there would be more Singapore buyers now compared with the previous Mapex.

Their interest was largely due to the weaker ringgit, she said, adding that the price of private properties in Johor was also lower than those in Singapore.

Hoe said Singapore buyers would usually go for landed residential properties here as such homes were priced beyond their means in the republic.

For comparison, she said a corner lot double-storey terrace house in Singapore would cost above S$1.5 million, but a similar property here would have a price tag of about RM800,000 (S$299,400).

"The depreciation of the ringgit will also entice more Singaporeans to reside or relocate their manufacturing activities here as the cost is relatively lower," added Hoe.

That is why developers taking part in Mapex are targeting Singapore-based small and medium industries (SMIs) to relocate their operations to Iskandar Malaysia.

Presently, she said there were several SMIs from the republic that were operating here, with most of them commuting daily from the republic to Johor Baru to oversee their business operations.

"The proposed Rapid Transit System connecting Johor Baru and Singapore, which is expected to be operational by 2020, will further boost economic activities between Johor and Singapore," she added.