Speech by Chief Minister of Penang
at The Penang International Property Summit 2017
On 10 March 2017 (Friday)
It is indeed my honour to have been invited to the third Penang International Property Summit (PIP) co-organized by the Penang State Housing Committee and Penevents Sdn. Bhd.
The inaugural summit held in 2015, and which was continued with last year clearly proved to be a platform enabling property stakeholders and the Penang State Government to address numerous issues facing the property industry in Penang.
I am confident to say that as a result of the discussions and inputs at the previous summits, policies of the State Government have been enhanced so as to suit the various requests and constructive inputs made by the industry players.
Clearly, it is hoped that this year's summit will have the same result. This summit also proves that the Penang State Government is the only state government that engages with the property stakeholders.
2016 proved to be a challenging year for the property market and analysts have warned that this trend will continue in 2017.
In fact, from the figures disclosed by NAPIC as referred to in an article by Sr. Michael Geh from Raine and Horne, there was a drop in residential property transactions in the second half of 2016 in both the primary market (from 1,040 transactions down to 640 transactions) and the secondary market (from 5,658 transactions down to 4,858 transactions).
Although there has been a drop in residential property transactions, we can breath a sigh of relief as the same statistics show that of all the urban cities in Malaysia, namely Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor Bahru and Penang, despite all recording a drop in such residential property transactions, Penang proved to be the urban city with the lowest drop.
Further, it should also be noted that despite the drop in the number of residential transactions.
Having said this, it should be noted that the Penang State Government will continue to prioritize the delivery of affordable housing in particular for Penangites.
Several pertinent issues, which are common throughout all the states, in particular the issue of the high loan rejection rate by banks, in particular for first time home buyers. In fact in this regard, it should be noted that the Joint Motion calling for this issue to be addressed by the Penang State Government and the State Opposition in Penang, has already been forwarded to the Prime Minister for further action.
Apart from this, we will continue to put in place policies that will ensure a cooling of the property market and to further ensure that there is no abnormal increase in property prices.
This is especially so having regard to how attractive Penang is, not only to Penangites and Malaysians, but also to foreigners. In this regard, it should be noted that we have received numerous international accolades that will help the property sector, including:
-New York Times ranking Penang as the 22nd Must Visit Destination in 2009
-ECA International ranking George Town as the eighth most livable city in 2010
-Yahoo Travel ranking Penang 8 out of 10 islands to explore before you die in 2011
-The Guardian's ranking of George Town as Top 15 best street art in the world in 2013
-Lonely Planet's ranking George Town, Penang as the 4th out of the Top 10 Cities to visit in 2016
-Los Angeles Times listing Penang as one of the 16 Must-Visit Destination in 2016
-Forbes listing Penang at No. 1 in its Ten Best Budget Travel Destinations for 2016
-Holiday Lettings UK ranking Penang as No. 6 in its list of 24 Surprisingly Affordable Places to Chase the Winter Sun in 2016
-Penang's listing as one of the 15 Best Cities in the World for Food by The Culture Trip in 2016
-No. 2 on CNN's list of 17 best place to visit in the world in 2017
-No. 1 by CNBC for having the best health-care in the world
The Penang State Government will continue its administration based on competency, accountability, transparency, which will in turn ensure the continuous success of Penang and our direction towards becoming an international and intelligent city.
With all these positive traits, I am certain the property sector in Penang will stand to benefit in 2017.