[B][SIZE=5]Experts advise against flipping of Iskandar property[/SIZE][/B]

Published on May 12, 2015 1:44 AM

By Marissa Lee

SPECULATORS have dominated Johor's Iskandar housing market in the last few years but a slowdown since the middle of last year amid a surging supply is putting the squeeze on them, consultants said.

They have advised Singaporeans to buy homes there only if they plan to occupy them as gains from house flipping will be hard to realise with so much new stock putting pressure on values.

"In 2012 and 2013, it was a free-for-all and speculation was rife. Even Singaporeans were coming in, buying blindly, and that encouraged developers to launch bigger numbers of units," said Mr V. Sivadas, executive director of PA International Property Consultants.

But Malaysian government cooling measures and stricter bank lending have led to a slowdown in transactions.

Stiff competition among property firms also poses the risk that first-time developers could abandon their projects, said Mr Sivadas.

The high-rise residential sub-market is particularly risky, with oversupply looming strongest there. In Parliament yesterday, Monetary Authority of Singapore board member Lawrence Wong expressed concern that 335,838 private residential units are in the pipeline in Johor state, more than the total number of private homes in Singapore.

Oversupply could be a real threat over the next two to three years, said Mr Tan Ka Leong, director of property consultant WTW Johor Baru. For now, consultants agreed that investors should shop for investment property in Iskandar only if their pockets are deep enough to weather a down market.

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