Secondary properties get into the property fair game

Previously owned homes offer a discount of up to 40% compared to developer units, say organisers

Exhibitions of new projects include the annual StarProperty fair. Now you can also check out secondary properties in the upcoming Maspex 2013.

By now, you know that property exhibitions, or specifically, exhibitions of new property projects, are held several times throughout a year. If you want a new house or apartment, this is the place to window shop all under one roof.

So far, there has never been such an exhibition for secondary properties. Until this year, that is.

Next week, the first Malaysian Secondary Property Exhibition 2013 will be held over the weekend of April 12 to 14, at the concourse of Tropicana City Mall, PJ. Organised by the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA), it will feature booths by 32 real estate agencies with photos and presentations of previously owned properties for sale.

“I remember going to the MPPJ building where you can buy second-hand cars, and asking myself, how can we do the same thing for the secondary property market here,” relates Erick Kho, MIEA vice president, at an interview.

“It’s another avenue for estate agents to promote their properties, and it would be a real benefit to MIEA members,” adds MIEA president Nixon Paul. “We started looking for a sponsor but we had to climb mountains, though, since this is not a tested event.”

Nevertheless, MIEA managed to secure Maybank as main sponsor, and all systems are now go.

How would you exhibit secondary properties though? There are tens of thousands of secondary properties in the market, not to mention hundreds of neighbourhoods within the Klang Valley.

Even if you could put them all under one roof, most secondary property hunters are not interested in all neighbourhoods; they already have a location in mind. And isn’t there nothing better than physically viewing the properties?

The organisers insist that the exhibition doesn’t replace more targeted means of property hunting, such as online portals or newspaper classifieds, however, but instead complements them.

Granted, many of the booths will have screens rotating pictures of all properties for sale, but you’ll also be getting various professionals at hand to answer questions for free.

These include a booth of valuers to estimate a fair price to your property, be it to buy or to sell, and a legal desk to dispense advice. EPF will also be on hand to let you know how much you can withdraw.

The organisers have worked to get sponsor Maybank to offer special interest rates during the fair. Maybank can advise you on how much you may borrow, and how much instalments you need to pay. With the help of agents, you can estimate if the rentals you may achieve will cover the loan repayments.

Paul: Viewing various properties in different locations will open buyers’ minds to what is really out there.

“Many people don’t even know how much money to come up with upfront,” says Paul. “They think they have a budget of RM500K, but when they see they have actually to pay for all other costs, they realise they can’t afford RM500K, that they can only afford RM450K.”

“We will also be having talks about investment opportunities in matured locations, the pros and cons of different properties, how property can hedge against inflation, and how the prices of properties in various locations have performed over the years,” says Siva. “We will identify hot spots around the PJ area such as TTDI, SS2, Damansara Utama, Damansara Perdana, and the places that the MRT will be going to.”

Maspex 2013 will feature a souvenir programme handbook with up to 300 “hot” properties contributed by all participating agencies. “These properties offer 30% to 40% savings compared to new properties,” says Siva. “That alone is worth a lot of money as it will have the best deals in town.”

The organisers believe that an overview such as Maspex 2013 may open your mind to options you never considered before. “This is what happens when we show clients around,” explains Paul. “Sometimes, they’ll come here looking for Section 17, and they end up buying in SS2, because it’s such a good deal. Clients we have taken out and shown have said, ‘Don’t show me a renovated house, I want to buy an old dilapidated house that I can renovate to my taste.’ The next thing you know, they buy a renovated house. So you never know. It is good to hunt with an open mind.”

Affordable homes available in secondary property

“There’s been so much hype about affordable housing, that prices have gone so high, and I cannot afford this and that, but actually they are all here, you’re just not looking, they’re in secondary properties,” suggests Paul. “For example, do you know in Paramount you can buy a condo for RM400,000? And a single storey terrace house near Section 14, PJ, was recently transacted for RM450K. When I tell people, they ask, ‘Got ah, so cheap?’”

Of course, these properties are not new. If one were willing to overlook that however, secondary properties represent a discount of between 30% to 40% compared to developer properties, say the organisers.

“Let’s take a prime location, KLCC,” offered Paul. “For newer condos, you are probably paying about RM1,000 per sq ft. But in 202DC, near the British High Commission, for example, you can get apartments for RM600 per sq ft.

“With secondary properties, you’re also guaranteed a matured location. Everything is there, conveniences, supermarket, public transport, and a ready demand if you are looking for tenants. Most importantly, if you wanted to live close to your parents in a mature location, you would more likely find it in a secondary property, than in a developer property which tends to be further away from the city.”

“You can also start renting out immediately, unlike primary properties where you have to wait two to four years until completion. In thise case, when the CF is completed, there is a rush to rent out or sell the units, and you don’t know what kind of price or rental you can achieve.”

In the process of organising Maspex 2013, MIEA has had to postpone their event a couple of times to avoid coming head-to-head with the elections. Whatever happens, the show will go on, however, says Siva.

Indeed if they could join in the spirit of the polls, it seems as this organisation of estate agents would ask you to vote for secondary properties rather than developer properties. And the place to cast your vote, they urge, would be the upcoming Maspex 2013!

Maspex 2013 will run from 11am to 8pm, on Friday to Sunday, Apr 12 to 14, at Tropicana City Mall, Petaling Jaya. 


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