“After the bad times from 2014 – 2018 (1st quarter), I foresee a change of luck,” property consultant Dato Sri Gavin Tee said during a press conference recently. He described the change as similar to a V-shape development curve. “From 2018, we will be starting to climb up,” he forecasted, adding that this was based on his analysis of factors influencing the past, present and future. Tee was speaking at Swhengtee’s 11th Annual Property Forecast Talk, which was held on 28th Jan 2018 at Swiss Garden Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. His 8 predictions are as follows:
1. EVOLUTION TO SHARING AND CORPORATE TYPES OF INVESTMENT
Our investment strategy has to adjust to world market changes. We cannot just invest individually unless it’s in a matured market. However, we can pool together our resources and invest as a corporate entity such as in the case of crowdfunding, managing hotels, projects or even offices. So, the future of property investment may evolve into sharing types of investment. In some cases, we may not even own the share but only the right of use, for example, in China, citizens can only have the right of use of the property for 30 years or longer. Other new examples are co-living or adult dormitories. Gone are the days when people traditionally buy for the next generation.
2. SHIFTING OF COMMERCIAL HOTSPOTS
Due to the way cities are developed especially developing cities in ASEAN, new areas or cities are always being built. As such, new hotspots are created all the time. For example, in Kuala Lumpur, the commercial hotspot used to be the Golden Triangle (Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Raja Chulan) and Jalan Ampang. However, with new mega developments coming up such as TRX, Bandar Malaysia and even Cyberjaya and Putrajaya, the hotspots are shifting to the latter. Technology has also played a part.
Tenants, especially multinationals and globalized businesses prefer newer premises with more modern infrastructure like upscale amenities and facilities including proximity to transportation links such as the MRT, LRT, and energy saving facilities like solar power panels, green environment as well as super-fast Internet and even the office space configuration which tends towards large open spaces with co-sharing. Some are even integrated with lifestyle elements including shopping malls and eateries like those in TRX.
This is the new reality of office spaces and is the future. Kuala Lumpur is currently transitioning into such a metropolis.
This phenomenon can be seen all over ASEAN cities including Jakarta, Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Vientiane and not just in Kuala Lumpur. A combination of factors such as globalisation, BRI, and ASEAN integration are creating new zones where regional headquarters are attracted to. These offices which are built using the latest technology will also demand higher rentals and price points. Kuala Lumpur is currently transitioning into such a metropolis.
So, unless the older office buildings can adapt or modify to the new requirements or even refurbish, more tenants from these will move to the new modern offices.
To survive, these older office buildings can either be repurposed to spaces that are in demand such as storage, budget hotels, or tech hub. It’s the same story with the oversupply of shopping malls. Some 20% may close down in the near future – so in order to survive, they need to be repurposed. Even the biggest and most popular shopping malls like One Utama have added in entertainment elements to attract more footfall.