Growing population spurs demand in Iskandar Malaysia

THERE is still a huge demand for new housing units in Iskandar Malaysia as the population in the growth corridor continues to increase.

The Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda), which is the regulatory authority mandated to plan, promote and facilitate development in Iskandar Malaysia, has estimated that by 2025, the population will increase to three million and they will need at least 1.2 million housing units.

Irda chief executive Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said the population in Iskandar Malaysia was now 1.8 million but there were less than 700,000 housing units.

The growth corridor’s population was 1.5 million when it was launched 11 years ago.

“By 2025, the population in Iskandar Malaysia will reach three million people, including 1.4 million in the workforce. Based on this estimate, we will need about 1.2 million housing units, including strata and landed properties.

“Today, the housing stock in Iskandar Malaysia is slightly less than 700,000, so there is a shortfall of 500,000 units for the next 10 years or so.

“What these figures tell us is that even with all the houses that have been built in Iskandar Malaysia, they can be easily taken up with the future demand for housing,” Ismail said at a briefing at the Irda headquarters recently.

He said demand for housing would continue to rise, based on the seven to eight per cent annual growth rate in Iskandar Malaysia in the past three years.

“This growth rate is higher than the national growth rate of 4.5 to 5.5 per cent.

“This tells us that the economy is booming. It shows there are more people with good jobs and high pay and there is a growing number of families here.

“More people are migrating to Iskandar Malaysia from other parts of Malaysia and the world.”

Ismail said any concern of a housing glut in Iskandar Malaysia was only temporary. He urged developers to provide houses within the right price bracket to meet buyers’ demand.

From 2006 until December 31 last year, Iskandar Malaysia recorded a total cumulative investment of RM222.44 billion, of which RM119.50 billion, or 54 per cent, represents investments that have been realised as projects on the ground.

This total cumulative amount exceeds the initial target of RM149 billion when the region was first established.

On criticisms levelled against Irda in the management of the Sungai Segget rejuvenation project in Johor Baru, which has seen flash floods occurring in the past two years, Ismail said it welcomed the criticisms as it would help the authority improve.

“We will do our best to make sure the issues are resolved.”

Ismail said the Sungai Segget project was undergoing the testing and commissioning phase of its new facilities and central sewage treatment plant.

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