Property Investment Is Now A Trend


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

DECIDING on what type of house or property to buy often influenced by reasons like financial stability, the number of family members residing in the house and location of the house.

More and more houses with contemporary designs and reasonable sizes are being built in the Sultanate enticing Bruneians to own one.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, the marketing manager of Bess Perfect Property Agency Felice Han said Bruneians usually would prefer to buy either a semi-detached or a double-storey detached house.

“People want to have big compound or space for their homes as some may have more than one car. The (big) space is also useful for them to have family functions as they can invite more people to their home,” she said adding that people might want to do an extension on the compound.

While purchasing a terrace house is not as favourable as the other two house types due to its inconvenience. Limited parking space seems to be the main reasons for buyers into considering buying a house.

Han added that there are people who do not mind purchasing a house or property away from the city area. Choices are usually determined on the nearness to their work place and school for their kids, the nearer it is the better for them.

“As long as it is a detached or semi detached house, people nowadays do not mind travelling far inside as they mostly own cars although some will still consider the distance of the house to their work place or their children’s school,” she said.

Areas such as Kulapis or Pengkalan Batu which are in the urban outskirts are now attracting developers as well as buyers to get a house there.

The value of properties also depends on the location on where the houses are built. Prime areas such as in Gadong are pricier than those outside the city.

“If you want a property in Subok, it costs you about $450,000 and above for a detached house meanwhile in Gadong, it (property) may cost $500,000 because it is a prime area and the land is quite limited,” said the marketing manager.

Whereas in the Belait district, Han agreed that the property value there is more expensive than in the Brunei-Muara district.

“This is partly because most of the land is TOL (lands temporary occupation licence) and that the land in Kuala Belait is limited (for property development). Most of the properties there are privately owned. Only nowadays I see they start to develop the area which is mostly comprised of apartments,” she explained.

Han also noted that there has been an increasing trend of young people purchasing homes or properties on their own as they know property value rises over time.

“Most of our customers are young people whose age is about 25 years old and above. The trend is increasing as house has value over time while cars do not,” she said

Asked on what advice the agency can give to the customers upon purchasing or investing a house, she said: “Customers would need to consult their banks first if it is alright or not and then they can come and meet us to look for what property they want according to the budget they have. Or else, if they have not met the bank when they come to meet us, we can consult with our bank officer for further details.”

According to Han, nowadays Bruneians are more concerned about property investment compared to few years back.

“They do not go for investment, they only think of getting a house for their own stay which is more than enough. But now people would go for another option, if they can afford, they will buy another property for their investment like renting it (the house) out as house value does not drop over time.”

She also said: “We sell property whether the bank approved or not. So far our property price ranges from $158,000 for a bungalow and even for a semi bungalow, the price can go up to $170,000.”

Regarding the eligibility of Bruneian permanent residents and foreigners residing in Brunei to purchase a property in the Sultanate, Han said that they might need to consult a lawyer first.

“We cannot simply provide them with the answer whether they can or not (buying a property) and even though we say you can go for a lease of 60 years, we cannot guarantee.”

It all depends on whether the bank can accept the client’s loan or financing and whether the lawyers can process their documents or not, she said.

“We are only the agency and it all depends on the government to allow them (permanent residents and foreigners). As far as we are concerned, the land department announced that foreigners and foreign residents are not allowed to a buy a property through a power of attorney (PA).”

– The Brunei Times [click here to view article]