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The RTS and Gemas-JB rail networks, as well as the MM2H, may help to stimulate the Johor property market

About 70,000 residential properties in Johor are unsold, empty, or abandoned due to new homeownership rules and the suspension of Malaysia My Second Home Programme (MM2H), according to Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad.

According to a recent Bernama storey, Hasni stated that the state government of Johor will seek the best solution for the 70,000 dwellings.

Two of the measures to be made, he said, are working with the property firms involved and introducing rental programmes to the younger generation.

"We will discuss and cooperate with real estates agents who have the record of completed and unsold houses, types of units, and appropriate rental rates," he said after the key handover ceremony of Taman Setia Indah medium low-cost terraced houses and Johor Affordable Houses (RMBJ) at the Taman Ekoflora Community Center in Johor Baru.

According to statistics compiled by Henry Butcher Malaysia, the value and volume of residential property sales in Johor climbed substantially from 2017 to 2019.

The volume of transactions climbed by eight per cent in 2018 and 7.5 per cent in 2019, while the value of transactions increased by 1.5 per cent in 2018 and 15.9 per cent in 2019.

According to a report by the firm on the Malaysian Property market 2021, the enforcement of the Movement Control Order on March 18, 2020, was a significant factor in reversing the upward trend.

The MM2H scheme was a major draw for foreign buyers when apartments and condominiums were built in Johor Bahru.

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture suspended MM2H in July 2020, following the government's decision to ban foreigners from entering Malaysia following the Covid-19 outbreak.

It has been difficult for developers to sell properties and for homeowners to rent their homes due to the suspension.

The suspension had stifled demand in Johor Baru's premier residential market from Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, and China.

Hasni stated that for Johor Bahru to become a thriving city, the issue must be resolved quickly.

He reportedly said in August that the Johor Baru City Council would improve its role and status as a significant international land gateway when the Malaysia-Singapore rapid transit system (RTS) link project and the Gemas-Johor Baru electrified double-tracking project (EDTP) are completed.

Hasni said that the two megaprojects are the primary contributors to the state's economic recovery efforts, benefiting the people and advancing the development of Johor Baru.

According to him, completing the two projects will immediately benefit the city's Ibrahim International Business District.

The Gemas-Johor Baru EDTP, which connects the north and south of Malaysia's Peninsula, is projected to be finished in 2023.

It will complement the RTS link, a new 4km cross-border rail project that will connect Malaysia and Singapore.

Mass Rapid Transit Corp Sdn Bhd and Singapore Land Transport Authority are working on the RTS link.

The new railway line's construction began this year and is projected to be finished by the end of 2026. RTS Link's operator, RTS Operations Pte Ltd, awarded nine contracts totalling around RM1 billion in the second quarter.

The RTS rail link will have two stations, one in Johor Bahru and the other in Singapore's Woodlands. The new railway link will connect the two stations by crossing the Johor Straits on a 25-meter-high bridge.

At Bukit Chagar and Woodlands North, co-located customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ) facilities will be developed.

As part of the project, a maintenance facility will be erected in Wadi Hana, Johor Bahru.

With the progress of the rail development, areas surrounding Bukit Chagar and Wadi Hana and the city centre of Johor Baru would attract home buyers and investors.

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