THE market of commercial, industrial and residential sectors in Miri remained stable last year.
There were more commercial, industrial and residential developments, such as semi-detached and terraced houses, conventional terraced shophouses and industrial buildings in progress and under construction within the secondary area to cater to the increment of population and economy in Miri.
There are also a few proposals in progress for mixed developments, especially for the northern side of Miri.
Miri is the second largest city in Sarawak. After being awarded Miri City status in 2005, its economy has maintained sustainable growth. There are lot of opportunities in terms of business and jobs. The property sector is one of the major activities in Miri, especially for commercial, industrial and residential sectors.
The retail sector in Miri has been stable and also improved, even in the midst of current uncertainty. Several works by Miri Housing Development Realty Sdn Bhd, including a water theme park, shopping complex, cultural village, amphitheatre, hotel and man-made island, are still in progress.
The average occupancy rate of shopping malls in Miri is about 83 per cent, with shopping malls in the Central Business District (CBD) enjoying much higher rates as compared to those located in the suburbs. However, for this year, it is anticipated that the sector will be subdued as the overall market slows down. Miri’s retail sector has experienced a steady increase of retail supply for the past five years, with one new mall completed and operating almost every consecutive year.
Higher rentals are also being achieved by the new and more modern shopping malls especially in the CBD area. The take-up rates for new shopping malls at strategic locations have been good, e.g. Permaisuri Imperial City Mall, which is located within the CBD.
The latest mall to be opened in Miri is the two-storey shopping mall known as E-Mart Riam, developed by E-Mart Group with a total lettable area of 20,000 sq metres. It is expected that the sales and prices of housing in Miri will continue to improve with time and with the increase in number of buyers.
The hotel sector has also shown stability. The average occupancy rate for hotels in Miri stands at a moderate 68 per cent. Three- and four-star hotels fare better in terms of occupancy and are still the most popular hotels for tourists/visitors to Miri. Hotels built alongside shopping complexes (i.e. Imperial Permaisuri Mall Hotel and Meritz Hotel in Bintang Megamall) are the tourists’ favourites.
It is anticipated that the hotel sector will continue to be stable this year, and with the weakening ringgit, Bruneians will continue to crowd Miri for their weekend stay-overs and shopping sprees. More than 1.5 million Bruneian visitors have set foot in Miri since 2015 to present day. In fact, Bruneians visit Miri more than any other towns in Sarawak since Miri is the nearest to Brunei.
Seventy-five per cent of the hotels are located in the city area of Miri, offering more than 65 per cent of the hotel rooms. Based on the supply of hotels in Miri, the most popular type of hotel seems to be the four-star hotels where they contribute up to 54 per cent of total rooms.
Miri’s industrial sector has remained largely the same when compared to the years before. There were a lot industrial units completed previously, mostly concentrated in the out-of-town areas such as Eastwood Industrial Estate within the Miri Bypass area.
In terms of new industrial launches and developments, there isn’t any new area developed for industrial purposes; concentration is still on the established industrial estates such as Eastwood Industrial Estate, Permy Technology Park, Taman Tunku Industrial Area and Desa Senadin Industrial Estate, with more new constructions (especially semi-detached and terraced types due to the extra land area of the above estates) still available.
Semi-detached light industrial buildings of around 2,000 sq ft remain popular, with most being used by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for workshops and warehousing.
Prices of industrial buildings, especially double-storey semi-detached industrial buildings, have gone up, with launched prices moving beyond RM1 million, and up to as high as RM1.2 million for the bigger units. Prices are expected to maintain. Occupancy, take-up rates and rentals for the industrial sector were stable last year and are expected to remain unchanged this year.
With the vast expanse of Miri’s lands in the outer areas, and with the improved infrastructure and good road networks, there is much potential for industrial development in Miri.
For residential developments, established developers such as Naim Cendera, Miri Housing and Parabena are still aggressively constructing more residential properties at their housing schemes, i.e. Bandar Baru Permy Jaya, Desa Senadin, Taman Tunku and Taman Jelita.
Price of the houses remains competitive and is set to increase further due to rising costs of land, abetted by market speculation. Improvement in infrastructure also contributes to property developments in Miri, especially for mixed-development projects.
Generally, newly-launched standard single- and double-storey intermediate terraced and semi-detached houses command between RM300,000, RM450,000, RM500,000 and RM700,000 per unit, respectively. Selling prices of newly-launched residential properties have continued to increase mainly due to inflation and Goods and Services Tax.
With developments in Miri sprawling northwards and southwards, current and new projects are located in outlying areas where the land costs are relatively lower.
The highest number of houses under construction are located in the Lutong-Kuala Baram area, largely contributed by Desa Senadin developed by Miri Housing Development Realty Sdn Bhd.
Luak-Bakam and Taman Tunku-Taman Jelita areas have also seen increasing housing activity in recent years. Generally, it is expected that the Miri housing market will remain stable with new launches, completions and new proposals coming on stream.
In conclusion, demand for the commercial, industrial and residential properties in Miri is still on track whereby there are lots of existing potential buyers searching for the right property in the market at the right places and at the right prices to commence their long-term livelihood and business.
*Report courtesy of Henry Butcher Malaysia (Miri)