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SINGAPORE, 15 November 2023 – ERA Realty Network Pte Ltd (“ERA”) is pleased to announce its exclusive appointment to launch for sale via Expression of Interest, a remarkable opportunity to acquire 11 freehold heritage shophouses nestled in the heart of George Town, Penang. These stunning properties are available for acquisition at a guide price of SGD10.6 million (or RM36.6 million) or SGD359 psf (or RM1,238 psf) on built-up area.

Situated along the historic streets of Lebuh Tye Sin and Lebuh Presgrave, these two-storey heritage shophouses have undergone refurbishment to preserve their intrinsic beauty and charm. The shophouses have a combined land area and built-up area of 2,150.1 sq m (or approximately 23,143 sq ft) and 2,746.3 sq m (or approximately 29,561 sq ft), respectively.

Currently, these properties are leased to a diverse set of Food and Beverage tenants including restaurants, a bakery, and a dessert shop, among others. These shophouses enjoy excellent accessibility, just minutes’ walk from the iconic KOMTAR Tower and Bus Terminal, as well as two future light rail transit stations – Komtar and Macallum. Additionally, their proximity to various hotels, vibrant night markets, and bustling retail hubs such as First Avenue Mall and Prangin Mall make them an ideal choice. These shophouses are also within walking distance of the designated buffer and core zones of George Town, and a short drive from the popular tourist spot, Gurney Drive.

The neighbourhood is graced with an impressive selection of hotels, including renowned names like Citadines Connect Georgetown Penang, The Granite Luxury Hotel, and the Wembley – A St Giles Hotel, etc, providing an excellent pool of customers for the shophouses’ retail tenants.

The precinct surrounding this portfolio is currently undergoing a similar transformation like Singapore, marked by the conversion of heritage shophouses into hotels and the development of modern buildings. This transformation creates a vibrant and dynamic enclave that seamlessly blends the old with the new.

Mr Steven Tan, Managing Director of Capital Markets & Investment Sales at ERA, said “The strategic location of the portfolio, in close proximity to various attractions and amenities, makes it an attractive investment choice for property investors looking to own an exceptional freehold heritage piece of Penang with significant potential for future asset appreciation”.

In 2022, Penang experienced the highest GDP growth in Malaysia, primarily due to a record-breaking RM74.4 billion of foreign direct investments (FDI) in 2021. Renowned tech companies like Intel Electronics and Ibiden Electronics have relocated or increased their existing investments in Penang, reflecting the confidence of foreign companies in the state.

Moreover, the Malaysian Government has recently approved the expansion of the Penang International Airport (PIA). The airport’s handling capacity is set to increase from 6.5 million to 12 million passengers per annum after completion. To enhance the transport infrastructure network of Penang, the central government further approved the proposed construction of Penang’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) system. The proposed Bayan Lepas LRT line spanning about 29.9 kilometres will connect the main North-South regions of George Town. This development will significantly improve accessibility to George Town from the PIA, potentially bolstering the portfolio due to its proximity to the planned LRT stations, just a short stroll away.

The strength of the Singapore dollar (SGD) presents an excellent investment opportunity for Singaporean investors to acquire overseas properties at a reduced cost.  The depreciation of several foreign currencies against SGD over the years has made investments in those countries up to 20 per cent more affordable. In the past, many Singaporean investors might have overlooked the Penang real estate market. Now, with Penang’s conservation shophouses currently priced between 10-15 percent of the cost of Singapore’s conservation shophouses, it is anticipated that these shophouses hold significant potential for substantial future growth.  The possibility of intensifying the existing built-up area and change of use could further enhance the chance of future capital appreciation.

Mr Tan concluded, “Penang has been steadily growing as a hub for investments, especially in sectors like technology and manufacturing. The Malaysia government’s initiatives and ongoing development projects indeed make it an attractive destination for investors, including those from Singapore. The strategic location infrastructure developments, and business-friendly policies contribute to its appeal.”

The Expression of Interest exercise for these shophouses will close on Thursday, 18 January 2024 at 3pm, Singapore time.

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