This website is


 Welcome    Main    Forum    FAQ    Useful Links    Sample Letters   Tribunal  

Oh, ...ehvens

07/07/2007 NST PROP TALK By Andrew Wong


You probably just missed it, sleepy heads: 7.07am, 7.7.07. The next time anything this significant comes around will be in 70 years.


Today's date is so unique many memorable events have been planned so that they can be easily remembered in the annals of time.


One is Live Earth, a six-concert event that will bring more than 100 music artists in front of some two billion people, in the hope a global movement to solve the world's climate crisis will be formed.


Today, the new Seven Wonders of the World will also be announced in Lisbon, Portugal. Among the contenders: Timbuktu, which during the 12th century was one of the wealthiest places in the world and the site of humankind's first university; Petra the glittering capital of Nabataean empire on the edge of the Arabian Desert; and the Sydney Opera House in Australia, a landmark building that reflects the continent's love for abstract creativity.


I understand JK Rowling too was supposed to release her seventh instalment of the Harry Porter series today. Apparently, she's particularly fond of the number, making it the amount of players in a Quidditch team and locating Gryffindor Tower's entrance on the seventh floor at Hogwarts.


On our shores, 070707 would be especially unforgettable if some long-awaited property measures could be implemented today.


One that I would have liked to see is the full-scale implementation of a variant of the Build-Then-Sell method of housing delivery.


Over the past several weeks, you'd have read in our pages arguments from both buyers and developers on this, with the former obviously supporting it adoption and the latter, preferring the traditional method of Selling Then Building or STB, to continue.


Wisely perhaps, the government like the silent majority, have sat like spectators on the sidelines. Maybe it doesn't want to offend either side just yet; maybe it's still studying the pros and cons.


Whatever the case, I think we've gone past the point of no return. Acknowledged, the powers-that-be said last June that it would allow both BTS and STB coexist for two years, after which it would decide on the best system to use nationwide.


But I think what will - or won't - be said come June 2008 is purely academic, for with property's game-play being led by buyers and foreign investors, the traditional way of doing business - STB - can't possibly survive.


That being the case, we might as well accept the inevitable and get on with life.


Unless there are quarters harbouring hopes of wrestling control of the market from the arms of  buyers, the arguments to keep STB alive are academic at best.


Its likely successor, a BTS variant called 10:90 in which buyers only need to put 10 per cent down when signing up for a house and pay the balance upon completion, might indeed kill off smaller developers that don't have the financial strength to build without using other people's money. And it might throw prices of available stock into the air until the free market manages to adjust itself. Unfortunately as these things may be, though, I don't see a route for turning back.


A few developers that can't be bothered with rhetoric have already swung into action by offering BTS-powered projects, knowing head-banging only causes headaches and has no productive outcome.


Of course, theirs aren't common and are mainly small niche jobs targeted at the upper echelons who can afford the luxury of buying a project without any risk. But it's a start.


As it has happened in the past with trends and styles, as it gathers momentum, BTS will eventually filter down the rank and file to become accessible by more.


I just wish that time would be today.


Main   Forum  FAQ  Useful Links  Sample Letters  Tribunal  

National House Buyers Association (HBA)

No, 31, Level 3, Jalan Barat, Off Jalan Imbi, 55100, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 03-21422225 | 012-3345 676 Fax: 03-22601803 Email:

2001-2009, National House Buyers Association of Malaysia. All Rights Reserved.