The Straits Times | Sunday, Jun 02, 2013

AS A realtor and investor, Ms Germaine Ng, 40, has had years of experience buying and selling properties, but she had always focused on the Singapore market.

Last year, however, a client opened her eyes to the possibilities in Iskandar.

“He pointed out to me that Singapore homes are expensive and just across the Causeway, it’s so beautiful and the prices are so low,” she recalled.

Ms Ng went to see for herself. She was so impressed by Puteri Harbour that she signed up to buy a two-bedroom unit at Imperia, the first condominium development to be launched in the area.

Puteri Harbour, which aims to be Johor’s answer to Singapore’s Keppel Bay and One Degree 15, is a waterfront development with a marina which can berth 200 yachts.

“The whole environment is really nice, there’s a jetty there and you feel like you’re in Australia,” she said.

She also feels that she got a good deal on the unit. She paid RM1.5 million (S$618,000) for the unit, or about RM800 per square foot (psf).

“A 409 sq ft unit at Oceanfront Suites at Pasir Ris, which is near the water, was recently sold for $1,500 psf, which works out to slightly above $600,000 and it has a 999-year tenure,” she noted. “For that same price, I got a 1,900 sq ft unit in Imperia, which is freehold and is also next to the water.”

She also received a waiver on the start-up fee for a golf membership at Horizon Hills when she bought her apartment.

Ms Ng was among the first movers in Puteri Harbour. Since Imperia, there have been six other residential projects launched in the area, and most are sold out.

Indeed, prices have moved at a clip since Ms Ng made her purchase. “Now, the new launches are going for RM1,200 psf,” she said.

Puteri Harbour has just become even more attractive as it now has a new ferry terminal from which passengers can take ferries to VivoCity in Singapore. A two-way trip costs RM48 and takes about an hour one-way.

In fact, Ms Ng is so upbeat about Iskandar these days that she is already looking for a second Iskandar home to invest in.

“The next one will be a landed property,” she said.

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