Property Insider with Dato ’Ir. Steve Chong Yoon On
After developing the renowned Austin Heights, founder of cluster homes concepts in Johor Bahru, Dato’ Ir. Steve Chong Yoon On tell us about property development, Johor’s property outlook and what to look out for when purchasing a property.
How did you started out as a developer ?
Honours Degree in Civil Engineering, I had returned to Malaysia and was working for 15 years in various organizations including government service as an engineer at JKR Terengganu, was based with private construction firm and as a design Engineer in a design consulting firm. Subsequently, I was head-hunted for a World Bank project as the Chief Resident Engineer by taking charge of the 200 million : Kluang New Water Supply project. Then in 2001, I started out with my own construction and development company.
When asked on this experiences ?
“My experiences years out more than my interest, as my initial passion was on architecture,” he had laughed heartily. Dato’Ir. Steve Chong Yoon On had cumulative years of extensive experiences in the developing industry ranging from governmental and private developments. From the extensive developing from both sectors, he then moved on to his own property development, Austin Heights.
On cluster homes concept
A developer that gave more square feet than others by taking the backyard out of the blueprint. Each home is a Semi- D with the price of a terrace home, which was a concept relatively unheard of during 2004. Being the first to introduce the concept, feng shui was the factors that surfaced resulting in skeptical remarks of buyers “if there is nothing of a backyard, it then can result in not having any descendants.” He had answered in full optimism regarding the remarks saying that that’s the strategy of how ancient war was fought, they only have a wall as a backing, as the safest stratagem. Then with the better understanding of how a cluster concept works, resulting in well responses : The first phase of the cluster homes was sold out in the first week as well as for the second phase on the second week and so forth. “ It was really well received, and it’s the trend in Johor Bahru.”
The 4 Factors
I look upon myself, as the buyer along with the viewpoint of a buyer. What considerations that I had to take when buying a home, what kind of environment I want to be in, what are the wants for a home. It all goes down to the fundamental basic, developing for people. So, when buying there are four factors that are to be taken into considerations. The four factors of buying a property are :
1. Buying for building a home or businesses
2. Buying for investment, safeguarding your money
3. Buying for status
4. Buying as insurance, during time of instability.
What to look out for when buying a property
Buying a property should not be undertaken lightly, especially looking for the perfect place, Dato’Ir. Steve Chong Yoon On gave the insights to what to look out for.
The location of a property is vital. “Is it a township that is mature with surrounding amenities such as schools, hospitals, and commercial areas.”
“Accessibility and visibility,” a property that is easily connecting to main roads and highways, traffic infrastructures , car park spaces, and broad driving roads. It is not the typical buying mentality of “ If it is expensive, can’t buy or if it’s cheap, can buy.”
When buying a property, the judging questions must be “ Would it be a well planned township that is sustainable with an established neighborhood?” In addition to a detailed background check “ Who is developing the project?” as a reputable developer with good development records adds up to meticulously planned township that will have a strong future with community living.
On the debated topic of a property bubble in Johor
It’s a myth. “ There would be no property bubble as the government and Bank Negara has regulations and controlling measure that will contribute to
keeping sustainable property prices.”
They say timing is everything
Would it a good time to invest for a property in Johor?
“Yes, by all means.” Not because I am a developer, because of the rising prices of property in KL and Penang, along with the Singapore factor where Singaporeans will buy a property and reside in Johor due to the rise of living cost in Singapore. Furthermore, with huge landbanks in Johor which sums up to affordable property, the future infrastructures and developments that is in place that gives a strong boost to factors of investment.
Dato’Ir Steve Chong Yoon On then ends the interview with a smile on his face. Afterall he takes real pride in being the developer that has a big heart on a good development.
Dato’ Ir Steve Chong Yoon On currently presides as the Chairman and founder of Austin Heights Group of Companies which includes DREAM
( Development, Real-estate, Education, Assets & Management )
Dato; Ir Steve Chong Yoon On professional affiliates includes :
1) Professional Engineers ( PE ) – Registered with the Board of BEM
2) Fellow, Institute of Engineers Malaysia (FIEM)
3) Chartered Engineer – Registered with Engineering Council, UK ( C.Eng )
4) Member of Institute of Civil Engineers, London ( MICE )
5) Institute of Engineers Malaysia ( IEM ) – Ex-Chairman ( Southern Branch )