With the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Malaysia come April 1, both consumers and businesses are jittery and adopting a wait-and-see attitude.

How does this affect the outlook for the property market, especially in Ipoh?

Leading developer in Perak, Team Keris Berhad (TKB), with major commercial, residential, industrial and integrated developments in Ipoh, believe that now more than ever, properties are still the best bet when it comes to investment.

Sharing this opinion was Director of TKB Michael Tan Hau Koon. He said, "Cash is no longer an asset in today's economy. Although buying properties is still the best way to protect our wealth, we must be smart to buy those that are low in risk and have a greater margin for appreciation.”

Thus despite uncertain market sentiments, TKB is aggressive in their property development and have lined up some twenty project launches throughout 2015, beginning with the launch of the Group's Ipoh South Precinct Show Village on February 15. A showcase of Ipoh South Precinct's seven distinctive properties simultaneously, this RM10.0 Million Show Village provides resident and returning Ipohlites a first hand experience of the lifestyle at Ipoh South Precinct this Lunar New Year.

Continuing with the momentum of 2014, TKB is bullish about growing its 58 completed and ongoing project portfolio establish over 20 years ago.

Said Michael, "There is no denying that in general there will be a slow down in property uptake in 2015, particularly in cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Bahru where prices are extremely high.

"Ipoh, however, will do as well as it did last year. Properties here have a big margin for appreciation and prices are still very much affordable.

"We believe that Ipoh will continue to grow vibrantly, with more flights being served at the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport and the upcoming connectivity to Butterworth via the Electric Train Service (ETS). These enhancements in infrastructure in addition to the existing North-South Expressway, have made Ipoh more accessible to the masses. This accessibility is not enjoyed by other cities, for example, those beyond the ETS line.

"Also, we have noticed an influx of young entrepreneurs. Ipohites are flocking home to set up new businesses after their studies and are generating economic growth here. It is easier to start off a business in Ipoh as it is their home base. Some are back to take over the family business, bringing with them fresh ideas and strategies to grow

it further.

"We are well-prepared and understand the development movement in Ipoh, which is moving south. As such, we have launched Ipoh South Precinct, the largest freehold-titled integrated township in Ipoh. Within this development are 800 residential units, almost 200 commercial units, a hypermarket, retail shopping, food court and Food and Beverage outlets. This development will progressively complete in 2017.

"We are here for the long haul to create opportunities for more people to own their first property. Therefore, we always believe in developing something that would meet the needs of consumers and to price them sensibly to cater to the working class communities.

"GST is not something that we can escape from but will need to get used to over time. As we have bought most land parcels long ago at good prices, we are able to continue to market our properties at affordable prices, which will defer the impact of the tax on property purchasers. Obviously, our prices will be adjusted according to the market over time. Therefore, potential buyers should take advantage of this offer while it lasts.

"To weather the storm, property developers have to come out with a fresh product to tap into the market, introduce it at an appropriate time and dare to market it at the right price." “This is Team Keris Berhad’s commitment to Perak”