UPDATE1: Japan’s Daiwa House diversifies Malaysian business from housing to logistics

28, Nov. 2018

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KUALA LUMPUR, NNA - Japan’s leading developer Daiwa House Industry Co. is diversifying its Malaysian operations from housing to logistics, hoping to offset the drag from an oversupplied real estate market.

The company will build a distribution facility equipped with refrigerators and freezers in the central state of Selangor for 2 billion yen ($17.6 million) by the end of 2019, Yutaka Satomi, chief executive of Daiwa House Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., told NNA.

The facility will go into full-scale operation by late 2020. Most tenants are expected to be Japanese wholesalers.

Daiwa expects the country’s logistics demand to boom on e-commerce transactions and fresh produce deliveries on the back of a steady increase in the population and economy.

In its first housing development overseas, Daiwa partnered with Sunway Berhad in 2015 to build 100 semi-detached houses and bungalows at Iskandar city in the southernmost state of Johor.

But the property “bubble” in the city and slow official approval led to sluggish sales. Daiwa had sold only 11 houses by the end of October, Satomi said.

The value of unsold residential properties in Malaysia surged to 22 billion ringgit ($525 million) at the end of March, up 65 percent from 13.3 billion ringgit three months earlier.

Daiwa is trying to sell more houses to buyers in Singapore, just south of Iskandar.