Since 2012, Brunei Darussalam restricted the purchase of properties through a power of attorney or trust deed to safeguard the interest of Bruneian citizens. However, as the government seeks to encourage investments in the local real estate market, permanent residents and foreigners are eligible for land ownership in the country for up to 99 years through a strata title.
A strata title is proof of ownership issued for each unit of a building. Upon applying for a strata title, applicants will receive a letter of confirmation from the Land Department. An applicant must then appoint a licensed surveyor to submit a breakdown of the building section and a recognised valuer to determine the unit’s settlement.
The breakdown of the building is submitted to the Survey Department, afterwhich the Land Department will issue a certification of strata plan. Once verified, the strata plan will be returned to the Survey Department to certify the strata title diagram. At the last stage of the process, the Land Department will register the strata unit.
The qualifications and practices of valuers and estate agents in the country are regulated by the Brunei Darussalam Board of Valuers and Estate Agents (BOVEA).
In December 2019, a ceremony was held for the presentation of certificates of appointment to BOVEA members, in addition to a handover of certificates of registration and practice. A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of Development (MoD) and Institute of Brunei Technical Education to re-open a course in real estate.
In November 2019, the Town and Country Planning Department of MoD launched new housing guidelines related to extension and renovation of public housing. The department also launched guidelines and standards for industry development and planning of soil density and plot ratio to optimise land use.
Additionally, the department launched two new systems. The Planning and Development Information System (i-PK), an online platform for law firms to forward applications for information on planning and development. The Information on Land Use Planning (i-PG) relays information on planning policy for the respective zone through a geoportal system at the Survey Department. The policy can be used as a guide by the public to plan their development within the respective zone.
The Residential Property Price Index (RPPI) is designed to measure the change in the average level of prices paid by households for residential properties sold in Brunei Darussalam. AMBD recently published the country’s RPPI for the third quarter of 2019.
Issued last December, the RPPI for the third quarter of 2019 was at 95.4, an increase of 11.6 per cent from the third quarter of 2018.
According to the report by AMBD, 108 transactions were recorded for residential properties. Most of the transactions were for detached houses (54.63 per cent). The remaining transactions were for terrace houses (18.52 per cent), semi-detached houses (17.59 per cent), apartments (8.33 per cent) and land (0.93 per cent).
Meanwhile, the median purchase price for residential properties was BND260,000. For detached houses, the median purchase price was BND288,000. The remaining median purchase prices for specific types of properties are as follows: BND290,000 for semi-detached houses; BND205,000 for terrace houses; BND190,000 for apartments; and BND85,000 for land.
The overall median purchase price of residential properties in the third quarter of 2019 was higher by four per cent compared to a year ago.
One Riverside is Brunei’s first luxury residential and commercial development set by the river. Situated in the heart of Gadong, facing Sungai Kedayan and Sungai Menglait, the integrated development redefines riverside living in Brunei. With its ambience and scenic view, One Riverside brings a unique experience for locals and visitors.
One Riverside is linked to the nearby commercial hub, Kiulap, via a pedestrian bridge. The development comprises 84 condominium units, private courtyard gardens, a riverside promenade and 18 commercial units.
Brunei’s premier supermarket, Supa Save, opened its fourth branch at One Riverside in March 2019. Patrons can also find popular eateries like Amsarra, Bloom Café, Chocolate Origins, Coffee Bean, Iskandar, Excapade and Ximply Chriz at One Riverside. Sports enthusiasts will enjoy shopping at Cycle Nation or Under Armour. There is also a florist, Bloom Project Co, at the site.
The latest addition to One Riverside are TKO, a boutique gym and The Copper Kitchen which is located on the ground floor of TKO Fitness.
Leeyaqat Sdn Bhd is an architectural and construction company in Brunei Darussalam with operations that have been going on for almost two decades. Leeyaqat specialises in residential construction where the company aims to help home owners and their families build their new home from concept to construction. The company is also involved in land development, building homes for sale, and smaller projects like earthwork, interior design and supply of building materials.
Since its establishment, Leeyaqat has been building houses and making its clients feel at home. Whether the customer wants their design to be sleek, minimalistic or traditional, Leeyaqat takes everything into account and puts its customers first.
Leeyaqat takes pride in its high quality building materials such as stone-coated roofing, quartz stone countertops, granite staircases and powder-coated aluminium, among other things. The company recently added kayu jati from Indonesia to its list of products. In addition to creating an elegant and luxurious finish, the materials require little to no maintenance, giving homeowners a peace of mind.
The company also offers products from Malaysian brands. Leeyaqat recently introduced security doors from New Edge and toilet accessories from Livinox, and hopes to bring in more products from neighbouring countries.
Leeyaqat aims to broaden its horizons in the future, opening up branches overseas in major cities like Dubai and Berlin.
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