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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bukit Jelutong sees brisk sales

PETALING JAYA: NBC Land Sdn Bhd’s maiden foray into high-end property development in Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam has paid off as its Jelutong Heights project has seen brisk sales.

Artist's impression of Jelutong Heights

Bukit Jelutong has a huge potential for growth as it is one of the few areas with freehold land available in Shah Alam,” said executive chairman and managing director Ng Bee Chai (pix).

Officially launched last month, Jelutong Heights, which comprises 112 units of 2 ½-storey semidetached houses, has recorded a 90% takeup for the 26 units opened for sale. The project is located on a 15-acre freehold tract in Seksyen U8, Bukit Jelutong, fronting the Bukit Cerakah Forest Reserve and a stone’s throw away from the Bukit Cahaya Agricultural Park. NBC Land acquired the piece of land in an open tender with Guthrie Group.

Ng said the homes in the low-density, self-integrated township are targeted at professionals and businessmen, particularly those looking for a home in a low density, gated and guarded development.

“We are offering greater value for money by providing an extension to the 36-month defect liability period, which sets us apart from other similar developments,” he told theSun. He added that buyers nowadays are very particular about accessibility, infrastructure and the building materials used by the developer.

Jelutong Heights is accessible via the North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), Elite Highway, Shah Alam Expressway, Guthrie Corridor Expressway and Federal Highway. The project,with a gross development value (GDV) of RM150 million, is expected to be completed in 2009.

The units in Jelutong Heights, priced at RM1 million onwards, have built-ups ranging from 3,600 sq ft to 4,000 sq ft. Ng said the prices are very competitive as similar developments in Bukit Jelutong are going at approximately RM2 million per unit.

“Having launched our first phase, we are now focusing on our two upcoming phases, which would comprise four traditional designs and two modern designs that are based on customer feedback,” he said.

However, the group has yet to decide when the new phases would be launched as it is in the midst of completing the show units and studying market demand.

Meanwhile, its bungalow development project, Beverly Hills, which is located adjacent to Jelutong Heights, is still awaiting approval from the authorities. The plans are for bungalows with built-ups between 3,000 sq ft and 4,000 sq ft, priced from RM3 million each for a GDV of RM70 million.

“We are in no hurry as we would like to focus on completing Jelutong Heights before starting any new project,” he said. The group has 162 acres of undeveloped landbank in Klang, including 44 acres in Kuala Selangor and 7.5 acres in Bukit Jelutong.

Incorporated in 1970, NBC Land was previously involved in low to medium-cost developments. It has successfully completed and delivered housing projects worth more than RM100 million, including Kota Pendamar and Taman Baiduri in Klang as well as Kota Alam in Kuala Selangor. For more information, call 03-3343 0008.

By theSun (by Yap Yew Jin)

Rahim & Co ties up with long-term partner

KUALA LUMPUR: Local property consulting firm Rahim & Co Chartered Surveyors Sdn Bhd is strengthening its position in the industry by forming a strategic alliance with London Stock Exchangelisted Savills. Rahim & Co and Savills have a working relationship going back 20 years.

Its executive chairman Datuk Abdul Rahim Rahman (pix) said, the group is proud to be associated with a prestigious name such as Savills. “We hope this partnership will strengthen our position in the global market even more by putting Rahim & Co on the world map as an international real estate player,” he told reporters after the signing ceremony between the two
companies last week.

The strategic alliance, known as Savills Rahim & Co, takes effect this month, once it receives approval from the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Malaysia.

Previously, the companies worked together via teleconferencing and regular meetings, keeping both in touch with the global market and enabling them to draw on a broader range of experience and expertise.

Last year, Rahim & Co sold RM160 million worth of properties in one transaction through the help of Savills.

“This strategic alliance will no doubt open up new business horizons for both parties,” Abdul Rahim added.

“Among some of the developments (in Malaysia) that we intend to promote to foreign investors and funds include those located in the KLCC area, Langkawi and the Iskandar Development Region (IDR),” he said.

Savills Asia Pacific Ltd chief executive officer Robert McKeller said Malaysia is an emerging property market with huge potential due to its ease of conducting business.

“Several countries, such as China, have real estate markets that are difficult to invest in due to the various restrictions and tax issues,” he said.

With property becoming a global asset like stocks and bonds, McKeller feels it is important to have representation in various parts of the world to meet the needs of customers.

“Having a representative in the Asia Pacific market gives Savills a huge advantage over other
companies that do not but have customers interested in properties from that part of the world,” he said.

Rahim & Co was founded in 1976 and currently has a network of 16 offices nationwide and two offices in China and Hong Kong.

Savills is a leading international property services group established in 1855, which covers markets throughout Europe, Asia Pacific, Australia and Africa.

It has over 180 offices and associates worldwide, and recorded a turnover of £280 million (RM1.91 billion) for the six months up to June 30, 2007.

By theSun (by Yap Yew Jin)

Malton set to unveil Pearl Villas

PETALING JAYA: Regular users of the Sprint highway along Section 16 may have noticed a hoarding that has come up around an empty piece of land, a few metres away from a BHP petrol kiosk.

This freehold site will soon see 40 units of 2½-storey semidees being built by Malton Bhd.

Dubbed Pearl Villas, the prices of the semidees in the gated development are expected to start from RM2.6 million.

A call made to Malton’s office revealed that the developer plans to launch Pearl Villas sometime this month before the year comes to a close. It is believed that some 30 buyers, all locals, have registered their interest in the project. With two designs to choose from, the land areas of the semidees range between 3,000 and 7,000 sq ft while built-ups are from 4,700 sq ft.

Meanwhile, it is also understood that Malton is busy preparing for another high-end project launch in the Petaling Jaya vicinity. The gated project is near SS23, Taman SEA, is targeted for launch next May.

The freehold project is expected to comprise 35 units of 3-storey zero-lot bungalows and 3-storey semidees. One may own a bungalow for a cool RM4 million.

Standard units are said to have land areas of 5,000 sq ft and built-ups of 5,000 sq ft. The site is said to be located opposite the Beaconhouse Sri Inai International School. Some prospective buyers have already registered their interest.

By theSun (by Loo Pik Kwan)

Discard subsidy mentality, Najib tells builders

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday called on the construction industry to discard the subsidy mentality and strive for the highest level of quality in their work.

"Subsidies distort the economy, lull our business into complacency rendering them globally incompetitive, and do not even benefit the intended target groups," Najib said in his speech at the launching ceremony of the Construction Industry Master Plan (CIMP) Malaysia 2006-2015 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The masterplan which outlines eight critical success factors and seven strategic thrusts identified by the industry stakeholders was developed over the last four years.

Najib said while all industries will be affected by any move to reduce or eliminate subsidies, especially the subsidy for petroleum, they also stand to benefit from such a move.

"Any saving in subsidies will mean more funds for development," he said.

It has been reported that an average of RM23 billion is spent on fuel subsidy and the subsequent loss of sales tax the last three years.

"If this amount is added to the annual RM44 billion development expenditure under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, and a further RM18 billion generated annually by the various regional growth corridors, then the annual development expenditure has the potential to reach RM85 billion, almost double the present development budget," he said.

He said the construction industry must offset any increase in cost of construction by increasing their productivity.

"This is the challenge that must be dealt head-on by the CIMP. As it is, the CIMP has already set this as the first of its seven strategic thrusts," he added.

Najib also said that the CIMP should help the construction industry excel in the world of cut-throat competition.

As of 2006, Malaysian contractors have secured 373 projects valued at about RM56 billion in 37 countries. "This is no small achievement. Malaysia is now a global construction player respected by many and demanded by all," he said.

But he added that it was also evident that higher standards were expected of the industry.

"The construction industry lately seems to be attracting attention for all the wrong reasons, notwithstanding its numerous contributions to the process of nation building," Najib added.

He said the reason is that consumers have a much higher expectation of the industry.

"But I am confident that the CIMP would help redeem the image of the construction industry and put it back on track," he added.

He also said the recently launched growth corridors nationwide would benefit the construction industry.

Najib also said it was important for the construction industry to contribute to the development of human capital.

By New Straits Times (by Jennifer Gomez)

Berjaya Land to buy Faber Labuan for RM226.5m

Faber Group Bhd's subsidiary Faber Hotels Holdings Sdn Bhd said it is selling off Faber Labuan Sdn Bhd (FL) to Berjaya Land Bhd for RM226.5 million cash.

FL is an investment holding company with a 70 per cent equity interest in Vimas Joint Venture Co Ltd that in turn is involved in the building and operation of the five-star, 299-room Sheraton Hanoi Hotel & Tower in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The hotel is the only remaining hotel owned by Faber post-implementation of its debt restructuring exercise in 2004. The sale was arrived at on a willing-buyer willing seller basis via a bidding process.

In a statement issued yesterday, Faber said it expects to realise a gain on disposal of RM99.06 million. It will use proceeds from the disposal to redeem its redeemable convertible preference shares and to finance business growth and expansion plans.

"The proposed disposal of the Sheraton Hanoi Hotel will allow Faber to unlock the value of its investment in its hotel division," Faber managing director Adnan Mohammad said.

He said the group will now focus on its core businesses of facilities management in healthcare and non-healthcare, and property development.

By New Straits Times