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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Iskandar sparks flurry of high-end property projects in south Johor

The launch of the Iskandar Development Region in November 2006 has spurred a new market segment for high-end properties in south Johor.

The virtually non-existent market in the south is set to change dramatically with the scheduled start-up of several mega projects within Iskandar over the next three to five years.

Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said 25 major developers had submitted plans for housing, commercial and mixed-development projects in the coming months.

Many of these offer upmarket lifestyle developments featuring exclusive bungalows, luxury apartments and commercial complexes.

Ghani, who is co-chairman of the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) with the Prime Minister, said the housing boom in Iskandar was crucial to meet the anticipated spike in demand with the implementation of Iskandar-designated projects.

He said even with the present unsold housing stock of about 8,000 units and the 10,000-odd new houses due to enter the market by 2012, there would be a glaring deficit to meet demands in Iskandar.

"It is crucial that developers start their planned housing schemes on schedule so that there would be no shortfall in the supply-demand situation when Iskandar is at its full swing," he said in a statement issued by the Menteri Besar office yesterday.

Ghani said that the property boom has also had a knock-on effect on land prices which continue to rise in Iskandar, with a transaction done recently at RM50 psf compared with RM43 psf four months earlier and several times the price two years ago.

The purchase by a consortium consisting of Dubai's Limitless Holdings (60 per cent) and UEM Land (40 per cent) was to develop high end waterfront properties on 45ha of land in Puteri Harbour, that was acquired for RM242 million or RM50 psf.

The trend in already evident in latest property launches here by Central Malaysian Properties Sdn Bhd (The Lido Boulevard), Danga Bay Sdn Bhd (Danga Island Villas) and Gamuda Land Bhd (Horizon Hills).

Other developers like UEM Land, (Puteri Harbour and Ledang Heights) and Mulpha Land Berhad (Leisure Farm) have also started selling luxury houses priced well above the RM1 million mark.

The Danga Island Villas, for instance, are going at between RM4 million and RM15 million each.

The RM330 million development is being touted as Iskandar's first high-end waterfront lifestyle living concept.

By New Straits Times (by Siti Nurbaiyah Nadzmi)

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