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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mah Sing counts on quick turnaround time

Mah Sing Group Bhd plans to leverage on its quick project turnaround time and strong branding to strengthen its position as a premier medium to high-end developer of landed and niche residential developments in the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor Baru.

The company has an impressive track record for building quality semi-detached residences and bungalows at competitive prices.

“The supply of semi-detached and detached houses is expected to make up only less than 10% of total houses built by 2010. We believe our tested model of selling semi-detached houses at the price of terrace houses and bungalows at semi-detached prices will place our products in good stead,” says Mah Sing president Datuk Seri Leong Hoy Kum.

Being market-driven, the developer has enough projects planned for launch next year to meet the demand.

“We will have approximately nine parcels of projects in this segment for launch next year, including our garden bungalows in Hijauan Residence, One Residence, Kemuning Residence, StarParc Point and Southgate Commercial Centre in the Klang Valley; Sierra Perdana and Sri Pulai Perdana 2 in Johor Baru; and Residence@Southbay and Legenda@Southbay in Penang. This segment could potentially be a natural hedge against a downcycle as there are limited investment options available now,” Leong says.

Mah Sing’s propensity to grow will come from its existing projects and locked-in sales, as well as pre-constructed projects in Kemuning Residence and Aman Perdana in the Klang Valley, and Sierra Perdana in Johor Baru.

It had purchased substantial land in 2007, with potential gross development value (GDV) exceeding RM2bil which will last the company for some time.

According to Leong, the company had RM143mil in cash as at Sept 30 and will be receiving RM213mil next year when the sale of The Icon Jalan Tun Razak is completed by June. It still has about RM3.9bil in remaining project GDV and unbilled sales that will last for the next five years. Of this, RM282mil comprised pre-constructed products locked in at old construction costs.

“We have experienced quite decent sales because of our right product mix targeting the right group of house buyers who are the medium to high-income earners in their 40s and above,” he notes.

In the first nine months this year, Mah Sing chalked up RM367mil in sales against its target of RM450mil for the whole of 2008. During the same period, it launched RM399mil worth of projects against a launch target of RM484mil for the year.

The advantage of having projects with strong product differentiation and in prime locations has also contributed to the strong take-up. Its commercial project, Southgate has done well, with 90% of Vivo and 80% of Vox & Vertex blocks sold at approximately RM1,100 per sq ft for the retail space and RM550 per sq ft for the office suites.

Leong says: “We are going to move ahead with existing projects although we will be very careful. Our projects have been designed to ride the wave of demand for medium to high-end landed residential properties, especially semi-detached homes and bungalows, where demand still exceeds supply.”

By The Star (by Angie Ng)

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