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Monday, May 18, 2009

Country Heights to speed up Pajam development

PROPERTY and leisure group Country Heights Holdings Bhd will speed up development to build bungalows at its College Heights project in Pajam, Negri Sembilan, to pave the way for new launches worth some RM400 million from end-2010.

The 444ha project was launched in 1995 and Country Heights had allocated 384ha for 2,200 bungalow lots and the rest to build a university campus, shop-offices and a commercial centre.

Although it sold 1,800 lots for RM300 million in the 1990s, buyers had been reluctant to build their bungalows due to the Asian financial crises.

Year to date, only 30 bungalows were built, of which 20 are owner occupied.
Country Heights has launched the "build your dream home" campaign in an attempt to get buyers to develop their lots.

Its group managing director Mark Rozario said the company has appointed contractors, architects and security providers to help buyers build the bungalows at 30 per cent cheaper than market price.

But to do that, it would need 100 buyers to agree before the contractors and the service providers embark on buying construction materials.

"The more materials their buy, the lower the building costs," Rozario said at a recent media briefing in Seri Kembangan, Selangor.

Rozario added that by lowering building costs, the contractors will be able to construct a single-storey bungalow for as low as RM177,000 and a double-storey bungalow from RM300,000.

"We are not making profits from this but helping buyers move into their dream home. Pajam is well developed and we feel it is an opportune time for our investors to realise the value of their land," he said.

Following the development of the bungalow lots, Country Heights will launch shop offices and the hypermarket and perhaps develop the university campus by the end of next year.

Pipeline launches may include a hospital and a hotel, among others.

Rozario said Country Heights will not be launching new projects this year in the Klang Valley due to the unfavourable market condition. The company will only embark on new launches at the end of next year.

Hence, Rozario said, he does not expect growth in the company's net profit and revenue this year.

"We are facing a challenging time but having said that, we have a property inventory of RM500 million. So we are sitting on very significant unrealised profits and some will be recognised this year," he said.

For fiscal year ended December 31 2008, Country Heights posted a net profit of RM9.2 million on revenue of RM241 million.

By Business Times (by Sharen Kaur)

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