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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Property launches do well for this year

The capital values for high end condominiums in quarter three (Q3) this year are currently still hovering close to the original purchase prices, albeit with a small premium.

Regroup Associates Sdn Bhd executive director Paul Khong tells StarBizWeek via e-mail that new launches during this year has done fairly well with at least 50% sales or more.

“The demand which headed upwards earlier this year was due to the perception of an uptrend in the economy and the availability of low financing rates locally,” he says.

He further says that prices range from RM1,000 to RM1,300 depending on projects located on the fringe of KLCC. The best ones are now changing hands at RM1,600 per sq ft to close to RM2,000 per sq ft.

“Generally, the market took a sudden upturn from quarter two this year till mid of quarter three. Sales of condominiums which were within the affordable range of RM1mil to RM2mil per unit price took of well. Sales were brisk. For example, St Mary, SP Setia’s Sky Residence and few others,” he says.

Khong adds that enbloc purchasers are also reselling their units in KL Pavilion. Generally, sales are going well with more than 50% done.

“However, by mid September, the demand has weakened and sales have slowed down and this trend is expected to carry through to the holiday seasons,” he says.

On the real property gains tax (RPGT) to be imposed by the Government in January next year, Paul says the introduction of RPGT at 5% will obviously have a negative impact.

“It has drawn mixed reactions from the market and many parties view that this move will dampen market sentiments,” he says.

Paul adds that although it is intended to curb speculation, the impact will only be seen in the next six months.

“Many property owners will now rush to sell off their investments within the next 18 weeks or so to escape the RPGT.

On the regional investment market, Malaysian properties will now be less attractive as any gains obtained from disposal will be taxed,” he says.

He further says that the local market rallied when RPGT was temporarily suspended in March 2007. Prices in KLCC and Mont’Kiara shot up substantially.

“But by Q3 2008, all the premiums gained earlier have virtually disappeared,” he says.

Meanwhile, property developer Naza TTDI Sdn Bhd marketing & sales and quality assurance senior general manager Myrzela Sabtu tells StarBizWeek through an e-mail that the performance outlook for high end properties is neutral to positive.

“Factors include better economic performance outlook, favourable interest rates, strong commodity prices, more optimistic sentiment for next year, strong employment figures and better stock market performance,” she says.

She adds that in the case of Naza TTDI, the demand for their high end properties are well-received based on their strong following, a substantial number of repeat buyers, appreciation value of the houses, quality and good after sales service.

“Strategies that are being undertaken to increase sales is to make it easier for customers to purchase properties such as zero entry cost and no stamp duty, value for money and the property is built to advance stage before launch to reduce holding period,” she says.

Naza TTDI’s current high end residential projects among others is the The Valley TTDI in Ampang.

DTZ research report for Q3 says that market confidence is being restored for residential sector with stronger take up in the new launches and increased transaction in the secondary market.

DTZ consulting and research executive director Brian Koh says that prices are stable in Q3 but would face pressure, as there is still substantial new supply pending completion.

“There are also some tentative signs that foreign buyers are trickling back into the market due to the deregulation of foreign investment committee (FIC) guidelines announced on June 30.

In the new guidelines, all properties transactions, including those between foreigners and “non-bumiputra” will no longer require FIC approval except for transactions that involve a dilution of “bumiputra” or Government interest for property valued at RM20mil and above,” he says in the report.

He further says that Pavilion Tower which was recently completed and soft launched in August is well received with prices that are about 30% higher than Pavilion Tower 2 which was launched and fully sold three years ago.

Generally, he says that there is relief from the market that worst may be over although it may be too early to ascertain given current experts views on truncated “V” or “W” shape recovery.

By The Star (by Edy Sarif)

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