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Saturday, July 10, 2010

When high-end living turns super luxurious

The benchmark for luxurious residences in the country has risen in the past few years and it is becoming more common to read about such properties fetching unbelievable prices, at least in this part of the world.

News that a Malaysian tycoon paid a whopping RM38mil for a triplex penthouse in Binjai On The Park shows that Malaysia has its fair share of affluent people with a penchant for exclusive high-end living.

Super luxurious residences are mostly located at very exclusive addresses, are very spacious and fitted with the best that money can buy.

Besides being the only condominium project with undisrupted view of the widely acclaimed KLCC vista and direct access to the sprawling KLCC park, the 14,300-sq-ft Binjai residence is one of only two such units.

The transaction is certainly a bright spark for industry players with projects in the KLCC vicinity. Afterall, the KLCC market is still relatively slow due to the current oversupply situation and the small tenancy market.

Things may start to look up again for the market if buyers feel it is the right time to buy to leverage on potential capital appreciation as prices have dropped from their previous pre-crisis high.

If the trend continues, the luxurious residential market will be huge in the next few years.

The growing globalisation and cross-border trade and investment will continue to fuel demand for such projects.

This is because there is an increasing number of “borderless” people who have businesses and homes in various corners of the world, and they will be looking for quality property to buy for investment or as their transit homes.

With Asia’s economy continuing to power on and proving its resilience, many newly rich Asians who have made it to the Forbes wealthiest list and successful people will be the next big market for these luxurious properties.

Complementing the super luxurious projects is the elite addresses.

While the KLCC and Mont’Kiara have the most number of high-rise condominiums in Kuala Lumpur, Bukit Tunku and Kenny Hills are the hot favourites for exclusive landed residential projects.

A number of projects, which were earlier planned for launch a year or two ago, have been put on hold because of the global financial crisis.

These include SP Setia Bhd’s Duta Grande, comprising 15 super-luxurious bungalows in Bukit Tunku. The 18,000 to 20,000-sq-ft units will be priced at around RM30mil each.

Another upmarket project nearby is offering villas of 16,000 to 19,000 sq ft that have price tags of RM20mil.

At such prices, the buyers can expect only the best including covered garage, car and passenger lifts, walk-in wine cellars, and spa to lap pool and home theatre.

Luckily for the buyers, the local property market has not gone overboard like in some of the more expensive cities, such as Shanghai in China.

A super-luxurious villa in the Chinese city recently changed owners for one billion yuan or about RM470mil. The three-storey villa is sited on 20 acres and has a built-up area of more than 40,000 sq ft.

No wonder the Chinese authorities are worried that the property market has overheated and have put in place various credit tightening measures to cool it down.

While such luxurious projects will attract the well-heeled and high net-worth investors to our shores and raise the profile of Malaysia’s properties, developers should balance such projects with other more affordable projects to meet the demand of the average buyers.

Deputy news editor Angie Ng says while things still look pretty much under control for our property market, it pays to remain vigilant and all stakeholders need to contribute towards a balanced and sustainable market.

By The Star

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