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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mayland sees demand for city condominiums

Hong Kong-based property developer Malaysia Land Properties Sdn Bhd (Mayland) is very bullish about demand for high-rise condominiums in the city.

Based on the positive take-up rates of their properties so far, director Andrew Chiu says the interest in certain categories of city condominiums is expected to remain sustainable this year and next.

He says interest will be on properties of about 1,000 sq ft and below. More than half of its Royal Regent development in Jalan Kuching is sold. The only ones left are the bigger units with a built-up of 1,500 sq ft and above. The smaller units ranging from 900 sq ft to 1,200 sq ft have been sold.

“Even before we launched, our previous buyers have taken up the smaller units,” he says. A typical Mayland investor will have two to three projects already and these buyers bought nearly 70% of Royal Regent, with some of them buying two or three units at a time, he says.

Royal Regent is the third project in the Jalan Kuching location. The other projects in that 20-acre site includes Sri Putramas 1, Sri Putramas II and Royal Domain.

Sri Putramas I was the first project to be launched in that location in 2002. The units, with a standard size of about 1,000 sq ft, had prices starting at RM140,000.

Mayland subsequently launched Royal Domain at about RM200 per sq ft with units priced at about RM240,000. Today, Royal Domain, is selling at about RM320 per sq ft.

Its latest launch, Royal Regent, is priced at about RM400 per sq ft, says Chiu, adding that the location will have a total of about 3,500 units, with the completion of phase four. Royal Regent. which is phase three, is expected to be completed in 2013.

Mayland is also building Regalia@Jalan Sultan Ismail with Bina Puri Holdings Bhd, one of the largest construction groups in the country. The 38-storey has a gross development value of about RM600mil. It is scheduled for completion by early 2011.

“We are positive about demand for units located in the Golden Triangle. Land is a scarce commodity and if the Malaysian government can get the public transport system off the ground, this will add further value to the projects in the city,” Chiu says.

He says property development has become so sophisticated in his home country in Hong Kong that even with a 2,300 sq ft piece of land, it is possible to put up a 40-storey building with no car parks.

Buoyed by demand, Mayland is also embarking on another high-rise project in Ampang, just behind Ampang Point shopping centre. Known as The Elements@Ampang, the freehold service apartment project will have a gross development value of RM650mil. It sits on 2.6 acres adjacent to another high-rise project known as GBC.

The Elements will be developed by Land & General Bhd (L&G). Mayland is the largest shareholder in L&G. Besides Ampang Point shopping centre, the other closest mall is Great Eastern Mall.

The Elements will be competing with Mah Sing group’s M Suites and Brunsfield’s EmbassyView. While The Elements is located a little way off Jalan Ampang, M Suites and EmbassyView are located on Jalan Ampang itself.

L&G MD Low Gay Teck says there are several international schools in the vicinity of The Elements. These are Fairview International School, Sayfol International School, International School of Kuala Lumpur and Mutiara International School.

It will be served by Gleneagles Intan Medical Centre, Ampang Puteri Specialist Centre, Pantai Indah Hospital, Hospital Ampang, Ampang Medical Centre and Prince Court Medical Centre.

Prices at The Elements begin at RM350,000 for units with a build-up of 625 sq ft. The largest built-up is 1,550sq ft.

Low says the company is looking to buy land for residential developments with plans to sell the units at RM400 per sq ft and above.

“Cost of construction and inflation will only go up. As the Government moves along in their plans to remove subsidies, cost of construction, building materials and labour will only go up. Land prices will not be coming down. so prices will just have to keep adjusting upwards,” says Low, adding that there is a demand for land in light of expected future increase in prices.

He says the demand for certain types of properties have also led some developers to price their units at RM5mil in a RM2mil-a-unit area.

As for Mayland and companies within the group, Mayland advertising and promotions manager Ian Tay says the group together with L&G have a good following of buyers.

“Both The Elements and Royal Regent will appeal to different categories of investors. Most of those who buy into Royal Regent are upgraders. They have probably units in Sri Putramas I and II, and maybe even Royal Domain and they see the opportunity to buy into Royal Regent at RM400 per sq ft because they know the city will continue to expand. The development in the Matrade area by the Naza group is after all just a few minutes drive away,” says Tay.

Over at Elements, with prices beginning at around RM700 to RM750 per sq ft, most buyers would be investors. Tay says many may not be able to afford to stay in the city but they will want somewhere close to the city. “Ampang is not too far away from the KLCC City Centre, so the appeal is there,” he says.

By The Star

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