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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dijaya plans RM1.2b high-end projects by year-end

Property developer Dijaya Corp Bhd aims to launch four new high-end projects worth RM1.2 billion before year-end as it is bullish on the market, its chief said.

Dijaya plans to launch its Casa Tropicana condominium and Tropicana Avenue office development at Tropicana Golf and Country Resort in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, within the next one month.

Casa Tropicana has 296 units worth RM138 million or more than RM400,000 each, ranging from 986 sq ft to 1,400 sq ft.

Tropicana Avenue, worth RM336 million, comprises 442 offices. Sizes start at 885 sq ft and each office is priced at RM400,000 onwards.

Dijaya managing director Datuk Tong Kien Onn said the two projects have received overwhelming enquiries from buyers including foreigners.
"We expect the projects to do well. There are discerning buyers who want to put their money into properties as an investment," Tong said in an interview with Business Times.

Tong said the company's recent launches namely, Grand Villas and Pool Villas at Tropicana Indah Resort Homes in Petaling Jaya enjoyed good sales.

In May, Dijaya launched Grande Villas, comprising 12 bungalows worth RM61 million. One third has been sold, with each unit being priced at RM5.5 million onwards.

A month later, it launched Pool Villas, which are 54 units of semi-detached homes worth RM194 million or from RM3.6 million each. A few units have been taken up.

Tong said by December it will launch Tropics @ Sg Long in Cheras, where it has 10.7ha of land.

He said the project will comprise semi-detached homes, zero lot and link houses worth over RM200 million.

Also in December, Dijaya will launch Phase One of Tropicana City@Danga Bay, its RM3.8 billion integrated waterfront flagship project in Johor.

Phase One will feature some 700 units of upper middle serviced apartments in three blocks, worth RM600 million or more than RM600 per sq ft each.

By Business Times

UEM Land plans RM4.5b developments

UEM Land Holdings Bhd said it was planning to launch three residential projects worth over RM4.5 billion in phases starting from the end of this year.

The projects are Nusa Bayu, a 103ha mixed-residential development worth RM700 million and a 35-storey residences and 20-storey commercial tower on 1.3ha fronting Puteri Harbour, a waterfront development.

UEM Land managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim said in an interview with Business Times recently that the estimated gross development value (GDV) for the residences and commercial tower, including two building currently under construction, is RM387.9 million.

Nusa Bayu will offer 4,942 double-storey terraced homes, shophouses, and medium- to low-cost apartments. Some 673 units will be launched this year.
Its most expensive project is Northern Estuary, a 154ha high-end, low density and sustained eco-living residential development worth RM3.5 billion.

The project, an extension of Puteri Harbour, will offer 3,016 garden and seafront villas, semi-detached houses, townhouses and low- and high-rise condos.

It will house a retirement village, a neighbourhood centre, an international school and a clubhouse.

"We have recorded encouraging sales in all our direct development projects, as proven by our average take-up rate of 76 per cent as at June 30 2010," Wan Abdullah said.

Its ongoing residential projects include East Ledang, Horizon Hills, Ledang Heights and Nusa Idaman.

He said Horizon Hills and Nusa Idaman had achieved take-up rate of 75 per cent and 79 per cent, and GDV of RM4 billion and RM790 million, respectively.

Other ongoing developments at Nusajaya, besides the housing projects, are Puteri Harbour, Kota Iskandar, the Southern Industrial and Logistics Clusters (SiLC) and Afiat Healthpark with a combined GDV exceeding RM5.2 billion (land sales only).

"All the projects are progressing well towards achieving 'tipping point' in 2012, when all the necessary ingredients within Nusajaya will be in full force. We have achieved so much in the past few years," he said.

By Business Times

UEM Land to step up Nusajaya projects

UEM Land Holdings Bhd, the master developer for Nusajaya in Johor, says it will accelerate developments at Nusajaya City by developing large-scale catalyst projects and co-develop its present land reserves of 3,800ha with world-class developers.

The projects are expected to spur economic activity and promote further development and marketing projects, UEM Land managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim said.

"Our total gross development value (GDV) sits at RM12.28 billion. We are expecting more," Wan Abdullah said in an interview with Business Times recently.

"We will sell some of our land to renowned developers, investors, strategic partners and others, who will in turn develop an attractive residential, commercial and mixed-use properties," he added.
UEM Land has been selling land in Nusajaya for about RM145 per sq ft. Four months ago, it sold land to Encorp Group for RM180 psf.

The difference in pricing is due to the size of the land parcels, allowable development plot ratio and location, Wan Abdullah said.

He said UEM Land will leverage on the government's plans and the development of Medini by Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB).

IIB, a unit controlled by state-owned investment arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd, is the catalytic developer of Iskandar Malaysia.

Wan Abdullah said the projects undertaken by IIB such as Medini, a mixed-development comprising three important clusters namely lifestyle & leisure, cultural and Iskandar financial district, are pivotal to the whole development of Nusajaya City.

Ongoing IIB projects include the Newcastle University medical faculty campus, the first out of eight tertiary faculties to open in Educity, a one million sq ft retail mall, and Legoland Malaysia.

The latter project is expected to open in 2012 with an estimated 1.2 million visitors in the first year.

"I believe Nusajaya City will do well, especially with the global economy coming out of recession. With this upward trend, the global market is large enough to support the development," he said.

By Business Times

YTL Land's Dale in Lake Fields 100% sold out, ahead of launch

A new benchmark was set for Sungei Besi properties today, as Dale – the latest offering by YTL Land & Development in Lake Fields sold out all 343 units ahead of its launch. Priced between RM638,800 to RM1,329,620, Dale has not only set a new price standard for Sungei Besi homes but also demonstrated the area’s potential as KL’s next property hotspot.

The preview held for YTL valued buyers and registrants in Starhill Gallery saw teeming crowds rushing to stake a claim in the project from as early as Wednesday, 25th August, with more than 50% snapped up by the 2nd day, and 100% before the end of the preview on the 4th day.

Commenting on the staggering results, Dato’ Yeoh Seok Kian, Executive Director, YTL Land & Development Berhad said, “We knew the interest in Dale was high as more than 4,000 people signed up for the project through an earlier registration exercise held less than two months ago. But we certainly didn’t expect a sell-out success prior to the launch, surpassing the results of our first phase – Meadows & Glades launched in 2005.”

“This clearly shows that Lake Fields’ popularity as a modern, spacious residential development, coupled with Sungei Besi’s strategic location that is well-connected with multiple highways and public transport, is in high demand.”

Dato’ Yeoh also added that the positive response was in appreciation of YTL Land’s track record of delivering truly branded homes with highly unique concepts. A testament of this was when an intermediate home from Meadows & Glades recently sold at a record RM665,000; translating to an appreciation of approximately 80% from its launch price of RM360,000 in 2005.

The RM300 million Dale project is the 2nd phase to be launched in Lake Fields and features 3-storey spacious homes enhanced with a more generous design and layout. The centrepiece of these 20’ X 80’ homes is the double volume living area with floor-to-ceiling windows, to add to its already spacious 2,600 sq. ft. built-up. With a total of five bedrooms including a bedroom with an en suite bathroom on the ground floor for the convenience of the elderly, Dale provides generous space for all in the family. For more information, please visit

By The Star

Key Asian markets strike early to ward off property bubble

Key Asian economies fearing a US-style housing market bubble are taking fresh measures to curb runaway property prices as the region leads the global rebound from recession.

High domestic liquidity, cash-rich foreign investors and low interest rates have stoked demand, with prices for some sectors in Hong Kong and Singapore surpassing peaks seen in previous property booms.

China is also trying to rein in buyer exuberance by tightening credit and imposing other regulations that make it tougher to buy and sell property.

"On the whole, this is good news because this is a potential problem area and regulators are acting early on it," said Deborah Schuler, senior vice president and group credit officer for financial institutions with Moody's Investors Service, told AFP.

"These are people who believe you should not wait for bubbles."The International Monetary Fund said in a report in June that booming Asian real estate markets "may pose risks to financial stability as banks are increasingly vulnerable to a price correction".

"In addition, because the majority of mortgage loans in Asian economies carry floating rates, the widely anticipated rate hikes in the region may increase the burden on household balance sheets," it added.

Singapore on Monday introduced new regulations to curb "flipping" -- buying condominium units on easy credit and reselling them for a quick profit even before the property is built or opened for occupancy.

A typical three-bedroom suburban apartment of around 100 square metres (1,100 square feet) that will be ready for occupancy in only two or three years now costs at least a million US dollars in Singapore.In Hong Kong, a similar property can cost twice as much.

"We think that if we do nothing, there's going to be a bubble," Singapore's Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan said.

"And when the bubble bursts, not if but when it bursts, there will be severe implications for individuals as well as for the economy as a whole," he said.

Singapore's latest measures are aimed largely at buyers who have at least one outstanding mortgage.The minimum cash downpayment was raised from five to 10 percent of valuation, while the maximum amount a bank can lend was capped at 70 percent, down from 80 percent.

The balance can be taken from a buyer's pension fund."This round of tightening appears to be the most draconian," said CIMB bank analyst Donald Chua.

In Hong Kong, the territory's richest man Li Ka-shing snapped up in August two prime residential sites at prices well above market estimates.

On Tuesday, another developer paid 165 million US dollars for a plot of prime land in the teeming Kowloon district.Hong Kong announced in August it would further increase land supply and tighten mortgage lending on top of previous measures announced last year.

Home prices in the Chinese territory have surged nearly 45 percent from their trough at the end of 2008.Mainland China's property prices rose at a slower pace in July, suggesting policy measures to cool the sector may be having an impact.

Beijing has tightened restrictions on advance sales of new developments, introduced curbs on loans for third home purchases and raised minimum downpayments for second homes.

The measures will help prevent "drastic fluctuations" in the market, Agricultural Bank of China chairman Xiang Junbo said Monday.

Asian economies have outperformed their Western counterparts in recovering from the global slump that started in late 2008.

"In Asia in general, there are strong capital inflows because of the strong recovery in Asia and the disparate performances between the Western and Asian economies," said Ho Woei Chen, an analyst with Singapore's United Overseas Bank.

Colin Tan, head of research and consultancy at Chesterton Suntec International in Singapore, said more cooling measures may be necessary.

"The liquidity problem is a global one. In Singapore, we are only starting to tackle this problem," he wrote in local newspaper Today.

"Believe me, this is just the beginning."


Naim seeks bumiputra property partner in Sabah

KUCHING: Naim Holdings Bhd is actively seeking a bumiputra partner in Sabah where it plans to expand its property development and construction business.

Corporate services and human resource senior director Ricky Kho said the partnership could be a joint venture or other types of collaboration.

Ricky Kho says the company has the financial muscle to acquire up to 400ha for property development.

“Naim has serious talks with several Sabah landowners to develop their land on a joint-venture basis but nothing concrete has come out from such discussions. We have carried out feasibility studies on several localities there for property development. It is important to find the right development areas and partner(s),’’ he told StarBiz on Monday.

Kho said the company had the financial muscle to acquire up to 400ha for property development.

Naim, Sarawak’s leading developer, has built over 17,000 units of houses of various types, most of them in Miri and Kuching. About 95% of these houses have been sold.

The group has a landbank of about 1,000ha in Sarawak – in Miri, Kuching and Bintulu.

He said the company, which had delivered several major construction and infrastructure projects in Sarawak, had the expertise and capability to undertake similar projects in Sabah.

Naim has tendered for the proposed Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal project said to be worth RM2bil.

Kho said Naim was also seriously exploring ways, including joint ventures with landowners, to expand its property development in Penisular Malaysia.

“Naim sold about 280 units of houses worth RM78mil for the first six months of this year as compared to 283 units valued at RM69mil during the same period last year.

“This year, the company has sold houses of higher value. House prices have gone up by about 10% in view of higher costs of construction materials,’’ he added.

Kho said medium-cost houses in the price range of between RM150,000 and RM300,000 were popular as these were affordable to most people.

Naim launched phase 14 of its Desa Ilmu new township in Kota Samarahan last week, putting up for sale 84 houses.

Desa Ilmu’s entire development will comprise some 4,900 houses, of which 4,700 have been completed.

Naim has built some 12,000 houses in Bandar Baru Primyjaya, its flagship development in Miri. It has completed about 500 units of houses in its third major development, Riveria, along Kuching-Samarahan Expressway.

By The Star

Axis-REIT in talks to buy stake in Philippine firm

AXIS-REIT Managers Bhd is looking into expanding its real estate investment trust (REIT) business by acquiring a stake in a future REIT manager in the Philippines.

"We are in discussions with a party in Manila to take an equity position and assist in the management of its future listed REIT," Axis-REIT chief executive officer Stewart LaBrooy told Business Times.

LaBrooy was asked to comment on online reports in the Philippines last month that Axis-REIT is scouting for investment opportunities in the Philippines.

According to reports, overseas REIT investment firms, including Axis-REIT, are turning their radar to the Philippines following the recent approval of the respective REIT rules by the Securities Exchange Commission and the Philippine Stock Exchange.
Unfortunately, LaBrooy said there are delays in publishing the implementing rules, which will prolong the launch of any new REITS in the Philippines.

He maintained that Axis-REIT has always taken the stand that it will focus on Malaysian assets and not take on cross-border acquisitions due to the possible risks the strategies present.

Labrooy also confirmed that he was in Manila as one of the speakers during the REIT Asia Pacific Philippines Summit 2010 held from July 27 to 28.

A REIT is a fund that mainly owns income-producing real estate such as shopping centres, offices, warehouses and hotels. The units of many REITs are traded on major stock exchanges.

To qualify as a REIT, a fund must have most of its assets and income tied to real estate investment and must distribute at least 90 per cent of its total income to unitholders annually.

Asked on the potential of REIT market in the Philippines, LaBrooy said the country has a large cluster of excellent shopping malls, offices and BPO properties that are REIT-able and an emerging logistics market as well.

"These are owned by well-known property companies like Alaya, Robinsons and S&M. They should have a successful REIT industry with good growth opportunities," he added.

The Axis-REIT fund was listed on Bursa Malaysia on August 3 2005. In December 2008, it was reclassified as a syariah-compliant REIT.

By Business Times

HK land sale price surpasses estimates

HONG KONG: Hong Kong sold a piece of land yesterday at a price that was a third above forecasts, indicating that the Chinese territory’s property sector could still be frothy even after cooling measures were announced weeks ago.

The government has been selling land at higher-than-expected prices over the past few auctions as demand for posh apartments has been holding up well in Hong Kong due to low interest rates, purchases from rich Chinese and Asia’s strong economy.

By Reuters