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Monday, September 13, 2010

Rising demand for Prai property

Completed terrace houses in the Pearl Garden project by Tambun Indah Development in Simpang Ampat

GEORGE TOWN: Residential property prices in the prime locations of Seberang Prai have seen their most pronounced rise in years with prices having advanced by between 10% and 20% for the past six months.

The prime residential locations in Seberang Prai are in Alma in central Seberang Prai, Simpang Ampat and Bukit Tambun in southern Seberang Prai, and Butterworth town.

Henry Butcher Malaysia (Seberang Prai) senior manager Fook Tone Huat told StarBiz that a double-storey terrace house in Alma, Bukit Mertajam was now priced at around RM280,000, compared with RM240,000 about a year ago, an increase of about 17%.

A similar type of house in Simpang Ampat and Bukit Tambun in South Seberang Prai is now selling for about RM260,000, compared with RM220,000 a year ago.

In Butterworth town, a double-storey terrace house is priced around RM320,000, compared with about RM260,000 a year ago.

For condominiums in prime locations such as the Pinang Laguna Water Park condo project in Seberang Jaya, Fook said the prices had increased by about 10% from last year to about RM200,000.

For example, the recent launches of Pinang Laguna Water Park Condo units in July by Island LandCap Properties were priced from RM208,888, up about 10% from RM188,888 last August when the project was first introduced.

The Pinang Laguna Water Park Condo project, comprising 350 condominiums with built-up areas of 935sq ft and 1,010sq ft, is over 90% sold.

“In last three years, condominiums are becoming increasingly popular in Jalan Raja Uda and Jalan Telaga Air in Butterworth town.

“The original selling price, which started off from about RM160,000 for a unit with over 1,000 sq ft in built-up area, has risen over 30% over the past three years to around RM210,000 and RM230,000 today,” he said.

For the second half of 2010, three condominium projects, the Dahlia Park, Tanjung Heights in Butterworth town, and Palma Laguna Water Park Condo in Seberang Jaya, are already being planned for launching.

Although the price of residential properties had risen, Seberang Prai is still far from being a speculative market.

Fook said this could be seen in the low volume of sub-sales transaction of residential properties in the secondary market.

“Since January 2010, our company’s sub-sale transactions are just over 50 units.

“The appreciation for sub-sales properties is about 5% yearly,” Fook said, adding that Henry Butcher Seberang Prai’s main focus was on sales transaction of light industrial properties.

Fook said the speculative element in the Seberang Prai residential property market was not strong, as there was a strong supply of new houses.

From Asas Dunia Bhd alone, a major developer in the mainland, in the first half of 2010, the group had already launched 231 units of landed residential properties with an approximate gross sales value (GSV) of RM82mil, compared with the 169 units with an approximate GSV of RM44mil launched by the group for the whole of 2009.

Tambun Indah Development Sdn Bhd general manager Teh Theng Theng said the sub-sales for its Juru Heights project in central Seberang Prai in the past three years were only about 10% of the 482 units of landed residential properties in the scheme.

The demand for workers from multi-national corporations such as Ibiden Electronics Malaysia Sdn Bhd, First Solar, and Osram is also stimulating the demand for affordable residential properties on the mainland.

Ibiden, for example, has announced that it would hire some 900 workers for its first plant that is scheduled to start operations in the second quarter 2011.

Osram Opto Semiconductors and First Solar had earlier this year announced their plans to hire 1,000 workers for each of their respective plants in Bayan Lepas and in Kulim Hi-Tech Park (KHTP).

Meanwhile, Real Estate Housing Developer Association (Penang, REHDA) chairman Datuk Jerry Chan said the rise in Seberang Prai property prices had to do with the increase in land and construction costs.

“In hot locations such as Butterworth and Bukit Mertajam towns, where land is limited, the price of land with vacant possession is now about RM50 per sq ft and RM40 per sq ft respectively.

“In Alma, the price of land with vacant possession is about RM30 per sq ft, while in Bukit Tambun it is around RM18 per sq ft.

“Inclusive of land and construction costs, the cost to build a double-storey house on the mainland is about RM200,000, compared with about RM160,000 a year ago,” Chan said.

Chan said the scheduled completion of the second Penang bridge in 2013 was another important factor in pushing up property prices. “Now that is over 24% completed, people are now confident that it would be completed on time,” he said.

DNP Land Sdn Bhd general manager KC Tan said one of the reasons why property prices in Bukit Mertajam was appreciating had to do with the effort to improve the road infrastructure.

“For example, the roads near Bukit Mertajam town are now gradually being widened to accommodate the construction of a flyover that will reduce traffic congestion.

“The opening of Tesco hypermarket in Alma before the year ends also explains why the area is now booming as a prime residential zone,” he said.

By The Star

Emkay wants Cyberjaya land to build office towers

PRIVATELY-HELD property developer Emkay Group is on the lookout for land in Cyberjaya, Selangor, to build office towers.

Its senior general manager Mazrita Mazlan said that office space was in demand and easier to sell, giving good returns to the group as foreign multinational corporations liked to buy floor by floor en bloc.

"Office space is what the market wants right now as the government does not have enough buildings to house their ministries and agencies such as the Department of Environment and the Public Service department. Also, Cyberjaya is near Putrajaya with easy and fast connectivity," Mazrita told Business Times.

"Furthermore, office space which is usually sold en bloc is hassle-free because documentation process is under one company, making it faster to process at local government agencies compared to shop-houses," she added.

Mazrita said the group recently bought 1.4ha in Cyberjaya for RM7 million, on which it plans to build another two to three office blocks or special purpose buildings.

"We have sufficient experience to build office towers, such as our completed RM100 million Bangunan Mustapha Kamal in Cyberjaya and the RM350 million Menara Mustapha Kamal in Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya.

"But we plan to build office towers cautiously and will first undertake feasibility studies to see the project's viability," she said.

Mazrita added that some international firms, especially information technology (IT), find it cumbersome to buy land and build their own offices.

"They would rather tender out construction of the buildings and then rent or sell them to investors."

The Emkay group is owned and controlled by property tycoon Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar, who is also the executive chairman and dominant stakeholder of associate company MK Land Holdings Bhd.

He holds 48.7 per cent of MK Land via privately-held MKN Holdings Sdn Bhd, which in turn is one of 15 companies owned by Mustapha grouped under the Emkay stable.

Emkay associate company Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd is also the master developer of Cyberjaya.

Mazrita believes that Cyberjaya is the place to be as it is home to 20,000 students, out of which half are foreigners.

It is also a workplace for 19,000 workers spread across 50 MSC Malaysia-compliant buildings spanning 5.8 million sq ft.

"Property price in Cyberjaya is competitive at RM350 per sq ft compared with other competitors at RM450 per sq ft, and rental yield here is 7 per cent per year," said Mazrita.

By Business Times

Property launches worth RM571m planned in H2

GEORGE TOWN: The second half of this year will see the commencement of property launches in Seberang Prai for 1,981 landed and high-rise property units with an estimated gross sales value (GSV) of RM571mil.

Asas Dunia Bhd, Tambun Indah Development Sdn Bhd, and Island LandCap Properties Group are among the developers launching the projects.

Of the 1,981 units, some 664 are high-rise properties developed by Tambun Indah Development Sdn Bhd and Island LandCap Properties.

The highlight of the high-rise projects is the 38-storey RM100mil Palma Laguna Water Park Condo, touted as the tallest building in the mainland, by Island LandCap Properties.

“The 382 condominiums, measuring 1040 sq ft and 1,100sq ft in built-up areas, are priced between RM228,000 and RM265,000, depending on whether the units are facing the sea or the facilities.

“There are four penthouses, with built-up areas of 1,600sq ft and 1,970sq ft, priced between RM400,000 and RM490,000.

“We have already sold 20% of the units during a preview recently,” said Island LandCap executive chairman Oon Weng Boon. The official launch of the project is on October 23.

Also scheduled for launching in the fourth quarter are Tambun Indah’s RM40mil Dahlia Park and the RM41mil Tanjung Heights high-rise condominium project, comprising 282 units.

“The Dahlia Park in Butterworth town comprises 134 condominiums with built-up areas ranging between 1,395sq ft and 1,689sq ft, priced from RM209,800 onwards.

“The Tanjung Heights project in Butterworth town comprises 148 condominiums of 1,300sq ft units, priced at around RM200,000,” Tambun Indah general manager Teh Theng Theng said.

“The recent launches of Carissa Park werepriced at RM182,000, compared with RM160,000 when the project was introduced early this year,” she said.

Teh added that the group’s Carissa Park condominium project, comprising 144 units in Butterworth town, had sold about 70% of its units since the launch early this year.

Tambun Indah is also launching, in the fourth quarter, 467 units of landed residential properties in Simpang Ampat, South Seberang Prai, and in Alma, central Seberang Prai, with an approximate GSV of RM160mil.

“Some 335 units are for the group’s Pearl Villa gated project in Simpang Ampat.

“The terrace and semi-detached properties are priced respectively from RM270,000 and RM398,000 onwards.

“The Impian Residence, comprising 132 terrace and semi-detached units, is in Alma.

“The selling price starts from RM260,000 for terrace units and RM350,000 for semi-detached types,” she said.

Asas Dunia will launch soon 850 units of landed properties planned for central and southern Seberang Prai.

The 850 units of landed properties have an estimated GSV of RM230mil.

They comprise 500 single-storey semi-detached houses, and 350 double-storey terrace, double-storey semi-detached, and light industrial units.

Group managing director Datuk Jerry Chan said the single-storey semi-detached unit, with built-up and land areas of 1,200 sq ft and 2,660sq ft respectively, was priced between RM150,000 and RM290,000.

The double-storey semi-detached unit, with built-up and land areas of 2,557sq ft and 2,724sq ft, is priced from RM358,888.

By The Star

Pulau Bruit development set to be major tourist destination

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has announced plans to develop Pulau Bruit in Sarawak into a major tourist destination.

The island covers an area of 530 sq km. Pulau Bruit is the second largest island in Malaysia after Pulau Langkawi.

The development of the island will also benefit the nearby Kampung Penipah and Kampung Tekajong along Sungai Rajang.

On April 28, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said a RM28mil infrastructure project to transform the island into an agropolitan centre.

Pulau Bruit was prioritised for development by the state for its strategic location in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy.

The government will look into areas of urgency such as the construction of roads connecting the villagers of the island to the district of Sibu where it will enable them to transport their produce to sell at a lower delivery cost.

Kampung Penipah also requires a clinic of its own as patients currently have to travel for 40 minutes by longboat to the Tekajong Health Clinic and this can only be done during high tide.

By The Star

SP Setia to grow foothold in landed assets

SP Setia's acquisition of 103.64 hectares of land in Johor and its development prospects may further strengthen the property developer's foothold to capitalise on the boom in the mid-to-high-end landed properties in the country, says OSK Research.

The company bought the freehold development land, adjacent to its Setia Indah township in Iskandar Malaysia, for RM169.3 million or RM15 per square feet, recently.

It said the proximity of the land to other mature developments offers important advantages, especially potential demand among upgraders in the area, wanting to move up to larger, newer and better-designed houses.

The proposed development that would replenish the company's landbank is expected to have a gross development value of RM1.5 billion.

"The land development is envisaged to commence by end-2011 or early financial year 2012, with a development period of eight years.

"The land is expected to be developed into another township with a mix of residential and commercial properties," OSK said in a research note today.

It said earnings contribution, at the earliest, is expected to start from late 2011 (or early financial year 2012) and onwards.

However, as the launching and development details are still sketchy, it is not imputing this into its earnings forecast for now, it said.

By Bernama