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Monday, September 20, 2010

AQRS to launch RM153mil Melawati Heights project

KUALA LUMPUR: Property developer, AQRS The Building Co Sdn Bhd, will launch its residential project, Contours Twin Courtyard Show Villa, at Melawati Heights in Hulu Kelang, Selangor next Friday.

The project, with a gross development value of RM153mil, is located on 3.2 ha.

The Contours, comprising 41 units, come in four designs. Its sizes range from 4,165 sq ft to 7,738 sq ft. The units are priced between RM3.2mil and RM4.8mil.

Its senior general manager, Thang Ah Hong, said the company has received a lot of positive response from buyers although the project has not been opened to the public yet.

To date, some 40% of the 41 units available were sold, she said.

“We are confident of selling all the units soon. This is a unique development and totally different from the existing residential projects,” she told a media briefing at the preview of the show unit here yesterday.

She said the freehold project, which was expected to be completed by end-2012, would have a clubhouse equipped with gymnasium, children water splash park, convenience store, multi-purpose hall, management office and a playground apart from landscaped jogging tracks.

“The project will also be equipped with quality fittings like the Owens Corning roof shingles, Kohler sanitary fittings, SimonsVoss digital locking system, private home lift, home alarm system, solar water heater and stainless steel piping,” she said.

She said AQRS would offer the developer interest bearing scheme on 10:90 basis, whereby interest would be absorbed by the developer during the construction period until notice of vacant possession.

“The package also includes free legal fees and disbursements on sale and purchase agreement and loan documents, free one-year maintenance, free air-conditioning units for all bedrooms (except for maid’s room) and kitchen cabinets too,” she said.

AQRS, founded in 2001, is the property development arm of Motibina Group of Companies whose core business is in the building, civil construction and development industries.

Contours is the company’s third development project.

Its first and second projects were the development of commercial and residential units in Kota Damansara.

By Bernama

UK launching more projects for M'sian and Asian home-buyers

KUALA LUMPUR: Over the weekend of Sept 4 and 5, Malaysian home-buyers parted with £785,000 (RM3.7mil) for a one-bedroom 530 sq ft apartment and about £2mil (RM9.6mil) for a 1,500 sq ft three-room apartment in prime London.

The yet-to-build project in Kensington High Street, considered a prime London location opposite the Hilton chain, was also exhibited in Hong Kong and Singapore. The average price for the project is £1,400 per sq ft.

This project by Berkeley Homes is one of the most expensive to be brought into Kuala Lumpur. They are working with Malaysian agent Henry Butcher. Berkeley is London’s largest volume house builders.

In the next several months, other house builders like Land Securities Group Plc and Native Land will also be making their way into Kuala Lumpur. They will be working with Rahim & Co.

An earlier property offering, The Sugar House apartments, by Berkeley Homes. The yet-to-build Kensington High Street project by Berkeley Homes is one of the most expensive brought into Kuala Lumpur. They are working with Malaysian agent Henry Butcher. Berkeley is London’s largest volume house builders.

Land Securities will be offering Wellington House, which is located 500m from Buckingham Palace. The average price per sq ft for this project is £1,300.

A 650 sq ft one-bedroom unit is £650,000. Next month, Native Land will be offering the third block of Neo Bankside which averages about £1,300 per sq ft.

Two earlier blocks were sold for about £1,150 per sq ft last year.

In what may be a sign of the shifting balance of wealth in the global economy, British house builders are increasingly making their offerings available to Asia even before launching them in Britain.

Although house-builders have been aggressively selling in the Middle East, China and India, Singapore and Hong Kong, the last two years have seen them explore the new markets of Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

House-builders used to skip Kuala Lumpur because “there wasn’t a market to serve”, said Berkeley group managing director Paul Vallone. This has changed over the last two years. There has been a fairly consistent stream of exhibitions from house-builders here.

Vallone said they were beginning to see a new market in Kuala Lumpur, chiefly because of the weak pound.

The British pound is trading about RM4.80 to a pound compared to its peak of about RM7 a few years ago.

Berkeley is one of London’s largest volume house builders that cater to the mass market.

Of the 2,000 houses it sold last year at an average price of £263,000, more than 30% were sold to China and India compared with a historic average of 10%.

Said Vallone: “London property is generally supported by international money. Generally, about half of prime central London properties goes to buyers from the Middle East, China, India, South East Asia and Europe.

“There has always been a market in Hong Kong and Singapore prior to this. We tried selling in Kuala Lumpur a number of years ago but the market was not ready then.”

Most of Malaysians who bought properties are buying to stay.

“We are seeing a buying-to-stay market, not a buying-to-let market,” he said.

Because of the price of the units in the Kensington project, Vallone said this was the most successful exhibition by the group in terms of gross development value.

“This particular exhibition actually did better in Malaysia than in Singapore,” he said.

Berkeley Homes would be building the project with joint-venture partner Prudential.

Vallone said builders are beginning to look for international buyers because there is a lack of financing for British buyers who normally go for 90% financing when buying off the plan.

“Banks are not lending to this group at the moment,” he said.

In a report in Financial Times (Aug 30, 2010), Berkeley Group CEO Rob Perrins said the demand from Asian buyers, who want to invest offshore, or who want a place for their children to live in while undergoing tertiary education, has no match for the domestic British market.

Telford Homes, the east London focused-group, said the appetite from foreign buyers had allowed it to launch developments that would not have been possible to sell to domestic buyers.

This year, the group sold 70 out of 118 apartments in its Matchmakers Wharf development, which flanks the Olympic Park to buyers in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

Property consultant Elvin from Khong & Jaafar Sdn Bhd suggests caution.

“Unless Malaysians are buying for their own stay or for their children, I will not advise it.

“House prices are expected to come down further because the entire country is on a major austerity drive.

“The economy is being reshaped. There is a major readjustment in the United Kingdom and the United States. So if you rush in now, during this cyclical period, you may be in for trouble.

“However, you can go and buy commercial properties like office space where there may be an annual yield of 7.5%. There are some good properties in London. Maybe this is the time to buy. But for the residential sector, be cautious,” Elvin said.

In an August residential sector report, UK-based Jones Lang La Salle said Britain faced a “choppy” recovery. For every four would-be purchasers, agents were listing 10 new properties for sale.

The current supply and demand dynamics are a reversal of fortunes for the British housing market lacking sufficient stock for the majority of the past 18 months.

With supply increasing, and decreasing demand for houses, house prices were slowing down, the report said.

The property consultancy expects prices to remain weak throughout the remainder of this year, with the market stabilising in the latter part of 2011.

By The Star

‘Provide incentives for developers to go green’

MORE education and tax incentives are needed if the Government wants to convince all developers in the country to go green with their buildings.

International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) Malaysia Penang branch chairman Daisy Ooi said the current tax incentives by the government were insufficient to encourage the developers and other industry players.

“More can be done to encourage everyone to construct or reside in property which comply with the Green Building Index (GBI), including having a hire purchase system for the installation of solar panels and LEDs (light emitting diode). Such items are presently expensive,” she said.

Ooi made the comment after a talk entitled ‘Green Building-Benefits and Tax incentives’ organised by FIABCI-Malaysia Penang branch on Saturday.

The talk featured architect Chan Seong Aun, the co-chairman of Malaysia Institute of Architects sustainable committee.

The committee was instrumental in coming out with the GBI for the property industry.

The index was launched in 2009, and is now adopted by many authorities to rate buildings in the country on its energy efficiency and greenery sustainable effort.

Chan said: “Laws and regulations are important to control energy efficiency in buildings.

“More laws can be amended to overcome the energy inefficiency of most buildings.”

By The Star