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Monday, May 28, 2012

SP Setia to to buy RM1bil worth of land in Klang Valley, Penang and Iskandar Malaysia yearly

Winner again: (from left) Liew, FIABCI world president 2011/2012 Alexander Romenanko, FIABCI Prix d’Excellence 2012 president Laszlo Gonczi and St Petersburg Committee for Construction chairman Vyacheslav Semenenko at the awards ceremony.

ST PETERSBURG (Russia): SP Setia Bhd is allocating RM1bil yearly to acquire new land for future development in the Klang Valley, Penang and Iskandar Malaysia.

President and chief executive officer Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin said replenishing its landbank in the shortest time possible would place the company in a better position compared with other developers.

He said the move was vital as the company would be able to continually launch new projects as the takeup rate for its properties was good.

“Sufficient landbank is the life-line for us (developers) without which we could not properly plan our future projects,” Liew said after SP Setia's award winning development Setia Eco Gardens in Iskandar Malaysia bagged the FIABCI Prix d'Excellence award at a ceremony held here recently.

The 2012 FIABCI Prix d'Excellence Awards saw 14 winners from seven countries, namely Malaysia, Singapore, India, Taiwan, Russia, Hungary and Switzerland.

Liew said that among Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Iskandar Malaysia, getting new land in Penang was the most difficult due to the space constraint there.

He added that those who managed to get land in Penang would go for high-density projects.

“In the Klang Valley, the next growth centres will be within the Kajang and Semenyih areas,'' Liew said.

He said the upcoming My Rapid Transit system would help boost property development projects outside the existing development centres in the Klang Valley.

With the better accessibility and connectivity within the central region once the MRT system is completed, developers have started looking for land in new development centres.

He said prospective buyers, mostly the first-time houseowners, would consider buying their first residential properties outside the existing growth centres as the prices were within their reach.

On south Johor, Liew said Iskandar Malaysia would drive the property market in Johor many years down the road based on the progress and development taking place in the corridor over the last six years.

“Iskandar Malaysia is more viable compared with other economic growth corridors in Malaysia,'' he said.

Liew said the Johor property market also benefited from Iskandar Malaysia as demand for high-end residential properties was on the rise in south Johor.

He said that apart from the Iskandar Malaysia factor, Singapore also played an important part in determining the economic growth in Johor.

“It is a well-known fact that Johor and Singapore are intertwined in economic activities during good or bad times due to their close proximity,'' said Liew.

Liew said the company was fortunate as all of its projects in southern Johor were strategically located within the flagship development of Iskandar Malaysia.

Its ongoing projects are Bukit Indah with only 5% land left for development from the entire 610.67ha, Setia Eco Gardens and Setia Business Park (383.64ha and 50% still available for future development).

Others are Setia Business Park II (107.24ha), Setia Tropika (299.46ha and 40%), Setia Indah (359.36ha and 10%) and Setia Eco Cascadia (110.70ha and 70%).

“We'll continue looking for more land in south Johor,'' he adds.

Liew said the remaining landbank would keep the company busy in Iskandar Malaysia in the next 10 to 15 years with a gross development value of RM8bil.

He said on average, land prices in Iskandar Malaysia had appreciated when the company first came 15 years ago, the asking price was RM5.50 per sq ft and now it was between RM15 and RM20 per sq ft.

Liew said the opening of the Eastern Link Dispersal Expressway in April and upgrading of several roads within Tebrau corridor had improved connectivity and accessibility.

Meanwhile, Setia Eco Gardens won its second FIABCI Prix d'Excellence Award within three years.

Setia Eco Gardens had in 2009 won the FIABCI Prix d'Excellence award in Beijing for Best Master Plan.

This year it emerges as the winner in the Specialised Project (Purpose Built) category for Eco Greens beating Green Pyramid and Ocenarium of Hungary and Taiwan's Taipei City Hall Bus Station Project.

Eco Greens is a 11.33ha park complex in Setia Eco Gardens comprising a town park and the famed Eco Gallery, which features a green wall that has become an iconic landmark for the 383.64ha township.

SP Setia is the only Malaysian developer to have won four FIABCI Prix d'Excellence awards Setia Eco Park in Shah Alam won for Best Master Plan (2007) and Best Residential (Low Rise) Development (2011) and Setia Eco Gardens for Best Master Plan (2009) and Specialised Project (Purpose Built).

By The Star

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