Penang developers targeting lower budget buyers

Double-storey terrace houses and properties priced around RM200,000 are making a comeback in Seberang Prai.

Henry Butcher Malaysia (Seberang Prai) senior manager Fook Tone Huat said in early 2003 and 2004, 2½- to three-storey houses were popular as purchasers sought bigger space for their families.

“The built-up areas of such properties start from 2,200 sq ft and when first launched, they were priced from RM280,000. Today, these properties are priced between RM350,000 and RM380,000.

“Last year, when the global economic crisis set in, developers started developing double-storey houses, as buyers now have a lower budget,” he told StarBiz.

With a built-up area of 1,500 sq ft, the double-storey properties were priced from over RM200,000, depending on location, Fook said.

“Such properties on the mainland generally appreciate by about 10% annually. We are also seeing a new range of affordably priced high-rise properties with theme park facilities being planned for the mainland, that are normally found only on the island. These condominiums are priced between RM170,000 and RM190,000,” he said.

Fook said developers should look into introducing the 5:95 easy payment plan, which allowed buyers to pay just 5% for the property and the remaining 95% upon completion of the project.

This easy payment scheme, although popular on Penang island, had yet to be widely implemented for projects in Seberang Prai, he said.

The Seberang Prai property market in the second quarter showed no improvement over the preceding quarter and was expected to remain sluggish into the third and fourth quarters, he said, adding that sales were anticipated to pick up early next year.

Fook added that for the past two years, the development of new property projects had shifted from Raja Uda and Bagan Lallang in north Seberang Prai and Bukit Mertajam in central Seberang Prai to Bukit Tambun and Simpang Ampat in south Seberang Prai.

One Asia Property Consultants (Penang) Sdn Bhd managing director Najihah Md Noor said the soft property climate offered buyers a wide range of choices.

“It is the buyer’s market. They can pick from the new launches which normally offer freebies for the properties such as kitchen cabinets and air-conditioners.

“Buyers can also get value for their money from auctioned properties which are sold below market value,” she said.

The banks’ offer of ultra low financing loans last month had also brought some improvement in the market, she said.

Developers launching new double-storey terrace and higher-end condominium projects on the mainland include Asas Dunia, Tambun Indah, DNP Land Sdn Bhd and new player Landmark Strategy Sdn Bhd.

After a hiatus about six months, Asas Dunia is now launching some 1,177 landed properties in central Seberang Prai.

Asas Dunia managing director Datuk Jerry Chan said about 50% of the new launches were terraced properties priced between RM130,000 and RM250,000.

“The other 50% are semi-detached houses and bungalows, priced at RM280,000 to RM350,000 for the former and RM350,000 to RM450,000 for the latter,” he said.

Chan said the group was resuming its property launches because sales had picked up in May and June.

“We are also confident that there is commitment to complete the second bridge on schedule by 2012, after seeing substantial progress made on construction work,” he said.

DNP Land general manager K.C. Tan said the company would, in the fourth quarter, launch 338 properties, comprising 200 double-storey terrace houses and 138 semi-detached houses and bungalows, for the BM Utama project in Bukit Minyak and Taman Sri Impian in Bukit Mertajam.

The double-storey terrace houses are priced from RM250,000 while the semi-detached units and bungalows start from RM400,000.

“We will develop a five- and four-acre park respectively for the BM Utama and Taman Seri Impian schemes, which will be properly landscaped and equipped with the appropriate amenities.

“We will also construct a 90,000 sq ft commercial centre in Bukit Minyak, located between the two projects,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tambun Indah and Mutiara Goodyear Bhd are offering 600 terraced, semi-detached and bungalow units at its Pearl Garden scheme with an estimated gross sales value of over RM200mil in Simpang Ampat, south Seberang Prai.

Landmark Strategy Sdn Bhd is developing the 952-unit Pinang Laguna Theme Park Condominium with a gross sales value of RM160mil on seven acres in Seberang Jaya.

The units are priced between RM170,000 and RM220,000 for built-up areas of 950 to 1,100 sq ft.

Business development manager Michael Cheng said the project would be equipped with theme park facilities. “There will also be a clubhouse with spa, gymnasium, sauna and outdoor jacuzzi,” he said. - By David Tan (The Star)

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