Surge in luxury condo launches

More than 600 high-end condominiums will be launched on Penang island before the year-end.

Although local property prices have not been significantly affected, the volume of transactions has dropped slightly since January.

At present, landed properties in Penang are still holding firm at RM600,000 to RM700,000.

Mid-end high-rise properties are still priced between RM300,000 and RM400,000 for a 1,000-sq-ft unit, depending on their size and location.

Henry Butcher Malaysia (Penang) vice-president Shawn Ong said to bolster sales during the current challenging property climate, zero interest financing packages introduced for purchasers by developers have worked quite well.

“The latest residential product is the ‘mini superb condominium’.

“It is dubbed ‘mini superb condo’ because of its size but they offer five-star facilities like normal super-condo projects.

“Prices range between RM500,000 and RM1mil, depending on their size, location, design, concept, and specifications,” Ong said.

The normal super condos are priced from RM2mil, have built-up areas of over 5,000 sq ft, and are located in prime locations such as Gurney Drive, Pulau Tikus and Tanjung Bungah.

Market prices for such properties on Penang Island had generally remained stable, Ong added.

“The up-market high-rise residential development trend on Penang Island has changed over time. Initially, these developments were more prevalent in the north-western and north-eastern parts of the island such as Pulau Tikus, Gurney Drive, Tanjung Tokong and Tanjung Bungah areas.

“However, due to the availability of relatively lower priced land, good population catchments and better accessibility (improved infrastructure), the focus moved towards the south of island, for example, along and off the Jelutong Expressway, Sungai Nibong, Bayan Lepas Expressway, and Bukit Jambul areas,” he said.

Ong said the demand for “mini superb condos” was expected to be encouraging given the sizeable young population in Penang and the higher household formation rate compared with the population growth.

“Affordability is today supported by low interest rates and the innovative easy payment schemes provided by developers.

“Investment interest in real estate is high given that alternative investments are less attractive today.

“Since the island has limited suitable land for development, most investors and house buyers are confident in the longer-term growth potential of such value-added residential properties,” he added.

Scheduled for launch by year-end are 568 mini superb condos by IJM Land Bhd’s The Light project, comprising The Light Linear, The Light Point, and The Light Collections schemes, located on a 16.8-ha freehold site off the Jelutong Expressway.

IJM managing director Datuk Soam Heng Choon said The Light would offer unique themes and facilities normally found in super-condo projects.

“The Light Linear project comes with fibre optic ICT infrastructure and a comprehensive range of home automation and recreational facilities, including a putting green.

“The unique features are the green concept and water features in all the properties,” he added.

The Light Linear units have built-up areas of 1,475 and 1,561 sq ft and are priced from RM522,000, or about RM354 per sq ft.

The Light Point and The Light Collection residences offer bigger built-up areas ranging from 1,371 to 4,090 sq ft.

“Their pricing starts from slightly below RM1mil, which is still lower than the price of normal super-condo units,” Soam said.

Another Penang-based developer, Tropical Hill Property Sdn Bhd, is scheduled to launch its mini superb condo project late this year.

The 22-storey Pavilion Tower on a 1-ha site in Teluk Kumbar comprises a block of 99 units with built-up areas of between 1,600 and 5,000 sq ft.

Tropical Hill Property managing director Datuk Loh Geok Beng said the units would be priced at about RM300 per sq ft.

“The low-density project, located close to the Penang International Airport and the Penang Bridge, is equipped with full recreational facilities including a swimming pool and community hall that can accommodate 500 people,” he said. - By David Tan (The Star)

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