By THE STAR
BUOYED by a strong buying interest for a wide range of real estate products, especially landed residential units on Penang island, developers are eager to expand their presence in the state’s property sector.
The interest from major Klang Valley-based developers who have recently made a foray in the state will set in motion a wave of change in the market in terms of product offerings, designs and concepts, quality and pricing.
More trendy projects with interesting features are expected to come on stream soon.
Real Estate and Housing Developers Association Penang chairman Datuk Jerry Chan welcomes the participation of big time developers from the Klang Valley.
“By introducing new lifestyle developments in the less developed areas such as Sungai Ara and Batu Maung, the whole market, especially properties located in the other more sought after addresses, will also benefit from the potential appreciation in value,” Chan said.
He said the 90-strong Rehda Penang members were upbeat on the new opportunities opening up and were venturing into more interesting projects.
While developers such as IJM Properties Sdn Bhd and Sunway City Bhd (SunCity) are among the early Klang Valley-based developers who have made a presence in Penang, the other newer players include E & O Property Development Bhd, SP Setia Bhd and Mah Sing Group Bhd.
After 20 years of building a wide spectrum of residential and commercial projects in Penang, IJM Properties continues to be an active player in the market.
The company is keeping busy with an array of projects that will be dotting the coastline along the Jelutong Expressway.
Managing director Teh Kean Ming said more interesting projects would be launched along the 350 acres of reclaimed coastal land that have a potential RM6bil in gross development value.
Another long time Penang player is SunCity with seven projects completed in the state to-date.
Senior managing director Datuk C. K. Wong said to keep up with market trends, SunCity would be offering a range of exclusive lifestyle products for its future launches.
“As land prices on the island increase, it is inevitable that house prices will also go up. Developers must come up with quality lifestyle products with good finishes and are good value for money products.”
Following the overwhelming response for the company’s recent launch of 2½-storey link houses at Sunway Bukit Gambier priced from RM650,000, it is looking to build more similar products on the island.
The new launch in the next few months will include semi-detached houses priced from RM900,000 and bungalows priced from RM1.8mil.
SP Setia, which first set foot in Penang in March with the launch of Setia Pearl Island, is also keen to expand its presence in the state.
Group managing director Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin said: “We are constantly scouting for suitable land bank to develop more projects on the island.
“While the size of our Penang projects are small compared to our Klang Valley and Johor projects, they have significantly higher GDV and better margins.
“More than just creating a new market for ourselves, we also aim to introduce a better quality of life for Penangites,” he said, adding that SP Setia has lined up two other landed property projects for launch on the island.
The 21-acre Setia Vista in Relau, located 5km from the site of the second Penang Bridge, is planned for launch in 2008. Indicative prices of the terrace homes are from RM650,000.
Meanwhile, Setia View, a high-end bungalow enclave on 45 acres next to Setia Pearl Island is targeted for launch in 2009. The residences are expected to be priced from RM3.5mil.
Liew said despite being a newcomer, SP Setia had made a good headway in the Penang market through its targeted lifestyle marketing campaigns.
“When we debut in the Penang market early this year, most of the purchasers were attracted to our differentiated concepts with the assurance of high quality products, award-winning landscaping concepts and also our three-year home warranty.
“Besides bearing the hallmarks of quality, extensive landscaping and good potential capital appreciation, the innovative design concept and right pricing will appeal to the Penang folks who are always on the look out for value for money products,” Liew said.
Mah Sing Group president Datuk Leong Hoy Kum is confident the company’s lifestyle property products would make an impact on the Penang property market and attract buyers who are keen to upgrade to a more upmarket address.
The 87-acre project Southbay in Batu Maung is targeted for launch by the middle of next year and will take five to seven years to complete.
Comprising the high-end Legenda series of bungalows priced from RM2mil and Residence super link terraced houses from RM540,000, the project will have a GDV of RM1.3bil.
Leong said to take advantage of Penang’s strong tourist in-flow the company would cooperate with institutional investors to develop resort-like commercial precincts.
“We are definitely looking at more strategic land in Penang for our brand of lifestyle residential and commercial developments,” he added.
E & O Property, which is developing Seri Tanjung Pinang in Tanjong Tokong, is intent to place Penang on the world market through its offers of landmark lifestyle properties.
“Alongside the various property types offered in the 240-acre first phase development will be other more exciting projects for the island phase, including more marinas, homes with private berths, community villages, commercial centres, international schools, hotels and private residential estates,” marketing and sales director K. C. Chong said.
He said the company was talking with various local and international consultants and other parties to work towards establishing Penang and Seri Tanjung Pinang, as a world renowned destination to own a home, do business, for a holiday, or for all three.