By THE STAR
The major developers in Penang are enjoying brisk sales for their new projects, due to a record-breaking demand for residential and commercial properties.
Due to competitive pricing and strong demand from local and foreign buyers, the residential property prices in the state hit at a new record last year, according to the National Property Information Centre’s (NAPIC) report.
Property consultants and valuers are reporting that property prices in the state will continue on an upward trend till the end of the year.
One of the landmark projects on the island, which have enjoyed strong sales since the launch in late 2005, is the Penang Times Square in the heart of Georgetown.
Its phase 1, scheduled for completion in 2008, is a six-storey podium block of shops, facility area, and parking bays, and an 18-storey condominium on top of the podium.
Ivory Properties Group general manager Chok Keng Vui said over 75% of the 400 condominium units had been sold.
“The first half of this year has been stronger than last year’s corresponding period. About 20% of the condominium buyers are foreigners from Indonesia, Singaporeans, and Australia. About 95% of the 200-odd retail lots has also been sold to local buyers,” he said.
Chok said retail lots in trendy shopping malls were popular properties nowadays because they had become a favourite haunt for families to hangout on weekends.
“With the abolishment of real property gains tax, and the rise of construction raw materials prices, we expect property prices, especially residential properties, to go up by another 10% by the end of the year,” he said, adding that property prices had risen by about 10% since late last year.
Hunza Properties Bhd executive chairman Datuk Khor Teng Tong said the group had generated RM200mil worth of properties from its Alila, Infiniti, and Gurney Paragon projects. “We generated about RM150mil from the Alila project in Tanjung Bungah, comprising condominium and landed residential properties, which has seen about 70% of the units sold. Some 30% of the properties were bought by foreigners,” he said.
The price for the Alila condominium starts from RM400,000 onwards, while the landed properties are priced between RM700,000 and RM850,000. Khor said the group netted another RM20mil from the soft launch sales of the Infiniti super-condominium project in Tanjung Bungah.
“About 10% of the 119 units have been sold. Some 30% and 40% of the buyers are from overseas. The Gurney Paragon project in Jalan Kelawei, comprising 260 units of luxurious condominiums, has generated RM38mil,” he said, adding that about 10% of the units have been sold with 30%-40% of the buyers being foreigners. The units were sold from RM1.4mil.
Khor said property prices had increased by about 7.5% since early this year and are expected to rise by another 7.5% by year end.
Asas Dunia Bhd managing director Datuk Jerry Chan said since the beginning of 2007, the group had generated over RM30mil from the sales of its landed residential properties, comprising terraced and semi-detached houses, in South Seberang Prai.
Chan said the demand for properties would continue to grow in the state, particularly on the mainland.
“The Northern Economic Corridor, to be announced soon, the Second Link, Penang Outer Ring Road Project (PORR), and the monorail project are going to create more job opportunities that would then spur the demand for more affordable housing, available only in the mainland.
“These mega projects would also stimulate developments in the agricultural and industrial sectors, which will create more demand for commercial properties on the mainland,” he said.
He said big developers from Kuala Lumpur building high-end properties in non-prime locations on the island such as the South-West district would have a positive impact for property prices in the district and cause the prices in Seberang Prai to also rise in tandem.