29 August 2009

Construction & Property 101 - Volume 1.

I have decided to start this particular section - perhaps I'll feature this on the last Saturday of every month. It represents some industry insiders and my thoughts on them. SDB's Teh Lip Kim calls her column Bricks & Mortar - mine would be called Construction & Property 101.

As various studies and research reports have shown, it does seem like the market sentiments have began to pick up in recent months, for luxury and higher end luxury residential properties. The most notable launches recently include Verticas Residensi, which launched above RM950psf, St Mary, which sold out their phase 1 as well as Setia Sky Residences.

Verticas Residensi - in Bukit Ceylon.

In the recent months also saw the completion and handover of various high-end developments and award winning projects - including Mont Kiara Meridin, Ken Bangsar as well as One KLCC. These projects are all ranked amongst the super high end projects in the Klang Valley - reaching record breaking prices.

The residential markets have also been boosted by various attractive payment schemes and packages - such as the flexible payment scheme, zero mortgage instalment during construction, 5/95 packages and so on. With these good deals coming along, pushed and led by the big name developers (i.e. SP Setia, Mah Sing and so on), the entry costs for a prospective buyer into the property investment or acquisition is much lower compared to previously.

The Setia Sky Residence at Jalan Tun Razak.

Looking at the commercial markets, recently we have also seen the completion of UOA's Bangsar South and also the completion of renovation works to Sunway Tower II (formerly known as Wisma Denmark). The next couple of months will be a very tense but exciting one for the commercial property market as I believe projects such as IGB's GTower, Mah Sing's The Icon, Menara PJD, and a host of buildings in KL Sentral region will be completed and rolled out into the market.

Menara Wakaf, Jalan Perak.

Looking at the next 2 years, various impressive buildings are expected to be completed, such as Gapurna Group's 348 Sentral, Tabung Haji's Menara Wakaf, MGPA's Intermark (the redevelopment of Empire Tower / Plaza Ampang etc), the Chua Tower, Mah Sing's Southgate and the Menara Worldwide.

Menara Worldwide, Jalan Bukit Bintang.

Looking forward, the property prices are expected to stabilize. I wont expect the prices to drop much - as the building material prices and construction costs have somewhat stabilize, and are slowly inching in an upward manner. If you are looking at medium costs property and it is priced below RM 275 psf, I reckon you should grab it while you can.

Today, contractors need between RM 90 - RM 140 psf to construct medium cost apartments - add in the land costs, consultants fees and authorities contributions, the developer would no longer be able to sell their properties at below RM 250 psf because it would not be viable at all to develop that project.

Eric Yong


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